To celebrate the five-year anniversary of the founding of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, three government agencies released a report entitled "Five Years of Learning from Communities and Coordinating Federal Investments," which details the progress made toward improving housing, environmental protection, and transportation systems in the last five years.
Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have worked together in an attempt to grow communities most affected by the recession by making them more vibrant and attractive for business development, providing more housing choices, and improving the efficiency and reliability of transportation systems.
"The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is about achieving one goal: expanding opportunity for American families," HUD Secretary Julián Castro said. "These targeted investments are bringing more affordable housing and transportation options, and more economic resilience to regions that were hard hit by the economic crisis. In partnership with local leaders, I am convinced that the investments our agencies have made will enhance the health and wealth of communities for decades to come."
In the last five years, more than 1,000 communities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, have received more than $4 billion in grants. In addition to the grants, many communities have received technical assistance to help them utilize private and public resources for the purpose of planning economic development.
"Communities know better than anyone else what they need," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. "Through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, we, at the federal level, are organizing ourselves to give communities tools to address economic and environmental challenges in the way that works best for them."
The five-year-old government partnership has changed the way HUD, DOT, and the EPA award grants and technical assistance. Since 2009, the three agencies have combined to review applications for grants and/or technical assistance opportunities to ensure that the government's investments to improve communities are utilized efficiently.
"The Partnership is helping us align our transportation investments with the goals of providing affordable housing and preserving the environment," DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx said. "Together with HUD and EPA, we are making fundamental changes in how we work together to benefit all Americans and provide new Ladders of Opportunity for many."