Senate Appropriations Committee Bill Protects Transit, TIGER and Community Development Programs

Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The bipartisan bill makes investments in infrastructure, provides funding for economic development projects, and helps to meet the housing needs of the nation’s most vulnerable individuals and families. The bill reflects a total allocation of … Continued

LOCUS Transportation Uncategorized

The House introduced its FY2018 THUD spending bill. Here’s what’s in it.

On July 10, the House Appropriations Committee introduced its version of the fiscal year 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bill. The bill includes funding for the Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and other related agencies. In total, the bill reflects an allocation of $56.5 billion in discretionary spending — $1.1 billion below fiscal year 2017 levels and $8.6 billion above the President’s request.

Advocacy LOCUS

Congress hears testimony on why TIFIA is so important, and how it can be improved

On July 12, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a full committee hearing entitled, “The Use of TIFIA and Innovative Financing in Improving Infrastructure to Enhance Safety, Mobility, and Economic Opportunity.”

The hearing focused on the nation’s enormous need for infrastructure investment, and how Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans can help meet it. Christopher Coes, Vice President for Real Estate Policy and External Affairs, joined the hearing to testify.

Advocacy LOCUS

What the new, short-term federal budget means for smart growth

Today, President Trump signed into law a $1.1 trillion budget to continue funding the government for the rest of Fiscal Year 2017, which runs through the end of September.

This legislation overall maintains funding for key federal programs critical to rebuilding neighborhoods and providing attainable housing and affordable transportation options. Here’s what the bill contains for smart growth-related programs

Advocacy

The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: New York

Despite the demand for walkable urban places in New York, most real estate investment has been in the region’s core rather than in creating new walkable urban places or growing the region’s rail-served town centers. This represents a lost economic opportunity, and presents a real danger of a substantial affordable housing crisis if efforts to balance the region are not taken.

Advocacy LOCUS

Got questions about Congress? Join LOCUS for a members-only town hall

Less than two months in to the Trump administration and a new Congress, lawmakers are already talking about a $1 trillion infrastructure package, major cuts in federal spending, and tax reform—legislation that could have huge implications for community development.

What will this mean for transit-oriented development? And how might these changes impact programs that support community revitalization, housing affordability and walkable development?

LOCUS members are invited to join us for a town hall conference call on Friday, March 17, 2017 at 2:30 pm EST to hear from our policy experts with an inside track in Washington.

LOCUS

In wake of Senate action, Representatives Pallone and Tonko introduce House version of Brownfields authorization bill

langermans
EPA Brownfields funds helped transform the site of a former tin manufacturing and can factory into a mixed-use office and retail hub in Canton, Baltimore, MD. Photo via EPA.

Earlier this month, the Senate passed a bill to authorize and improve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields program. Now the House of Representatives is moving to do the same.

Last week Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6) and Paul D. Tonko (NY-20) introduced the Brownfields Authorization Increase Act of 2016 (H.R. 5782). The legislation would amend the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to enhance EPA’s Brownfields program and include it as a formal part of the federal budget.

LOCUS

Senate passes bill to help communities redevelop brownfield sites, urges House of Representatives to do the same

quik-trip-greenvilleEPA Brownfields funds helped transform the site of a former auto body repair shop into a neighborhood market in an underserved community in Greenville, SC. Photo via.

With sweeping bipartisan support, last week the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation to help communities across the country clean up and redevelop contaminated land. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), one of the champions of the bill, urged his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives to do the same.

Uncategorized

Senate EPW Committee votes to reauthorize EPA's Brownfields program

swamp-rabbit-trail2
The EPA Brownfields program helped to remediate a former railroad line in Greenville, SC. Today that line is the Swamp Rabbit Trail, the backbone of an extensive pedestrian and bicycling trail system in the county. Photo via Flickr.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields program has helped hundreds of communities clean up and redevelop vacant and contaminated land known as brownfields. The program has not been an official part of the federal budget for several years, however. Last week the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) voted to change that.

On May 18, the EPW Committee approved the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development Act of 2015 (BUILD Act), which would reauthorize the EPA Brownfields program through 2018. Senator Jim Inhofe and Senator Edward Markey introduced the Act on June 2, 2015. Last week the bill passed on voice vote without amendment.

LOCUS

House subcommittee examines the successes of and potential improvements to EPA Brownfields program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Brownfields program helps communities clean up and redevelop contaminated land and put it back into productive use. EPA Brownfield grants and assistance have helped turn former industrial sites into new parks, office buildings, performing arts centers, and more in communities across the country.

Although the program gets funding from Congress each year, it is not an official part of the federal budget. On April 21, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy held a hearing about the program, including what about it currently works well, what could be improved, and how the program helps communities handle issues like environmental liability concerns, financial barriers, cleanup considerations, and reuse planning.

LOCUS