HUD Reg. VI: 10-65
(817) 978-5974 / (817) 681-9741
October 14, 2010
HUD AWARDS $3.7 MILLION TO AUSTIN TO PROMOTE SMARTER AND SUSTAINABLE PLANNING FOR JOBS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH
Part of Obama Administration's Partnership for Sustainable Communitie
FORT WORTH - For the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding $3,700,000 to support more livable and sustainable communities in 10 counties in the Austin area. The funding announced today will support a new initiative by the Capital Area Council of Governments of Austin to build
economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation, and was announced at an event today at City Hall with Congressman Lloyd Doggett and Mayor Lee Leffingwell.
HUD's new Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program is providing $98 million nationally in grants to
a total of 45 State, local, and tribal governments and metropolitan planning organizations, to develop and execute regional plans that integrate affordable housing with neighboring retail and business development and transportation. Many of the grants will leverage existing infrastructure, and all reward local collaboration and innovation.
"Regions that embrace sustainable communities will have a built-in competitive edge in attracting jobs and private investment," said HUD Regional Administrator C. Donald Babers. "Planning our communities smarter means parents
will spend less time driving and more time with their children; more families will live in safe, stable communities near good schools and jobs; and more businesses will have access to the capital and talent they need to grow and prosper."
"While scrutinizing every federal expenditure and insisting on pay-as-you-go budgeting is important to restore fiscal discipline, reasonable federal support of local collaborative efforts like this are wise investments in our economy.
This public-private partnership building sustainable communities will help us be a magnet for good jobs and improve
the quality of life," said Congressman Dogget.
"We are excited to see Central Texas receive the Sustainable Communities Grant," said Mayor Leffingwell. "As our
area continues togrow by leaps and bounds,we must plan better transportation systems, economic development
and preserve our quality of life. This grant will allow us to achieve long-range regional planning and cooperation."
Today's grants are part of the Obama Administration's Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which brings EPA, HUD, USDA and DOT together to ensure that the agencies' policies, programs, and funding consider affordable housing, transportation, and environmental protection together. Interagency collaborations achieve better results
for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently. Reflecting this new collaboration, these grants were
judged by a multidisciplinary review team, drawn from eight federal agencies and from partners in philanthropy.
The grants are being awarded in one of two categories: grants for regional planning for sustainable development where such plans do not currently exist, and grants that support the implementation of existing sustainability plans (the Austin grant falls into this category).
The Capital Area Council of Governments of Austin will use its grant for the CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) 2035 Long-Range Transportation Plan, which envisions future regional growth being accommodated in a network of 37 mixed-use, mixed-income, walkable, connected and transit-supportive Activity Centers that provide a balanced mix of jobs, housing, and services, primarily within the context of existing communities. The Activity Centers concept is designed to improve the region's livability in the areas of
transportation system performance, air and water quality, and social equity and opportunity.
Core partners include the Capital Area Council of Governments; Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization; Envision Central Texas; City of Austin; City of Round Rock; City of San Marcos; University of Texas at Austin; and IBM.
Core partners will provide additional leveraging in the amount of $5,183,901; the contact for the grantee is Sheila Jennings, (512) 916-6006.
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.