City of Greenville with Federal Partners Commemorate 4th Anniversary of Partnership for Sustainable Communities
HUD SE Regional Administrator Jennings addressing the audience at the A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering Greenhouse event.
Photos provided by City of Greenville
Senior regional representatives from HUD, DOT and EPA converged on the City of Greenville recently to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The partnership focuses resources from multiple federal agencies to help meet economic, environmental and community needs. More than $4.6 million has been awarded and leveraged to support local projects in Greenville since its inception.
Southeast Regional Administrators from the U.S. Department of Housing ( HUD), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) participated in a tour of the city westside, KROC Center and community leaders roundtable topped off with a sustainability event at the A.J. Whittenburg Elementary School of Engineering.
"Partnerships have been one of the keys to the City's success," said Lillian Brock-Flemming, Vice Mayor Pro Tem
. "We appreciate the opportunity to work with our federal partners to improve the quality of life for residents in the western area of Greenville and to improve access to affordable housing, employment opportunities, transportation, parks, trails and open space."
"The work that the City of Greenville is accomplishing in tandem with federal partners to connect neighborhoods to jobs and open space is particularly noteworthy," said Ed Jennings, Jr.
, HUD Southeast Regional Administrator. "When over half of a working family's income is devoted to housing and transportation costs alone, we know that we have a responsibility to them and to future generations to fix that and provide affordable housing and public transportation options."
Under the Partnership, HUD and DOT jointly awarded funds to the City of Greenville in the fall of 2010 to support a three-year project, called "Connections for Sustainability," focused on enhancing housing, transportation and parks. The project combines $1.8 million in funding from HUD's Community Challenge grants and DOT's Tiger II Planning grants with over $1 million in local and federal investments. The City's proposal was one of 42 chosen throughout the country to receive funds, and one of only 14 to receive joint funding from HUD and DOT.
Under the first phase of the project, the City completed a city-wide housing strategy and a transit analysis that looked at the opportunity to connect the west side through downtown to the CU-ICAR and Verdae area. The second phase is focused on developing both a park plan and comprehensive plan for the west side.
EPA has also invested $1.4 million to support Brownfields and storm water projects in Greenville in recent years. The City was awarded $600,000 to assess and cleanup up contaminated sites within the "Connections" project area, some of which were turned into parks. A local non-profit, Upstate Forever, was awarded $800,000 to develop a storm water policy to help improve water quality and incentivize more sustainable development in Greenville County. The County adopted the policy in March 2013.
"These investments improve the quality of life for residents, help communities become more sustainable, strengthen the local economy and protect the environment," said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Stan Meiburg
. "By combining resources, EPA together with HUD and DOT are making a real difference in Greenville."
At the completion of the tour, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for a new greenhouse built from recycled 2-liter bottles by A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering students. The project was funded with a grant from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and spearheaded by the City's Livability Educator.
The Partnership for Sustainable Communities was launched on June 16, 2009; when EPA joined HUD and DOT to help communities nationwide improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment.
The Partnership for Sustainable Communities works to coordinate federal housing, transportation, water, and other infrastructure investments to make neighborhoods more prosperous, allow people to live closer to jobs, save households' time and money, and reduce pollution. The partnership agencies incorporate six principles of livability into federal funding programs, policies, and future legislative proposals.
Since the program's inception, the partnership has provided nearly $4 billion in assistance to more than 700 communities nationwide, funding nearly 750 projects. Partnership grant and technical assistance recipients are located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.