Spotlight on Sustainability: Northern and Down East Maine

The following is based on an interview with Ryan Pelletier, Director of Workforce Development, Northern Maine Development Commission

Faced with economic distress, outmigration, soaring unemployment, and numbers of low-income and underrepresented populations well over the national average, two counties in Northern and Down East Maine began searching for solutions. Aroostook and Washington counties, the two largest and poorest in Maine, recently joined together to form one Economic Development District. Combining eleven groups that represent the population of 104,175, the region was awarded a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regional Planning grant through the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

Uncategorized

HUD Secretary Donovan announces second round of Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants

In a press release today, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that HUD will be investing an additional $67 million towards creating stronger, more sustainable communities that connect housing to jobs while fostering local innovation and building a clean energy economy through its Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant program. From the release:

The second round of Regional Planning grants will soon be made available through a Notice of Funding Availability. The grants will be awarded competitively to multi-jurisdictional and multi-sector partnerships as well as regional consortia consisting of state and local governments, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), educational institutions, non-profit organizations and philanthropic organizations. This year’s funding was approved by Congress in HUD’s 2011 budget, as part of $100 million devoted to the agency’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities.

This year’s Regional Planning Grant program will encourage grantees to support regional planning efforts that integrate housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure developments in a manner that empowers regions to consider how all of these factors work together to bring economic competitiveness and revitalization to a community. The program will place a priority on partnerships, including the collaboration of arts and culture, philanthropy, and innovative ideas to the regional planning process.

Uncategorized