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Statement of the Honorable Ray LaHood Secretary of Transportation Before The Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs U.S. Senate Hearing on Greener Communities, Greater Opportunities: New Ideas for Sustainable Development and Economic Growth June 16, 2009

Chairman Dodd and Members of the Committee:

"Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the Department of Transportation's (DOT) activities in support of livable communities, comprehensive planning and sustainable development.

The President has made livable communities a key aspect of his agenda and the Vice President has also highlighted it in his Middle Class initiative. How a community is designed - including the layout of the roads, transit systems and walkways - has a huge impact on its residents. Transportation and housing are the two largest expenses for the average American household. Reducing the need for motor vehicle trips and providing access to transportation choices can address this cost and lower the average household expenditure on transportation, freeing up money for housing, education, and savings.

The Surface Transportation Authorization provides us with an opportunity to incorporate these important priorities into the nation's transportation policy. My Department looks forward to working with members of Congress to make livable communities a centerpiece of the new authorization. I'll discuss that in greater detail later. I would like to first discuss the efforts we are undertaking in advance of reauthorization to foster livable communities.

First, I am pleased to announce that Administrator Jackson of the Environmental Protection Agency has joined the Sustainable Communities Partnership between Secretary Donovan of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and me to help American families gain better access to affordable housing, more transportation options and healthier communities. This partnership will ensure that these housing and transportation goals are achieved while also better protecting the environment, promoting equitable development, and helping to address the challenges of climate change."

Secretary LaHood's Official Blog.

The Six Principles of Livability

Each agency brings particular expertise to the partnership that can help institute real improvements in American communities. The agencies have developed the following principles that will direct the collective efforts for implementing this program:

  1. Provide more transportation choices.
  2. Promote equitable, affordable housing.
  3. Enhance economic competitiveness.
  4. Support existing communities.
  5. Coordinate policies and leverage investment.
  6. Value communities and neighborhoods.

Partnership Agreement

The HUD/DOT/EPA partnership will:

HUD-DOT-EPA Interagency Partnership | DOT Livability | FTA Livable & Sustainable Communities
Updated: 5/14/2016
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