I commend the action taken today by the Senate Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee to pass a bipartisan bill that will fund critical housing and transportation programs. The investments called for in this bill in our transit, rail, and road networks and in neighborhoods and communities across the country will strengthen America’s economic outlook and improve the daily lives of millions of families.
Of particular importance is the funding provided for the HUD Sustainable Communities grants. This funding will support integrated regional and local planning for housing, transportation, and other infrastructure in urban and rural areas around the country. In fiscal years 2010 and 2011, 152 communities and regions in 48 states received grants from this program, and are now hard at work developing strategies, implementing plans, and leveraging funds to create strong local economies. The need for these programs is significant; in those two fiscal years HUD received…
"In the Administration's recently released budget for Fiscal Year 2013, which calls for increased investment in our nation's communities and infrastructure, there is good news for all Americans, whether they live in urban or rural areas and whether they travel by automobile, bus or rail. In particular, President Obama continued the Administration's support for alternatives to highway transportation, such as increased funding for transit systems, and new investment into expanding inter-city and high-speed passenger rail. This affords all citizens choices in how they will travel and is at the heart of the work that Reconnecting America does, connecting people to the places that matter," said John Robert Smith, President and CEO of Reconnecting America. "In addition, the Administration's proposed funding for the Sustainable Communities Partnership would allow even more places around the country to benefit from that highly successful initiative. For our country to remain competitive…
Reconnecting America's Policy Director Sarah Kline released the following update, which covers the president's upcoming budget, TOD and Livable Communities legislation, the Sustainable Communities Partnership and the New Starts changes.
There has been a significant amount of federal activity related to transportation and TOD in the last several weeks. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate are expected to vote on surface transportation reauthorization bills the week of February 13, and the President’s FY2013 budget request will be released that week as well. Major bills have been introduced in the Senate on TOD and Livable Communities. The Federal Transit Administration has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to change the way that New Starts projects are evaluated. All of this is occurring against the backdrop of the 2012 elections, which can heighten partisanship in an already contentious Congress.
Surface Transportation Reauthorization
The previous surface…
Reconnecting America commends the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) announcement of nearly $96 million in Sustainable Communities grants that will help 29 regions and 27 communities plan for better coordination of housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, infrastructure and other elements that that create strong, healthy and economically competitive places.
John Robert Smith, President and CEO of Reconnecting America and Co-Chair of Transportation for America, issued the following statement in response to today’s vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD):
A team led by Reconnecting America has won a competitive grant to assist communities that have received Sustainable Communities Grants. The Reconnecting America team was one of eight chosen by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help existing federal grantees work together to solve common problems.
Looking for funding for a new project in your community? HUD, DOT, EPA, and several other agencies have made available millions of dollars in funding to support the planning and implementation of projects that promote sustainable communities. Funding is available for a variety of uses, including community planning, affordable housing finance, technical assistance, research, and capital infrastructure investments. To help you navigate the complex maze of opportunities, Reconnecting America has compiled a list of all upcoming programs and deadlines.
In anticipation of the release of the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the 2011 round of HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants, Reconnecting America did a series of interviews with successful applicants from the 2010 round of HUD Regional Sustainable Communities Grants to understand has led to the formation of strong collaborative efforts that were successful in winning a highly competitive grant. These interviews included winners of both the Category 1 grants to support the creation of Regional Plans for Sustainable Development and Category 2 grants for Detailed Execution Plans and Programs.
On March 22 at 3:30pm ET, Reconnecting America will host "Supporting the Partnership for Sustainable Communities: Tools for Advocacy," the second in a series of Sustainable Communities Network webinars. Joining Reconnecting America in hosting this webinar are Smart Growth America, PolicyLink and the National Housing Conference.