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Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities Celebrates Second Anniversary


by Grant Sparks

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Transportation recetly celebrated the second anniversary of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an interagency effort to help communities nationwide improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment and people’s health.

This unprecedented collaboration between federal agencies has already made a number of accomplishments in its first two years including:

Focus areas for 2011 include:

  • Emphasize the connection between sustainable communities and job creation, economic growth, and redevelopment.
    Through better access to transportation, housing, and a better environment, communities begin to attract new jobs and opportunities for investment. The Partnership will emphasize economic growth both by working with communities currently receiving assistance through Sustainable Communities programs and by developing resources and case studies to reach additional communities.
  • Continue to cultivate and support communities adopting and implementing livability principles.
    The Partnership will help current grantees succeed by providing technical assistance and tools, building capacity in federal field offices, and giving grantees better access to local networks and resources. This year’s experience will also inform future competitions, allowing future grantees to be better served. Additionally, work will continue to inform states and communities of the livability principles and resources available. 
  • Provide communities with faster, more streamlined access to Partnership programs.
    Although the Partnership has taken many vital initial steps to providing communities with access to new and existing federal funds, further work needs to be done to simplify the process in which grantees receive funding, as well as how communities plan. By identifying and removing barriers legislatively, administratively, and in the federal planning process, the Partnership will help to streamline how the federal government spends time and money, giving Americans a better, more efficient government.
  • Leverage new partners to make Federal programs work better for communities.
    By bringing additional partners to the table – from foundations to local organizations - communities will be provided with access to more resources and expertise. The Partnership will also work to expand our relationship with other federal agencies and better coordinate with states and local governments to ensure that Partnership spending and planning has the largest impact possible. Additionally, the Partnership will take advantage of legislative opportunities to make federal programs work better for communities.

Visit the Partnership's official website for more information: www.sustainablecommunities.gov

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