MAPA receives $2 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning grant

The recipients of the last HUD Sustainable Communities grants were announced last Monday.  These are the last awards given through this program, as funding for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities – the collaboration between HUD, DOT and the EPA – was not included in the FY2012 transportation budget in a sufficient amount to make another round of grant awards.

The good news in this region is that Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) will be awarded $2,045,000 to develop a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development. According to MAPA’s submittal, “the plan will include the development of several scenarios for future growth that represent different ways of achieving equilibrium between the goals of equity, environmental sustainability, and economic growth in the future development of the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan region. The scenarios will be developed through an extensive community engagement process at the regional, local, and neighborhood scales.”

Partnership for Sustainable Communities survives Senate vote

The Senate Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development voted yesterday to preserve funding for two key components of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities in the FY2012 appropriations bill. Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to strip funding for the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

The bill includes $90 million for HUD’s Sustainable Communities Initiative, a $10 million decrease from FY2011, including $63 million for Regional Planning Grants and $27 million for Community Challenge Grants. The bill also includes $550 million for USDOT’s TIGER program, an increase of $23 million from last year. The bill is scheduled to be marked up today by the Appropriations Committee. Amendments will be allowed in this process.