October 20, 2010
HUD AND DOT AWARD $1.1 MILLION TO CREATE SUSTAINABLE LIVABLE COMMUNITIES IN WEST VIRGINIA
Unprecedented joint funding to foster integrated approach to housing, jobs and transportation
CHARLESTON - 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 $ 1.1 million to help stimulate a new generation of sustainable and livable communities in West Virginia, 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 (see attached funding chart).
The Randolph County Housing Authority will be awarded $153,500. The Randolph County Housing Transportation Plan will target housing and transportation needs as they relate to jobs and the growing senior population. It will also support two localized plans in the county seat of Elkins, in two mixed-income neighborhoods that are close to jobs, schools, and in-town amenities. Randolph County is a rural county with a population of 28,000, with Elkins serving as the economic and healthcare hub. Plans will include a focus on expanding the local non-profit bus routes to increase their ridership. A local plan will focus on increasing walking and biking trips between a mixed-income residential area and a nearby commercial district and farmland preservation in the county.
Anticipated Project Benefits
- Develop a bus transit plan to specifically serve the needs of aging and disabled residents to connect to health care and community opportunity.
- Prepare a coordinated plan to identify employment, commuter, green space, and the availability and affordability of location-efficient rental and for-sale housing.
- CREATE LOCATION-EFFICIENT, INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES: The process will address the needs of the aging population in the area and design a build environment that supports aging in place. The project will support the Randolph County Housing Authority to implement its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing plan.
- RURAL AND SMALL TOWN DEVELOPMENT: Building on strong partnerships with local non-profits Randolph County will undertake a county-wide study of housing and transit, focused on better linking employment, health care and business centers to workers and seniors.
Core Partners: Randolph County Commission, Randolph County Senior Center, Randolph County Development Authority, Woodlands Development Group, Highland Community Builders, WV Division of Public Transit
Contact: Karen Jacobson, Executive Director, (304) 636-6495 x16, (304) 636-6596 (fax)
The City of Ranson will be awarded $980,000. The Ranson-Charles Town Green Corridor Revitalization initiative will create a plan to improve the community's main roadway into a "complete street" with green infrastructure, design
the transformation of a historic public building into a regional Commuter Center, and tie these transportation improvements together with a new form-based Smart Code to foster sustainable community development.
Anticipated Project Benefits
- The project will integrate transportation choices, economic development and affordable housing through the reuse of land and existing buildings.
- It features significant public support from two rural communities and strong public outreach activities.
- REDUCE REGULATORY BARRIERS: Develop a new form-based "Smart Code" system, informed by extensive community engagement, to link downtown Ranson with outlying areas of the city to support traditional neighborhood and mixed-use development with green infrastructure.
- RURAL AND SMALL TOWN DEVELOPMENT: Linking two communities with strong commitment to expanded transportation options economic development in rural town centers.
Contact: Paul David Mills, City Manager, (304) 725-1010
"As we celebrate our Centennial, we are especially grateful and proud to receive this grant," said Ranson Mayor A. David Hamill. "This provides us an opportunity to showcase innovative programs in Ranson that will provide jobs and opportunities for our citizens."
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 Community Challenge grants compliment the 45 Sustainable Communities Regional Grants announced last week by HUD. The Challenge Grants help to support local communities seeking to integrate housing, transportation, and environmental strategies that will enhance local economic development, provide greater housing and transportation choices, and develop long-range visions for how they want their community to grow.
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), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 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 is the nation's housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.