October 21, 2010
HUD AND DOT AWARD FUNDING TO CREATE SUSTAINABLE LIVABLE COMMUNITIES IN VERMONT
Unprecedented joint funding to foster integrated approach to housing, jobs and transportation
In an unprecedented collaboration between two federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today jointly awarded $286,750 to help stimulate a new generation of sustainable and livable communities in Burlington, connect housing, employment and economic development with transportation and other infrastructure improvements. The joint HUD-DOT funding will support 62 local and regional partnerships seeking to create a more holistic and integrated approach to connecting affordable housing, job opportunities and transportation corridors.
"Today two federal agencies come together to produce a win-win for local communities around the country," said
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "We're helping local and regional planners connect all the dots in their efforts to
make their communities more sustainable and livable. These grants will help communities to hit on all cylinders, producing more affordable housing near good jobs and commercial centers which will help to reduce our energy consumption and increase competitiveness."
DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said, "With the investments HUD and DOT are making today, we are strengthening neighborhoods by connecting housing with affordable and sustainable transportation choices. This is a win-win for people who live in these communities because they will have travel options to better serve them."
HUD is awarding $40 million in new Sustainable Community Challenge Grants to help support local planning designed
to integrate affordable housing, good jobs and public transportation. Meanwhile, DOT is awarding nearly $28 million
in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II Planning Grants to implement localized
plans that ultimately lead to projects that integrate transportation, housing and economic development.
The City of Burlington will be awarded $286,750. Burlington will refine broad community goals for sustainable development into focused and actionable development strategies for the downtown and waterfront areas with a district master plan and form-based code. The planning process will emphasize community consensus-building on
the scale, pattern and type of future development and as well as preservation of historic and cultural features. The planning effort will examine promoting transit with a comprehensive area parking allocation and management system, and build upon the Complete Streets system and Street Design Guidelines which are included in the Citywide Transportation Plan. The City will undertake an extensive existing conditions analysis to inform the process develop
an implementation plan. These elements will be combined to form a Master Plan and inform the development of a
form-based code. The project includes a plan to measure progress across a variety of metrics including travel changes, housing affordability, private reinvestment and environmental benefits.
"This grant offers Burlington and the region an unprecedented opportunity to promote economic vitality, quality of
life, sustainable practices, and a variety of housing options within a regional planning framework," said Mayor Kiss. "Burlington's specific focus on the Downtown and Waterfront area is especially important and timely. I appreciate
the teamwork of the CCRPC, Burlington's Planning and Zoning Department, the foresight of HUD and Vermont's congressional delegation in making this result possible."
The Community Challenge grants compliment the 45 Sustainable Communities Regional Grants announced last week
by HUD, through which the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission was awarded $995,000 to
develop and implement a regional plan. The Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) will promote sustainable development in regional planning efforts primarily through the Chittenden County Regional Plan and the Chittenden County Metropolitan Transportation Plan. Consortium members will execute an agreement for work under this grant; distill the common vision, policies and implementation strategies from the existing and emergent plans for Chittenden County; conduct new analyses of housing, economic sectors, and energy; update existing regional
plans; and implement consolidation of CCRPC and Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization to address state legislation and municipal and regional objectives.
"The Vermont of tomorrow will be defined by the vision we shape today," said Senator Patrick Leahy. "Thoughtful approaches to Smart Growth are a key element in growing Vermont's economy while maintaining our state's unique character and assets. This collaborative planning process will be essential in building a solid foundation for Vermont's future." Leahy is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of the subcommittee that handles
the housing department's budget.
"These grants will give the Regional Planning Commission and the city of Burlington the resources to strengthen the regional economy, build affordable housing, improve transportation, and encourage clean energy," said Senator
"Vermonters have long led the way in proactive, careful planning for the future of their communities. This grant
will help Chittenden County residents continue to make smart planning decisions about important economic development, transportation, housing, and infrastructure decisions," said Congressman Peter Welch.
Leslie Pelch, Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission Chair, said, "The Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant provides an opportunity for many organizations already planning for the future of Chittenden County
to bring proactive/important/valuable stakeholders together in a cooperative and comprehensive planning effort.
The outcome of this project will be the articulation of concrete steps that will lead us to a sustainable future."
HUD's Sustainable Communities Challenge Grants will foster reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. These funds will be used by communities, large and small, to
address local challenges to integrating transportation and housing. When these activities are done in conjunction
with transportation projects, they can greatly increase the efficiency and access of local transportation while encouraging mixed-use or transit-oriented development. 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.
TIGER II Planning Grants will prepare or design surface transportation projects that would be eligible for funding
under the TIGER II Discretionary Grant program. These projects include highways, bridges, transit, railways, ports
or bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
Rather than require applicants to navigate two separate grant application procedures that might be on different timelines and with different requirements, HUD and DOT joined their two new discretionary planning program to
create one point of entry to federal resources for local, innovative sustainable community planning projects.
The new HUD-DOT program also builds on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an innovative new interagency collaboration, launched by President Obama in June 2009, between the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Guided by six Livability Principles, the Partnership is designed to remove the traditional federal government silos that exist between departments and strategically target the agencies' transportation, land use, environmental, housing
and community development resources to provide communities the resources they need to build more livable, sustainable communities.
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.