During Monday’s luncheon plenary session at NHC and the Center’s Partners in Innovation National Symposium in Denver, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood delivered video remarks keying in on the sentiments of many across the country, who want to see a shift to more livable communities that incorporate affordable housing close to transit and job centers.
“As I travel around the country it’s clear that Americans are…calling for more sustainable options to get from one place to another – not instead of, but in addition to, our highways. They’re asking for investments in sidewalks and bike paths, in buses, commuter rail and light rail. And they’re asking for policies that bring affordable housing in closer proximity to good schools and quality jobs.”
LaHood’s remarks further emphasized those of NHC President and CEO Maureen Friar, who kicked off the symposium by discussing the importance of the affordable housing world working with key partners, namely the Department of Transportation, to promote transit-oriented development across the country that incorporates affordable housing. Click here to view NHC’s Housing’s New Era video.
LaHood also stressed the importance of partnership and coordination as the key to creating sustainable and inclusive communities. He highlighted the interagency partnership for sustainable communities initiated last year between the Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Partnership achievements and recent initiatives include DOT and HUD coordination on the TIGER II/Sustainable Communities Challenge Planning Grant Program, which will provide $75 million to communities for planning and technical assistance to help local and regional partners develop blueprints for innovative, mixed-income transit-oriented development.
“For the first time ever our agencies are working hand in hand to spur the creation of affordable housing and thriving businesses in clean, healthy communities,” remarked LaHood, “and tearing down the traditional silos between our agencies makes it easier to partner with your cities and states to provide them with federal resources.”
Check back with the Open House blog for more updates from Denver.