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HUD   >   Press Room   >   Press Releases   >   2011   >   HUDNo.2011-11-21KC
George Gonzalez
(703) 638-4624
FOR RELEASE
Monday
November 21, 2011

HUD AWARDS KANSAS CITY METROPOLITAN AREA 2011 SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES GRANT
Region will get $400,000 to create jobs, improve housing,transportation and economic vitality

KANSAS CITY (MO) U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Director of Field Policy Management Patricia Hoban-Moore joined Fifth District Congressman Emanual Cleaver II (D-MO) and the City of Mission Mayor Laura McConwell to announce the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) will receive a HUD 2011 Sustainable Communities Grantfor $403,432 that will allow the Kansas City region to align their codes and policies to encourage and foster sustainable development and redevelopment.

This funding announced today is among the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants -- totaling over $97 million – HUD announced today.  Kansas City and MARC are one of the 27 communities and organizations receiving a Community Challenge grant. There are another 29 regional areas receiving Regional Planning grants.  The goal of the Sustainable Communities grants is to help communities and regions improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.  

“The Mid-America Regional Council should be proud of the work it has already done to be one of the communities selected for this funding because demand for these grants was very high,” said HUD Director Hoban-Moore. “HUD Secretary Donavan has said our nation’s ability to compete in a global economy and create jobs is dependent upon how quickly and efficiently we can connect our workers and families to education and employment opportunities. This grant will help regions like Kansas City accomplish their sustainable development goals to create jobs and opportunity.”

 “We are pleased the success and continued progression of the Green Impact Zone in Kansas City has served as a catalyst for additional investment both inside the zone and throughout the region,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II. “This continued investment by the U.S. Department of Housing and Development promotes sustainability and fosters development and redevelopment in our neighborhoods, businesses and communities.”

 "The 19 members of the First Suburbs Coalition have worked together for almost 10 years,” said Mayor McConwell Co-Chair of the First Suburbs Coalition. “This grant will afford them the opportunity to put in place a consistent set of sustainable-development and redevelopment-ready codes, along with policies and incentives and to influence the adoption of these regulations and policies throughout the metro area."

 HUD’s Community Challenge Grants aim to reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. The funds are awarded to communities, large and small, to address local challenges to integrating transportation and housing. Such efforts may include amending or updating local master plans, zoning codes, and building codes to support private sector investment in mixed-use development, affordable housing and the re-use of older buildings. Other local efforts may include retrofitting main streets to provide safer routes for children and seniors, or preserving affordable housing and local businesses near new transit stations.

 The Regional Planning Grant program encourages 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 create more jobs and economic opportunities. The program will place a priority on partnerships, including the collaboration of arts and culture, philanthropy, and innovative ideas to the regional planning process. Recognizing that areas are in different stages of sustainability planning, HUD has established two categories for the Regional Planning Grant program. The first supports communities that are beginning the conversation about how best to align their housing, transportation, environment, and other infrastructure investments. The second recognizes that some communities have already achieved significant momentum and are prepared to move toward completion and implementation of regional plans for sustainable development.

 As was the case last year, the demand for both programs far exceeded the available funding.  This year HUD received over $500 million in funding requests from communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico for the $96 million in available funding. This year’s grants will impact 45.8 million Americans by helping their communities and regions become more efficient and competitive while improving quality of life. Combined with the 87 grants funded last year, this program is providing opportunities for the more than 133 million Americans who live in regions and communities working to shape local plans for how their communities will grow and develop over the next 50 years.  

 This year’s grantees continue to reflect a diverse group of states, regions and communities that believe in sustainability. Grants were awarded in the states of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.

 Community Challenge Grants and Regional Planning Grants are also significantly complimented and leveraged by local, state and private resources.  This year, HUD’s investment of $95.8 million is garnering $115 million in matching and in-kind contributions – which is over 120% of the Federal investment – from the 56 selected grantees.  This brings to total public and private investment for this round of grants to over $211 million.These grants are part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which is represents an association between HUD, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that the agencies’ policies, programs, and funding consider affordable housing, transportation, and environmental protection together. This interagency collaboration gets better results for communities and uses taxpayer money more efficiently.

Coordinating federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services meets multiple economic, environmental, and community objectives with each dollar spent. The Partnership is helping communities across the country to create more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, reinforce existing investments, and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods that attract businesses.

“HUD would have needed $500 million to fund all proposals we received this year,” said HUD Office of Sustainable Housing Communities (OSHC) Director, Shelley Poticha. “We are confident that the mix of rural and urban proposals that we selected this year will have a great impact in their communities and will create nearly 2,000 jobs.”

Read a complete summary of each grant awarded funding today.

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