HUD's Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC) recently marked the one-year anniversary of its Regional Planning Grant and Community Challenge Grant programs by holding the first annual grantee convening. The Department of Transportation (DOT), a partner in the interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities, hosted the two-day event at DOT headquarters. More than 300 representatives from the 87 Community Challenge and Regional Planning grantees and nine federal agencies attended the convening to meet their federal partners, share experiences, successes, and challenges with other grantees, and attend expert training sessions on a variety of livability-oriented topics.
A high point of the jam-packed convening was the keynote speech delivered by Secretary Donovan. He praised the good work Sustainable Communities grantees are doing engaging the private sector, leveraging public and private funding, coordinating housing and transportation to provide better access to jobs, targeting neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, and crossing jurisdictional lines. The Secretary also connected the work the Sustainable Communities grantees are doing to economic recovery, noting that "fundamentally this work we are doing is about improving our environment, it's about making real change on the community level to make better places for people to live, but it is also about economic development. It's about a strategy for getting people to work, to making the most of every dollar we have." Watch the speech here.