HUD No. 11-39
November 21, 2011
RHODE ISLAND RECEIVES $1.9 MILLION TO CREATE JOBS, BUILD SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
Grants will create jobs, improve housing, transportation and economic vitality of urban and rural regions
PROVIDENCE - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development New England Regional Administrator Barbara Fields today joined Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee, U.S. Senators' Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen James Langevin and David Cicilline to announce a $1,934,961 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant to the Rhode Island Division of Planning. See below for RI grant summary.
This funding is part of more than $97 million in 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants that HUD awarded across the country today. Nationwide twenty seven communities and organizations will receive Community Challenge grants and 29 regional areas will receive Regional Planning grants. The goal of the Sustainable Communities grants is to help communities and regions improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.
"With this funding HUD is proud to help the State of Rhode Island achieve new visions for its communities to better plan for housing, transportation and workforce development that will improve the quality of life of residents for generations to come," said Barbara Fields, HUD New England Regional Administrator.
"This federal funding will help create jobs and support locally driven strategies to better integrate housing, transportation, infrastructure, and economic development projects. Comprehensive, coordinated planning will help Rhode Island better connect housing to jobs and transportation, strengthening neighborhoods and building more sustainable communities," said Senator Reed, a member of the Appropriations Committee and an original cosponsor of the Livable Communities Act to enhance the sustainable communities program.
"This vital grant will help large and small Rhode Island communities reduce transportation costs, eliminate pollution, and preserve historic properties," said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. "But most importantly, it will help ensure that more Rhode Islanders can grow up healthy and find good work."
HUD's Regional Planning Grant program encourages grantees to support regional planning efforts that integrate housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure developments in a
manner that empowers regions to consider how all of these factors work together to create more jobs and economic opportunities. The program will place a priority on partnerships, including the collaboration of arts and culture, philanthropy, and innovative ideas to the regional planning process. Recognizing that areas are in different stages
of sustainability planning, HUD has established two categories for the Regional Planning Grant program. The first supports communities that are beginning the conversation about how best to align their housing, transportation, environment, and other infrastructure investments. The second recognizes that some communities have already achieved significant momentum and are prepared to move toward completion and implementation of regional plans for sustainable development.
"Severe budget constraints at all levels of government are challenging us to make the most efficient use of our resources," said Congressman James Langevin. "Affordable housing provides a tremendous return on a small investment by creating stability for the families and communities hit hardest by the economic downturn. This project is a testament to the positive improvements we can make with efforts that coordinate federal, state, local and private funding."
"This grant will create jobs in Rhode Island and help to promote healthy communities. This is an opportunity for Rhode Island to transform neighborhoods by connecting and revitalizing transportation, natural resources, housing and economic development in cities and towns from Burrillville to Newport. These investments can improve the health, education, safety and economic well-being of our families," said Congressman David Cicilline.
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 complimented 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.
For a complete listing of this year's grantees and their proposals, please visit www.hud.gov.
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 @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.
Rhode Island Regional Planning Grant Award
The Rhode Island Division of Planning, will be awarded $1,934,961 to develop a plan for A Sustainable Rhode Island. This plan would address subject matter gaps related to housing and economic development in Rhode Island's State Guide Plan. The plan will use HUD's Livability Principles as evaluation criteria to synthesize goals, strategies and actions contained in the substantially linked Land Use, Transportation, Economic Development and Housing State Guide Plan Elements, into an integrated implementation program outlining steps that will move the region from
planning to action.
Anticipated Project Benefits: The Identification and Delineation of specific geographic areas within the State that are most suitable for infill and development including areas most appropriate for infrastructure investment. Capacity Building within state and local government and among participants in the planning process by increasing skills and technical expertise in sustainable development. Utilization of a public participation strategy to reach target populations, engaging them in the planning process and ensuring sustained participation throughout the RPSD implementation.
Core Partners: Rhode Island Housing, Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, Rhode Island
Department of Transportation, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Rhode Island Department of Health, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Grow Smart Rhode Island, Rhode Island Legal Services.