OFFICE OF SUSTAINABLE HOUSING AND COMMUNITIES ACCOMPLISHMENTS REPORT DEMONSTRATES HOW SUSTAINABILITY GRANTS ARE HELPING PLAN FOR STRONGER REGIONAL ECONOMIES
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC) today released its 2012 Accomplishments Report, Helping Communities Realize a More Prosperous Future, which highlights how grantees of the 2010 and 2011 HUD Sustainability Grants are working to support locally led collaborative efforts that are building stronger regional economies.
“Regions that embrace sustainable development by making connections between housing and jobs have a built-in competitive edge in attracting employers and private investment. We are beginning to see this in the grantee communities and regions helped by our grants,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Our nation’s ability to compete in a global economy is dependent upon how quickly and efficiently we can connect workers and families to education and employment opportunities.”
Among the most significant findings of the report is the almost 100 percent leveraging of federal funds. In 2010 and 2011 OSHC awarded 152 grants in 48 states, totaling $240 million. This in turn has generated almost $253 million in private investments and commitments from local partners. The report further highlights that HUD’s Sustainable Communities grantees have brought significant local, state and private resources to the table. HUD’s investment of $95.8 million in 2011 generated $115 million in matching and in-kind contributions – which is more than 120% of the Federal investment – from the 56 selected grantees.
HUD estimates that its two years of grant funding will have a positive impact on 133 million Americans by helping their communities and regions become more efficient and competitive while improving their quality of life.
The report alsoprovides numerous examples of grantees in small and large communities who are utilizing sustainability principles to create jobs. In Memphis, TN, for example, The Aerotropolis Initiative,an integrated housing, transportation and economic development strategy is stimulating investment in the vicinity of the Memphis International Airport. In coordination with other regional logistics and infrastructure strategies, the Initiative, developed in concert with FedEx, Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Medtronic and Smith Nephew biodevice companies, and numerous other major U. S. employers will lead to the creation of more than 3,000 local jobs and produce tens of millions in private capital investment.
“The planning efforts underway are bringing together the community and economic development strategies to transform the adjoining area that can be attributed with nearly half of our metro areas gross metro product. This could not have been accomplished without the HUD grant and the federal partnership for sustainable communities,” said Dexter Muller, Senior Vice President at the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce.
“When 52 cents of every dollar of a working family’s income is devoted to housing and transportation costs alone, we know this is a problem that affects a family’s ability to save and contribute to the local economy,” said Shelley Poticha, Director of HUD’s OSHC. “Our efforts are critical to alleviating that burden on working families, and to supporting locally led planning efforts. These bring together a diverse set of stakeholders to determine how to best plan for economic and workforce development, housing and transportation.”
OSHC is part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which is a partnership between HUD, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It’s goal is to support local and regional economic development, energy conservation, and increased transportation and housing options.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.