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Funding for Sustainable Communities in Peril!

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities are one of the targets of the FY 2012 federal budget. The House bill wiped out the sustainability grant programs- Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recover (TIGER) at Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Sustainable Communities Initiative at Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In 2009, the three federal agencies Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and U.S Environmental Protection (EPA) joined hands to create viable, strong, green and environmentally sustainable communities. The guiding principles initiated by the partners for sustainable communities are to provide more transportation choices, promote equitable, affordable housing, enhance economic competitiveness, support existing communities, coordinate and leverage federal policies , value communities and neighborhood.

In 2010, DOT declared the $1.5 billion in TIGER grants. Twenty two projects took advantage of the grant across the country by enlarging, improving the transportation choices and creating sustainable neighborhoods. DOT and HUD also collaborated and presented $75 million for developing sustainable communities. Out of the $75 million, $35 million was transportation planning grants and the remaining $40 million was HUD Community Challenge Planning Grants. The grants are to aid the local planning initiatives, transportation and housing development.

The other programs released in 2010 by the Partnership for the Sustainable Communities are the $100 million in the HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant program, $300 million in the DOT Urban Circulator and Bus Livability projects, EPA’s Smart Growth Implementation Assistance and Greening America’s Capitals. The Mixed- Income, Transit- Oriented Development Action Guide was also another action developed by the Federal Transit Administrative (FTA) and the HUD.

The agencies also collaborated the regulatory and policy changes. The Partnership for the Sustainable Communities has produced splendid results by binding housing, transportation and energy choices. Now the funding for the Partnership is in peril.

2 thoughts on “Funding for Sustainable Communities in Peril!

  1. This proposed cut would take us back to the stone ages in the transpotation sector. Tax payers will lose out, as a sprawling infrastructure requires greater funding to maintain.

  2. The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is vitally inportant because it recognizes the important link between Smart Growth, sustainable, affordable transportation and environmental sanity. The transportation sector accounts for roughly 25% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Energy Information Administration, passenger vehicles and light trucks account for more than 45% of U.S. oil demand. To reduce GHG emissions and the strategic importance of oil, the United States must embark on a comprehensive effort to both break oil’s monopolistic grip on fuel for the light-duty vehicle fleet and open the market to vibrant competition among transportation options. We must also reduce suburban sprawl.

    Bob Munger AIA, CCM, LEED AP
    The Augusta Greenway Alliance

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