The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have awarded $68 million for the creation of new sustainable and livable communities. The funding will help 62 local and regional partnerships create a sustainable approach to community living by connecting affordable housing, job opportunities and economic development with transportation corridors.

Sustainable Community Challenge Grants, given by HUD, make up more than half of the total funding with $40 million being awarded to community organizations. The DOT awarded the remaining $28 million as part of the TIGER II Planning Grants program. TIGER stands for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery and these grants are designed to help projects that combine transportation, housing and economic development opportunities.

Individual grant amounts varied greatly. For example, the Salt Lake City Corporation in Utah received a HUD grant in the amount of $22,620 and the city of Claremont in New Hampshire received $58,740 from HUD.

Other projects received significantly more funding including $2.4 million for the Cincinnati Department of City Planning in Ohio and $3 million to the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development.

“Today two federal agencies come together to produce a win-win for local communities around the country,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “We’re helping local and regional planners connect all the dots in their efforts to make their communities more sustainable and livable. These grants will help communities to hit on all cylinders, producing more affordable housing near good jobs and commercial centers which will help to reduce our energy consumption and increase competitiveness.”  Source: HUD

With 15 million Americans still out of work, anything that can help stimulate job growth is welcome in my book. Keeping an eye on the environment and creating new job growth by supporting sustainable livable communities is even better.

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