News Analysis

Federal Support for Sustainable Communities Grows

A partnership among three federal agencies, announced in 2009, is already helping local and regional governments develop sustainability plans, transportation options, and affordable housing; the program may get a large financial boost in the 2011 federal budget. The Partnership for Sustainable Communities brings together the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to support a series of grant and technical assistance programs aimed at local and regional planning efforts. If the Obama administration has its way, funding for the partnership will increase dramatically—from $150 million to $690 million—in 2011.

Although each agency has developed its own programs to support the partnership, they are working together to support collaboration at the local and regional level. “We’re seeing a true collaborative process among these three agencies,” said Art von Lehe, a policy analyst with ICLEI, a nonprofit organization devoted to the development of sustainable communities. The existing programs work together to address various aspects of sustainability, from transportation and affordable housing to brownfield redevelopment.

Published March 31, 2010