Sustainable Communities grants eliminated, Choice Neighborhoods increases, TIGER survives

House and Senate negotiators in November eliminated any money with which the Partnership for Sustainable Communities would make grants in FY2012. The partnership was formed by US Department of Transportation (DOT), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2009. It marked the first such federal partnership to reform the built environment in US history.

Congressional negotiators eliminated grants for the Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI — the Department of Housing & Urban Development’s contribution to the interagency partnership). The Partnership itself will continue despite the loss of money for grants. The agreement averted a shutdown of the federal government.

Targeted at local and regional reform

The SCI grants fall into two categories: Community Challenge and Regional Planning grants.
The Community Challenge grants are targeted at helping cities and towns to achieve “affordable, economically vital, and sustainable communities,” through reforming zoning and building codes, and replacing local master plans “to promote mixed-use development, affordable housing, the reuse of older … structures for new purposes.” Most local land-use regulations put in place since the mid-20th Century favor large-lot, single-use zoning.

The Regional Planning grants are targeted at linking land-use and transportation decisions to foster economic development, affordability and sustainability. The

Posted by Robert Steuteville on 01 Dec 2011