October 21, 2010
Grants Aid Sustainable Community Initiatives
Regions, Cities, Suburbs, Rural Areas in 47 States Benefit from Urban and Regional Planning and Capital Improvement Grants
WASHINGTON, DC — The American Planning Association (APA) today commended the Obama administration for approving urban and regional planning and capital improvement grants during the past week that will create more livable, sustainable, and prosperous communities in more than 200 U.S. regions, cities, and rural areas.
"These grants represent a major down payment toward making a significant number of regions and communities more sustainable and economically competitive," said APA Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer, FAICP. "The country has not seen this level of support for strengthening communities through urban planning from Congress and the administration in four decades."
The grants total $772 million and cover 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. They involve five programs managed by two federal departments and one federal agency: the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Last year these agencies formed the path breaking Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The partnership was created to coordinate federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services so multiple economic, environmental, and community objectives are met with each tax dollar.
APA and its members, who work to create more sustainable communities throughout the country, have provided comments and input on the administration's new urban and regional planning initiatives. APA's federal legislative priorities and policy guides and programs, such as Rebuilding America and the Sustaining Places Initiative, underscore the need for planning communities to be more sustainable and to adapt to climate change.
Approved funds include:
- Nearly $100 for HUD's new Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program. Communities and regions in 28 states will receive grants ranging from $225,000 for the East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission in Anniston to $5 million for Salt Lake County, Utah.
- $68 million that involves $40 million for new Sustainable Community Challenge Grants from HUD for integrating affordable housing with good jobs and public transportation and $28 million in Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery II (TIGER II) Planning Grants from DOT for implementing local plans for projects that integrate transportation, housing and economic development. The funds are divided between 37 states and the District of Columbia.
- Another $600 million in TIGER II grants from DOT that involves 33 planning grants to communities in 23 states and 42 capital improvement grants to communities in 29 states.
- $4 million from EPA's Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program for 23 communities in 18 states and Puerto Rico. The funds will be used to transform potentially contaminated industrial and waste sites into productive land parcels and provide an incentive for redevelopment by local jurisdictions, and private interests.