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November 21, 2011
BEAVERTON WINS $1 MILLION HUD SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES CHALLENGE GRANT
Grant will be used to connect housing and transportation to establish a downtown core and promote employment opportunities for area residents
PORTLAND - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and HUD
Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride today announced the award of a $1 million Sustainable Communities Challenge Grant to the City of Beaverton to accelerate the development and implementation of its Beaverton Creekside District Master Plan to integrate affordable housing with efficient transportation, green infrastructure and public amenities.
This is the second HUD Sustainable Communities Grant awarded in the Portland metropolitan area. Last year, HUD awarded Washington County a $2 million Sustainable Communities challenge grant in the program's inaugural round funding for sustainable communities grants.
In a partnership that includes Portland State University, Clean Water Solutions, the State of Oregon Regional Solutions Center, Friends of Beaverton Creek and the Central Beaverton Neighborhood Association, the City of Beaverton will use its Sustainable Communities Challenge Grant to address the challenges to establishing an identifiable and functional central core. Benefits from the partnership are expected to include greater infill development and private sector investment in the central city, reduction in energy use and an increased supply of affordable housing located within 30 minute transit commutes to major employers in the metropolitan region.
The Sustainable Communities Challenge Grant award to the City of Beaverton is one of some $96 million in Sustainable Communities Grants awarded by HUD today to 56 projects across the country in two categories - 27 communities and organizations, like the City of Beaverton, won Community Challenge grants and 29 regional collaborations will receive Regional Planning grants. This year's Sustainable Communities grant competition received applications for more than $500 million in funding.
"Our nation's ability to compete in a global economy and create jobs is dependent upon how quickly and efficiently we can connect our workers and families to education and employment opportunities," said HUD Secretary Donovan. "This year we are especially proud that we had a particular focus on funding proposals that included more chambers of commerce and economic development corporations as core partners. These grants will be leveraged with local funds more than doubling the investment and, helping to create new visions for how communities and regions plan for housing, transportation, workforce development and the quality of life of their residents for generations to come. When 52% of the average working family's income is devoted to housing and transportation costs alone, we know that we have a responsibility to fix that and to provide housing and transportation options that can improve their quality of life and economic stability," he added.
"Every community faces unique challenges and unique opportunities," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator McBride. "Top-down, cookie-cutter grants are ill-suited to helping communities define and achieve what they want their future to look like. That can only happen from the ground up, through a collaboration that has the resources to map a route and the job, housing and transportation development strategies that will get them where they want to be."
HUD's Community Challenge Grants aim to reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. The funds are awarded to communities, large and small, to address local challenges to integrating transportation and housing. Such efforts may include amending or updating local master plans, zoning codes, and building codes to support private sector investment in mixed-use development, affordable housing and the re-use of older buildings. Other local efforts may include retrofitting main streets to provide safer routes for children and seniors, or preserving affordable housing and local businesses near new transit stations.
As was the case last year, the demand for both programs far exceeded the available funding. This year HUD received over $500 million in funding requests from communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for the $96 million in available funding. This year's grants will impact 45.8 million Americans by helping their communities and regions become more efficient and competitive while improving quality of life. Combined with the 87 grants funded last year, this program is providing opportunities for the more than 133 million Americans who live in regions and communities working to shape local plans for how their communities will grow and develop over the next 50 years.
Community Challenge Grants and Regional Planning Grants are also significantly complemented and leveraged by local, state and private resources. This year, HUD's investment of $95.8 million is garnering $115 million in matching and in-kind contributions - which is over 120% of the Federal investment - from the 56 selected grantees. This brings to total public and private investment for this round of grants to over $211 million. These grants are part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which is represents an association between HUD, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that the agencies' policies, programs, and funding consider affordable housing, transportation, and environmental protection together. This interagency collaboration gets better results for communities and uses taxpayer money more efficiently.
Coordinating federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services meets multiple economic, environmental,
and community objectives with each dollar spent. The Partnership is helping communities across the country to
create more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, reinforce existing investments, and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods that attract businesses.
"The demand for sustainability grants is very high; we would have needed $500 million to fund all proposals we received this year," said HUD Office of Sustainable Housing Communities (OSHC) Director, Shelley Poticha. "We are confident that the mix of rural and urban proposals that we selected this year will have a great impact in their communities and will create nearly 2,000 jobs."
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.