Colorado on Tuesday received $4.5 million in a 2011 Sustainable Communities from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“The value of today’s funding to the Denver metro-region is to enhance our nine-counties’ ability to compete in a global economy and win the future,” said Rick M. Garcia, the Region VIII director for HUD, which includes Colorado.
Garcia spoke at a ceremony in Olde Town Arvada that also included U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, U.S. Representatives Ed Perlmutter and Dianne DeGette, Gov. John Hickenlooperand a number of regional mayors and county commissioners.
“This year we are especially proud that we had a particular focus on funding proposals that included more chambers of commerce and economic development corporations as core partners,” Garcia continued. “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 52 percent 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.”
Twenty seven communities and organizations will receive Community Challenge grants and 29 regional areas will receive Regional Planning grants. The goal of the Sustainable Communities grants is to help communities and regions improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.
“Our goal is to jointly, quickly, and efficiently connect our workers and families to education and employment opportunities. Regions, such as DRCOG (Denver Regional Council of Governors) embrace such sustainable development—connecting housing to jobs—you have a built-in competitive edge in attracting jobs and private investment,” Garcia said.
Bennet said that this can serve as a model for the country.
“The joint efforts by Colorado’s communities can be an example across the country,” Bennet said. “These resources will help the entire metro region develop comprehensive plans to mitigate traffic, urban sprawl, and pollution while leading to new job opportunities and economic development.”
Perlmutter congratulated DRCOG on what he called “this important grant award which is a testament to the importance of working together to revitalize our communities. Smart and sustainable growth policies along transit corridors will help promote long-term economic development, jobs and energy efficiency.”
The core partners sharing this award include:
- Mile High Transit Opportunity Collaborative
- Reconnecting America
- Enterprise Community Partners
- Urban Land Conservancy
- Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.
- The Piton Foundation
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Transit Alliance
- The University of Colorado
- Denver PlaceMatters
- FRESC: Good Jobs, Strong Communities Regional Transportation District
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