On June 16, 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined together to help communities nationwide improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment.
Over the past two years, federal agencies have made significant progress assisting communities across the U.S. to build sustainable communities. Regional staffs from Partnership agencies are working with state and local partners, and each other to cultivate and support communities adopting and implementing livability principles. Some regional engagement milestones and successes include:
Regional federal partners have been working to assist Partnership grantees and other communities in integrated planning efforts and implementing projects to build sustainable communities. Partnership agencies in Region 8 are working with the Spirit Lake Nation and state and local officials on the Spirit Lake Nation Recovery Plan to address nearly two decades of chronic flooding of Devil's Lake. The group is providing input and assistance to support the plan and ensure public engagement. Other regions are assisting with organizing meetings with local stakeholders, providing direct technical assistance on projects and plans, and identifying opportunities to leverage federal resources.
Regional offices are conducting outreach to both other regional federal partners, such as USDA, Small Business Administration, and others, while at the same time hosting regional conferences, presentations, and workshops to highlight the benefits of sustainable communities. In Region 10, regional staff participated in the Alaska Housing Needs Assessment Outreach Conference to discuss local challenges to development, accessibility, and mobility in the region. In several regions, field staffs from the US Department of Agriculture are actively participating in local conference call and collaboration.
Regional Federal partners are emphasizing the connection between sustainable communities and job creation, economic growth, and redevelopment. In Region 3, the Partnership agencies participated jointly in an interagency effort to solicit projects for the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. The program is providing funds for communities to revitalize urban waters and the communities that surround them.
Collaboration and partnership at the regional level is being fostered and institutionalized through regular meetings and retreats. For example, Region 4 staff from the federal highway administration presented a 'transportation 101' course to other federal partners during a monthly interagency conference call. The presentation focused on ways that communities can access transportation funding and get involved in the planning process.
Region 1 - Hosted a joint webinar on the Fairmount Corridor Inventory Tool.
Region 2 - Hosted a Livability Summit "The Challenge Ahead" and developed a regional Vision Statement.
Region 3 – Jointly developed interagency outreach tools to provide communities and states.
Region 4 – Hosts monthly conference calls with HUD, DOT, and EPA to coordinate on local outreach efforts.
Region 5 – Held 9 web-based kickoff meetings for Brownfield Areawide Planning Grantees.
Region 6 – Participated in several conferences and local meetings around sustainability including "How Green is our Valley?" and "Sustainability North Little Rock".
Region 7 – Meeting with planning grantees in the region to proactively discuss how the partnership can assist with the implementation of their grants.
Region 8 – Hosted 6 interagency workshops for stakeholders around livability and communication tools.
Region 9 – Jointly outreaching to Sustainable Communities grantees to provide feedback on workplans.
Region 10 – Developed a Alaska/Northwest Partnership 2011 Workplan and has an active steering committee for the region.