Mayor Parker, Elected Officials in Houston Region Receive $3.75M Grant to Promote Smarter and Sustainable Planning for Jobs and Economic Growth
October 15, 2010 -- Mayor Annise Parker today joined Houston Congressional members as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) $3.75M in grant funding through Sustainable Communities, a new initiative intended to build economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation to provide strong, stable, viable communities.
HUD’s new Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program supports state, local and tribal governments, as well as metropolitan planning organizations, in the development and execution of regional plans that integrate affordable housing with neighboring retail and business development. Many of the grants will leverage existing infrastructure and all reward local collaboration and innovation.
"Houston is an affordable place to do business, but this grant will help the region become even more attractive by investing in affordable housing, transportation and environmental protection,” said Mayor Parker. “I appreciate that this holistic, combined approach has been recognized as a vital need by our federal government."
More than 25 organizations worked with HGAC, the City of Houston and Harris County and applied for this grant, including the Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO), Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), Houston Tomorrow, Neighborhood Centers, Inc., Greater Houston Builders Association, Fort Bend County and Brazoria County.
The plan will address the interaction of land use, transportation, housing, economic development, infrastructure and environmental elements – and the social equity issues related to each – and contain appropriate implementation strategies identifying context-specific strategies for the region’s urban, suburban, rural and coastal communities. The plan will include regional and transect-based metrics that will be applied to create a baseline sustainability level for the region and allow for the measurement of future progress.
This is the first time the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has given awards under the Sustainable Communities program, totaling nearly $100 million in new grants to support more livable and sustainable communities across the country. Houston is among the top recipients out of 45 regional areas to receive this funding, an initiative that brings a holistic, sustainable view towards development.