The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $97 million dollars to 27 regions and 29 communities across 32 states with the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan stated, “These grants will be leveraged with local funds more than doubling the investment and, helping to create new visions for how communities and regions plan for housing, transportation, workforce development and the quality of life of their residents for generations to come. When more than half of the average working family’s income is devoted to housing and transportation costs alone, we know that we have a responsibility to fix that and to provide housing and transportation options that can improve their quality of life and economic stability.”
The grants intend to “reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities” with a focus on integrating transportation and housing. For example, HUD is awarding the City of Boston $1,865,160 to aid mixed-income, mixed-use development along with the construction of four new transit stations that will be strategically placed along the Boston Fairmount / Indigo corridor, an area that contains two-thirds of the Boston region’s foreclosures. Meanwhile, a grant for Sacramento County (CA) will enable them to evaluate opportunities for a new food distribution hub that could provide access to local fresh fruit and vegetables in urban neighborhoods without full service grocery stores.