Senate passes minibus bill with strong funding for Partnership for Sustainable Communities programs

Washington, DC – The Senate passed an amended fiscal 2012 “minibus” appropriations package today, which included spending bills for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The bill includes $90 million in funding for the Sustainable Communities Initiative at HUD and $550 million for the TIGER program at DOT.

These programs are part of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an innovative and effective collaboration between HUD, DOT and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Partnership works to coordinate federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to make neighborhoods more economically resilient, allow people to live closer to jobs, save households time and money, and reduce pollution.

Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America, said:

“The Partnership for Sustainable Communities programs are model investments for the federal government, and we applaud the Senate for including continued funding for these programs in its proposed bill. The Partnership helps all three agencies solve interrelated challenges and achieve multiple goals at the same time. This means more efficient federal policies and a better use of taxpayer dollars.

“Even better, these investments help communities build stable regional economies by reducing costs and supporting businesses. These federal investments will benefit America’s communities for years or generations to come, and that’s perhaps the best use of federal dollars. I strongly urge the House of Representatives to support this bill.”

The bill will now go to the House of Representatives for a vote; the House has until November 18th to reach resolution about the funds. The House and Senate appropriations committees continue negotiations over the FY 2012 budget for EPA, the third agency in the Partnership.