Giving Thanks for HUD Grant
Time to give thanks for $3.4 million coming to the Lehigh Valley from HUD! On Monday, 21 November 2011, HUD announced $96 million worth of “Sustainable Communities Awards” which were distributed to help communities create jobs and improve housing, transportation, and the economy in urban and rural areas. There were requests for over $500 million in funding from communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, so as you can see, the competition was tough; only 29 regional areas received “Regional Planning” grants nationwide.
According to HUD’s press release: “The Regional Planning Grant program encourages grantees to support regional planning efforts that integrate housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure developments in a manner that empowers regions to consider how all of these factors work together to create more jobs and economic opportunities. The program will place a priority on partnerships, including the collaboration of arts and culture, philanthropy, and innovative ideas to the regional planning process.” (To read the full release, click here: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2011/HUDNo.11-274 ).
The article contains a chart listing every award in the country. There were only two awards granted in Pennsylvania: one in Erie and one in the Lehigh Valley. Another noteworthy fact is that only five of the 56 awards were greater than the $3.4 million granted to the LehighValley. Obviously HUD took notice of the impact our regional cooperation is already having and is encouraging us to continue to improve on the good things that are happening here.
Now, here’s where you come in. It is time to have your voice heard! Speak up and let us know what you want to see in the plan for YOUR communities. Renew Lehigh Valley is responsible for the “public participation” or community engagement piece. Start thinking as a participant in this process. More to come as the plan unfolds…
In the meantime, relax, enjoy your turkey, and give thanks.