The U.S. Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) jointly announced today the award of $68 million to 62 communities across the country for projects that integrate affordable housing, create more good jobs and support better public transportation options.
HUD’s Sustainable Communities Challenge Grants and DOT’s TIGER II Planning Grants are the latest examples of interagency federal programs that aim to create economically robust and sustainable communities through better transportation, housing and development coordination – helping communities make themselves even stronger through a more thoughtful use of every available dollar for their local economy.
“The partnership between these agencies is good for communities and allows federal funds to achieve multiple goals simultaneously,” said Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America. “By looking at housing and transportation together, HUD and DOT can help regions move farther and faster to strengthen their local economies and create jobs.”
This marks the first time HUD and DOT have worked together in support of projects that integrate transportation, housing and redevelopment. The collaboration builds on the work of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a joint effort between HUD, DOT and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use taxpayer money more efficiently by coordinating federal investments to meet multiple economic, environmental, and community objectives with each dollar spent.
Expanding Transit and Economic Opportunities in Denver
The City of Denver, one of the recipients of HUD’s Sustainable Communities Challenge Grants, will use the funds to improve transit-oriented development in the city. The federal funds will leverage existing public investment to improve housing, transportation and business in the area.
“The West Side Light Rail expansion project will better connect existing populations and improve opportunities for development along the light rail corridor,” said Steve Gordon, TOD Initiative Manager for the City of Denver. “This grant allows us to move beyond the planning stage and dive in to implementation.”
Demand Exceeds Supply for Sustainable Livable Communities Grants
After they were announced in June, the DOT/HUD grants received almost 700 applications, far outstripping the $68 million worth of grants available. This immense demand reflects the growing enthusiasm for smart growth solutions in communities across the country.
Smart, efficient development decisions save taxpayers money and allow local governments to stretch their dollars farther, even as they make it possible for households to spend less on expenses such as transportation. There is also mounting evidence that areas with smart-growth attributes – like healthy central cities and inner suburbs, excellent transportation networks, or vibrant centers and neighborhoods – have stronger economies.
A full list of projects selected to receive DOT and HUD’s sustainable, livable communities grants is available here.