Categories
Federal Policy Transportation Funding US DOT US HUD

THUD Bill Includes Funding for Livability Initiatives

Appropriations: House and Senate Appropriations Reports FY11 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Bill

On July 20, the House Appropriations Committee marked up its bill making FY 2011 appropriations for the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. On July 21, 2010, the Senate Appropriations committee approved its FY 2011 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. Overall, the bill includes budget authority of $67.9 billion, unchanged from the 2010 enacted level.

Significant Items Include:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • Sustainable Communities Initiative: $150 million within HUD’s Community Development Fund to promote integrated housing and transportation planning.  [note: TIGER III]

Department of Transportation

  • Livable Communities: $150 million within HUD and $527 million within DOT.
  • Planning Capacity Grants: $200 million split evenly between the Federal Transit and Highway Administrations to help transportation planning agencies improve their models and better coordinate transportation and housing forecasts.
  • Transit Energy Efficiency Grants: $100 million for grants to help transit agencies make cutting-edge and innovative capital investments that will reduce the energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions of their operations.
  • $45.2 billion for highway infrastructure
  • $11.3 billion to support bus and rail projects, including capital expenditures
  • $250 million for transit operating assistance grants
  • Passenger Rail Grant Program: $1.4 billion to expand and improve intercity passenger rail
  • Amtrak: $1.77 billion to make capital investments including improvements to Amtrak’s fleet and upgrades to Amtrak stations to ensure they are accessible for the disabled. This increase above FY 2010 will save or create an additional 1,130 jobs, according to the Committee.

For more information, visit: http://appropriations.house.gov or http://www.appropriations.senate.gov

Categories
Federal Policy Transportation Funding

DC Streetsblog: Livable Communities Act Clears Senate Committee

Livable Communities Act Clears Senate Committee

by Ben Fried on August 4, 2010

The Senate Banking Committee voted 12-10 yesterday in favor of the Livable Communities Act, legislation that would bolster the Obama administration’s initiatives to link together transportation, housing, economic development, and environmental policy.

donovan_lahood_jackson.jpg

Shaun Donovan, Ray LaHood, Lisa Jackson: Together forever? The Livable Communities Act would codify the partnership between HUD, US DOT, and the EPA. Photo: EPA

The administration has been taking steps since last March to coordinate between the Department of Transportation, HUD, and the EPA. This bill, carried in the Senate by Connecticut’s Chris Dodd, would formalize those partnerships and authorize substantially more funding to work with.

Most of the action would flow through HUD. This year the agency is funding $150 million in grants supporting regional efforts to improve access to transit and promote walkable development. The Livable Communities Act promises to scale up that program significantly, creating a new office within HUD, called the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, that will distribute about $4 billion through competitive grants.

The initial round of grants would fund comprehensive plans — local initiatives to shape growth by coordinating housing, transportation, and economic development policies. Most of the funding — $3.75 billion — would be distributed over three years to implement projects identified in such plans.

While some Senators from rural states had expressed skepticism about the benefits of the bill for their constituents, yesterday’s vote split strictly along party lines, with Democrats Jon Tester of Montana and Tim Johnson of South Dakota both voting in favor.

To make the case for the bill to his rural and Republican counterparts, Dodd singled out Envision Utah, a campaign that has built public support for smart growth policies in one of the country’s reddest states. Not a single GOP Senator voted for the bill, however, even Utah’s Bob Bennett, who told UPI, “I think the overall philosophy is wise, but I will be voting against it.”

Some of the strongest backing for the bill has come from AARP, which sent a letter to committee members on Monday pointing out that the country’s aging population will be poorly served if development patterns don’t evolve to make driving less necessary. “Nine out of ten of our members tell us they want to stay in their own homes as they age — most are living in suburban or rural areas and don’t have access to public transportation,” said Debra Alvarez, senior legislative representative for AARP. “There’s a lot of things that can be done in small towns: co-locating things like post offices, grocery stores, pharmacies, and putting housing there too.”

Advocates for transportation reform are now looking at the path forward for the bill. “We applaud the Committee for taking this major step forward on behalf of communities both small and large, and for American families looking for affordable homes in healthy neighborhoods with reliable transportation options,” said Transportation for America director James Corless in a statement. “We urge the full Senate to follow their lead and give final passage.”

Dodd has vowed to shepherd the Livable Communities Act through to become law before he retires in January. With Congress about to adjourn until September 13, he’ll face a tight time frame. In addition to awaiting a vote in the full Senate, the bill has yet to clear a committee vote in the House, where Colorado representative Ed Perlmutter is the sponsor.

Categories
California Policy NewsFlash Transportation Funding

Strategic Growth Council Presentation on Prop 84 Grant Program

The Strategic Growth Council has now posted on its website (www.sgc.ca.gov) a PowerPoint presentation given at the Technical Assistance Workshops on the Sustainable Communities Planning Grants Program. It is also attached to this email.

Power Point Presentation at this link:

http://officeofrustyselix.org/CALCOG/Planning_Grant_Power_Point_(July_27_2010)1.pdf

Categories
California Policy Education/Webinars Research SB 375

Policy in Motion Open House: Tuesday, August 10th

Miss the event?

Read highlights at Policy “Makers and Shakers” Celebrate at Policy in Motion Open House

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Fellow Policy Makers & Shakers,

Please join me in celebrating the start of my new business – Policy in Motion, new name – Lauren ‘Iolani Michele, and new live/work unit in Sacramento’s vibrant mixed-use hub.  In an affirmation of Policy in Motion’s sustainability as a business and in its vision for community development through effective transportation and climate policy, the August 10th Open House evening will highlight:

  • Wines from my homeland of Sonoma County
  • Transportation Research Board Poster on “California’s SB 375 Implementation”
  • Raw-vegan appetizers prepared by raw chef Margaret Gomes with local ingredients
  • Tours of Policy in Motion’s upstairs office and Lauren Michele’s urban garden patio
  • “Wall of Policy Reform” featuring guests’ ideas for sustainable community development
  • Good company with other policy visionaries!

For those of you who have not yet placed an RSVP: please do so by this Thursday, August 5th – you can stop by anytime between 5:30pm and 9pm to enjoy good company with familiar faces and new friends working to advance sustainable community planning whether through local, regional, state or federal policy.

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Lauren ‘Iolani Michele

Principal / Owner

Policy in Motion | WBE/DBE

530.848.4342 | lauren.michele@policyinmotion.com | policyinmotion.com

*Please note that my last name and email address have changed*