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The Department of Housing and Urban Development: Sustainable Communities Initiative

Sustainable Communities Initiative Research Reports

About the Sustainable Communities Initiative

 

In June 2010, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), released a Notice of Funding Availability for a Regional Planning for Sustainable Development grant. These HUD sustainability grants represent an unprecedented infusion of federal support for regional planning that integrates housing and transportation decisions, and increases state, regional, and local capacity to incorporate livability, sustainability, and social equity values into land use plans and zoning. One hallmark of these grants is the requirement that consortiums increase participation and decision-making of populations traditionally marginalized in public planning processes in developing and implementing a long-range vision for the region.

The Kirwan Institute is deeply engaged in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI).  The Institute has advised HUD on the program and is working with Sustainable Communities grantees in several regions.

In June 2010, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), released a Notice of Funding Availability for a Regional Planning for Sustainable Development grant. These HUD sustainability grants represent an unprecedented infusion of federal support for regional planning that integrates housing and transportation decisions, and increases state, regional, and local capacity to incorporate livability, sustainability, and social equity values into land use plans and zoning. One hallmark of these grants is the requirement that consortiums increase participation and decision-making of populations traditionally marginalized in public planning processes in developing and implementing a long-range vision for the region.

Sustainable Communities Initiative Briefs & Guides

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Place Matters: Using Mapping to Plan for Opportunity, Equity, and Sustainability

For most of us, the neighborhood is our “ecosystem,” a place that can either provide the opportunities we need to grow or stifle our potential. We generally know an opportunity-rich neighborhood when we see one: a place that provides access to quality schools, healthy food and recreational options, stable and supportive housing, sustainable employment, and strong social networks…

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For the 143 communities and regions engaged in planning for a prosperous future, the Sustainable Communities Initiative is a game-changing opportunity. In the same spirit of the interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities which forged new ways of doing business across HUD, DOT, and EPA, this program is poised to catalyze new networks of relationships, new problem-solving methods, and new, inclusive decision-making tables. By bringing together diverse and disparate interests while developing new leaders, Sustainable Communities is seeding an opportunity for regions and communities to craft an authentic vision for an equitable and prosperous future. As community members set joint tables with advocacy groups, planners, business leaders, policymakers, local development organizations, universities, and foundations to develop a blueprint for future prosperity, a shared vision will only materialize if the residents of historically marginalized communities see themselves as full partners. That entails having a voice and decision-making input to own the change they want to see.

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The Fair Housing and Equity Assessment (FHEA) provides an opportunity for diverse stakeholders in a region to develop a shared picture of the housing and infrastructure dynamics that enhance or limit opportunity — and to develop forward-looking strategies and partnerships that can address some of the region’s greatest challenges.1 Through this ‘21st century orientation to fair housing’ — a candid and broadly shared assessment of residential opportunity — municipalities and regional entities can identify objectives and priorities for future investments to enhance equity and access to opportunity and address the needs of communities facing the greatest challenges…

Kirwan’s Impact on HUD’s Sustainable Communities Initiative

Provided Analysis to Aid Equity Issues in Puget Sound, WA

The Institute provided analysis and assistance with the region’s opportunity mapping activities to aid equity issues in the development of a regional sustainable development plan. This work prompted housing authorities for Seattle, Tacoma and King County to consider opportunity maps for ways to improve their voucher programs – for example, by increasing voucher rates in high opportunity areas or making ...

Fair Housing Assessment for Austin, TX

This work is a collaborative effort between Green Doors, an Austin nonprofit to house the homeless, and the Institute. The work is also driven by a committee of other partners, including The City of Austin, Travis County, The Housing Authorities of the City of Austin and Travis County, and The Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG), whose participation as a Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) grantee will pull ...

Equity Assessment for Lakota tribe in Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

The Institute is working together with PolicyLink to provide mapping support for an equity assessment, to be used by the Lakota tribe to apply for HUD funding for reservation housing. We are also providing expert advice as the tribe establishes a regional planning office. Independent of the equity assessment work, the Institute has also offered to provide GIS support to the tribe’s land office ...

Houston-Galveston Fair Housing Assessment

The Institute is working in collaboration with H-GAC to facilitate an opportunity mapping initiative in the 13-county Texas Gulf Coast planning region to inform the region’s Fair Housing Equity Assessment (FHEA). At 12,500 square miles, the H-GAC service area is larger than 9 other states’ total areas and poses a challenge for opportunity mapping, both in scale and in geographic and economic diversity. For this ...

Sustainable Communities Initiative Partners

PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works.®

Founded in 1999, PolicyLink connects the work of people on the ground to the creation of sustainable communities of opportunity that allow everyone to participate and prosper. Such communities offer access to quality jobs, affordable housing, good schools, transportation, and the benefits of healthy food and physical activity.

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Puget Sound Regional Council’s mission is to ensure a thriving central Puget Sound now and into the future through planning for regional transportation, growth management and economic development.

PSRC works with local government, business and citizens to build a common vision for the region’s future, expressed through three connected major activities: VISION 2040, the region’s growth strategy; Transportation 2040, the region’s long-range transportation plan; and Prosperity Partnership, which develops and advances the region’s economic strategy.

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One day, all Central Texas families and individuals will have the opportunity to live in affordable, safe, quality housing.

Green Doors’ mission is to prevent and help end homelessness and poverty housing for those working to achieve independent living in Central Texas.

Green Doors accomplishes this by: creating affordable, safe, quality housing; providing residents with access to supportive services; and educating about, and advocating for, individuals and families struggling with homelessness and at-risk for homelessness.

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The Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) is a voluntary association including over 90 member governments, cities and counties as well as school districts, chambers of commerce, non-profit agencies, and any organization that has an interest in regionalism.  CAPCOG was established in 1970 under Chapter 391, Local Government Code, and is one of 24 COGS in the State of Texas.

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Gulf Regional Planning Commission (GRPC) has been  providing general planning support to fourteen member jurisdictions, which  include Gulfport, Biloxi, Waveland, Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, Long Beach, Ocean Springs, D’Iberville, Gautier, Pascagoula, Moss Point as well as Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties, and we are soon to welcome Diamondhead as an official member.

Learn More…