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Office of Sustainable Communities

Sustainable Communities Initiative

Provides grants to improve regional and local planning efforts that integrate housing and transportation decisions, and increase the capacity to improve land use and zoning to support market investments that support sustainable communities.

Nature of Program: The Sustainable Communities Initiative consists of two grant programs: Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants and Community Challenge Planning Grants. The Initiative also has a research and evaluation program.

Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grants support metropolitan and multijurisdictional planning efforts that integrate housing, land use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure investments. The Regional Planning Grant Program places a priority on investing in partnerships that direct long-term regional development and reinvestment, demonstrate a commitment to addressing issues of regional significance, utilize data to set and monitor progress toward performance goals, and engage stakeholders and citizens in meaningful decision-making roles.

Community Challenge Planning Grants foster reform and reduce barriers to achieve affordable, economically vital, and sustainable communities. Such efforts may include amending or replacing local master plans, zoning codes, and building codes, either on a jurisdiction-wide basis or in a specific neighborhood, district, corridor, or sector to promote mixed-use development, affordable housing, the reuse of older buildings and structures for new purposes, and similar activities with the goal of promoting sustainability at the local or neighborhood level.

Research and Evaluation funding is also available, in coordination with the Department of Transportation, to evaluate both grant programs and support sustainable communities planning.

Applicant Eligibility: For Regional Planning Grants: multijurisdictional and multisector partnership consisting of a consortium of government entities and non-profit partners. For Community Challenge Planning Grants: State and local governments, including U.S. territories, tribal governments, transit agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), other political subdivisions of State or local governments, and multi-State or multijurisdictional groupings.   

Legal Authority: FY 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Division A, Title II

Administering Office: Director for the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities,
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington, DC 20410-3000.

Information Source: Administering office; Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities.

Current Status: Active.