Office of Urban Affairs Blog

  • 11/5/2010 Urban Affairs Weekly Newsletter


    Top News

    President Obama Reports Over 150,000 New Jobs in October, Pledges Faster Job Creation:Today from the Roosevelt Room, President Obama announced that the private sector added 159,000 new jobs in October, marking the tenth straight month of job growth. Today’s jobs report also showed that businesses added more than 100,000 jobs in both August and September as well. Since January, the private sector has added 1.1 million jobs. Despite the encouraging news, the President called the unemployment rate “unacceptably high” and outlined his own strategy of small business tax cuts and investments in America’s infrastructure and innovation.
     
    EPA Recognizes Top Green Power Purchasers: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its list of the top 50 organizations using the most renewable electricity. Led by Intel, Kohl’s Department Stores, Whole Foods, and Starbucks, the Green Power Partnership’s top purchasers use more than 12 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 1 million average American homes. Green power is generated from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, and low-impact hydropower.

    New HHS Report Shows Affordable Care Act Savings of $3,500 for Medicare Recipients: Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius announced a new report concluding that under the Affordable Care Act, average savings for those enrolled in traditional Medicare will amount to more than $3,500 over the next 10 years.  Savings will be even higher – as much as $12,300 over the next 10 years – for seniors and people with disabilities who have high prescription drug costs. The analysis shows that the Affordable Care Act helps lower costs for those on Medicare significantly by closing the Part D gap known as the “donut hole” in prescription drug coverage. 

    HUD Unveils Three How-To Videos To Help Homebuyers: To help consumers navigate the process of buying a home, theThe Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) today unveiled three how-to videos. Each video focuses on a critical part of the home buying process including Shopping for your Home, Shopping for your Loan, and Closing the Deal.

    DOE and EPA Release 2011 Annual Fuel Economy Guide: The Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency today released the 2011 Fuel Economy Guide, providing consumers with information about estimated mileage and fuel costs for model year 2011 vehicles. The 2011 Fuel Economy Guide can help consumers easily identify the most fuel efficient vehicles that meet their needs. Each vehicle listing in the guide provides an estimated annual fuel cost. The online version of the guide allows consumers to input their local gasoline prices and typical driving habits to receive a personalized fuel cost estimate. 


    Featured


    Washington Post: NealPeirce Reports on a “More Responsive, Pro-Town, Pro-City, Pro-Region” Federal Government: In this upcoming Sunday’s Washington Post, Neal Peirce discusses the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. He highlights the new collaborative Federal approach and profiles some of the Partnership’s recent grant recipients; the “Regional Prosperity Initiative” in Northeast Ohio’s Cleveland-Akron region, the “Grand Boulevard Initiative” for San Francisco’s El Camino Real highway, a streetcar line to connect Atlanta, and a Colorado Main Streets Initiative to help three communities in rural areas. “A window to a more responsive, pro-town, pro-city, pro-region federal government, has been opened”, writes Peirce.

    Stories from Sustainable Communities:                                                                                                                      Federal Partnership and Louisville Metro Bring Smart Growth Principles to Fern Creek: Citizens of Fern Creek, KY recently participated in a 3-day Sustainable Communities Design Workshop intended to inform the process of creating transportation, housing, walking and shopping choices while preserving the environment. The forum was hosted by the Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a cooperative initiative of the Department’s of Housing and Urban Development, Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency as part of a technical assistance grant with Louisville Metro authority. The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is a core pillar in the Obama administration’s new approach to developing livable communities.  Assistance is provided to educate residents and stakeholders on how to apply smart growth principles to their rapidly growing suburban community, which still has many scenic views of family farms.

    Funding Opportunities

    Community Health Centers New Access Points Program: Deadline Nov. 17                                                       The Department of Health and Human Service’s Health Resources and Services Administration seeks applicants for up to $250 million in competitive 2-year grants to support development of New Access Points, new full-time service community health delivery sites that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care services to improve health of, and decrease health disparities of, medically underserved and vulnerable populations. Organizations eligible to compete for the 350 awards include public or nonprofit private entities, including tribal, faith-based and community-based organizations.

    HUD Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Assistance Grants: Deadline Nov. 18
    The Department of Housing and Urban Development made $1.68 million available through the CoC Homeless Assistance Programs, a set of three competitively-awarded programs created to address the problems of homelessness in a comprehensive manner with other federal agencies. CoC programs aim to reduce the incidence of homelessness in Continuum of Care communities by assisting homeless individuals and families move to self-sufficiency and permanent housing. Eligible services include transitional housing, permanent supportive housing and other services to help homeless persons transition from homelessness to living independently, programs providing rental assistance for homeless individuals with disabilities; and programs offering Section 8 rental assistance for moderate rehabilitation of buildings with single-room dwellings, designed for individual use. 

    Treasury Grants for Community Development Financial Institutions: Deadline Nov. 19                                 
    The Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) today announced grants providing up to $135 million in Financial and Technical Assistance awards. The awards will support Community Development Financial Institutions providing affordable financing and related services to low-income communities and populations that lack access to credit, capital and financial services.

    HUD Hope VI Grants: Deadline Nov. 22                                                                                                                     
    The Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking applicants for $124 million in grants to transform severely distressed public housing developments. Grant funds may be used for an array of activities, including: demolition of severely distressed public housing; acquisition of sites for off-site construction; capital costs of major rehabilitation, new construction and other physical improvements; and community and supportive service programs for residents, including those relocated as a result of revitalization efforts. It is anticipated that five to six grant awards will be made, with a maximum award of $22 million each. 

    Labor Competition for YouthBuild grants: Deadline Dec. 3
    The Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration announced grants possible totaling $130 million for the YouthBuild program, an alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and construction skills training to at-risk individuals ages 16 to 24. Awards will be give to organizations that embody the YouthBuild model of balancing in school learning that leads to the achievement of a high school diploma or passing the General Education Development (GED) test, and construction skills training that prepares youth for career placement. YouthBuild grantees will tap the energies and talents of disadvantaged youth to increase the supply of permanent affordable housing for homeless individuals and low-income families. 

    Capital Fund Education and Training Community Facilities Program (CFCF): Deadline Jan 14                      The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it is offering $35 million to public housing authorities to develop facilities that will provide early childhood and adult education, and/or job training programs for public housing residents. The maximum grant award is $5 million.

  • Urban Affairs Newsletter 10-29-2010

    Top News

    President Obama Highlights Treasury Report on Job Creation in Visit to Sheet Metal Factory:
    Today, President Obama visited Stromberg Sheet Metal, a medium sized business employing 350 people in Beltsville, Maryland. The President discussed a new report issued today by the Department of the Treasury that details how his proposal to allow businesses and investors to deduct immediately the full cost of most investments will help businesses expand and hire. Under the President’s proposal, a business like Stromberg would be able to take advantage of this proposal to invest in new equipment this year or next year and deduct 100 percent of that investment immediately. 

    DOT Announces 54 High-Speed Rail Projects: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that 54 high-speed rail projects in 23 states will share $2.4 billion to continue developing America’s first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service. The money is being awarded for construction of track and stations, purchase of new passenger equipment, and planning studies. The Department's Federal Railroad Administration received 132 applications from 32 states totaling $8.8 billion, more than three times the $2.4 billion available. “States understand that high-speed rail represents a unique opportunity to create jobs, revitalize our manufacturing base, spur economic development and provide people with an environmentally friendly transportation option,” said Secretary LaHood.

    EPA & DOT Announces Historic Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation today announced the first national standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve fuel efficiency of heavy-duty trucks and buses. The engine and vehicle standards would start in 2014 and achieve a 10 to 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption by 2018. The agencies estimate that the national program would provide $41 billion in net benefits over the lifetime of model year 2014 to 2018 vehicles.

    HUD Releases Housing October Scorecard; Recovery Continues: The Department’s of Housing and Urban Development and the Treasury today released the October edition of the Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard; a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. The scorecard shows that the recovery in the housing market continues to remain fragile, but also highlights the positive impact of the Administration’s unprecedented recovery efforts. Since April of 2009, record low interest rates have helped more than 7.1 million homeowners to refinance, resulting in more stable home prices and $12.7 billion in total borrower savings.  The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has allowed more than 3.52 million families to modify the terms of their mortgage.

    HHS Announces Funds for Community Health Centers, Expanding Access to Care: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the availability of up to $335 million for existing community health centers across the country under the Affordable Care Act’s Expanded Services initiative. Of the $11 billion the Affordable Care Act provides for operation and expansion of health centers, $9.5 billion is targeted to creating new health center sites in medically underserved areas and expanding preventive and primary health care services at existing health center sites. This expansion of sites and services will help community health centers serve nearly double the number of patients they do today, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.
     

    Funding Opportunities

    Choice Neighborhood Planning and Implementation Grants: Deadline Oct. 26
    The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced $65 million in competitive Choice Neighborhoods pilot grants for redevelopment of both public and other HUD-assisted housing properties. The program also widens the traditional pool of eligible applicants by allowing local governments, nonprofits and for-profit developers that submit joint applications with a public entity to apply. HUD anticipates funding 12-15 Planning Grants with a maximum award of $250,000 each and approximately 2-4 implementation grants at a maximum of $31 million each.

    Community Health Centers New Access Points Program: Deadline Nov. 17                                                The Departmen of Health and Human Service’s Health Resources and Services Administration seeks applicants for up to $250 million in competitive 2-year grants to support development of New Access Points-- new full-time service community health delivery sites that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care services to improve health of, and decrease health disparities of, medically underserved and vulnerable populations. Organizations eligible to compete for the 350 awards include public or nonprofit private entities, including tribal, faith-based and community-based organizations.

    HUD Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Assistance Grants: Deadline Nov. 18
    The Department of Housing and Urban Development made $1.68 million available through the CoC Homeless Assistance Programs, a set of three competitively-awarded programs created to address the problems of homelessness in a comprehensive manner with other federal agencies. CoC programs aim to reduce the incidence of homelessness in Continuum of Care communities by assisting homeless individuals and families move to self-sufficiency and permanent housing. Eligible services include transitional housing, permanent supportive housing and other services to help homeless persons transition from homelessness to living independently, programs providing rental assistance for homeless individuals with disabilities; and programs offering Section 8 rental assistance for moderate rehabilitation of buildings with single-room dwellings, designed for individual use. 

     
    Treasury Grants for Community Development Financial Institutions: Deadline Nov. 19
    The Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) today announced grants providing up to $135 million in Financial and Technical Assistance awards. The awards will support Community Development Financial Institutions providing affordable financing and related services to low-income communities and populations that lack access to credit, capital and financial services.

    HUD Hope VI Grants: Deadline Nov. 22
    The Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking applicants for $124 million in grants to transform severely distressed public housing developments. Grant funds may be used for an array of activities, including: demolition of severely distressed public housing; acquisition of sites for off-site construction; capital costs of major rehabilitation, new construction and other physical improvements; and community and supportive service programs for residents, including those relocated as a result of revitalization efforts. It is anticipated that five to six grant awards will be made, with a maximum award of $22 million each. 

     Labor Competition for YouthBuild grants: Deadline Dec. 3
    The Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration announced grants possible totaling $130 million for the YouthBuild program, an alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and construction skills training to at-risk individuals ages 16 to 24. Awards will be give to organizations that embody the YouthBuild model of balancing in school learning that leads to the achievement of a high school diploma or passing the General Education Development (GED) test, and construction skills training that prepares youth for career placement. YouthBuild grantees will tap the energies and talents of disadvantaged youth to increase the supply of permanent affordable housing for homeless individuals and low-income families. 

    Capital Fund Education and Training Community Facilities Program (CFCF): Deadline Jan 14
    The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that it is offering $35 million to public housing authorities to develop facilities that will provide early childhood and adult education, and/or job training programs for public housing residents. The maximum grant award is $5 million.

  • 10/22/2010 Urban Affairs Newsletter

    Top News

    President Obama Touts Report on the Importance of Women in the Economy: President Obama held a backyard discussion in Seattle, Washington on the importance of women in the economy. The meeting follows the release of a new report from the President’s National Economic Council finding, among other new trends, that an increasing number of women are the primary breadwinners for their families. The report highlights the distinct economic challenges facing women and details the President’s commitments to equal pay, workplace flexibility, and nearly doubling the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for middle-class families.

    Partnership for Sustainable Communities Awards Grants to Build Infrastructure Nationwide: Administration officials gathered at the National Press Club this week to highlight the $409.5 million in recent grants by the inter-agency Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The Partnership - which consists of the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - builds economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, transportation, and more. Last week, agencies began releasing local grants to support sustainable living nationwide. "We want to make sure that when we're building infrastructure, we're considering how housing, transportation, and the environment all impact each other,” President Obama said in a statement.

    President Obama Calls on Congress to Keep the American Opportunity Tax Credit
    President Obama hosted a group of students in the Oval Office whom all attend college with the help of the American Opportunity Tax Credit - a college tuition tax credit worth up to $2,500 a year. The President called on Congress to make the tax credit permanent so 12 million more students from working families will have a chance to earn a college degree.  The American Opportunity Tax credit is part of the 90% increase in tax credits for education that families saw within the first year of the Obama Administration. “Cutting back on education would amount to unilateral disarmament,” said the President.  “We can’t afford to do that.  The nation that educates its children the best will be the nation that leads the global economy in the 21st century.” 

    Holder Announces $110 Million for Reentry Programs that Reduce Spending on Corrections
    Speaking at the European Offenders Employment Forum Attorney General Eric Holder announced $110 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 funding for the Second Chance Act reentry grants and the Justice Reinvestment Initiative. These two efforts focus on reducing recidivism rates and state and local spending on corrections through the use of evidence-based, smart-on-crime approaches implemented by state, local, tribal and non-profit partners.

    Secretary LaHood Announces More Than 70 Transportation Projects Funded Under TIGER II:
    Forty-two capital construction projects and 33 planning projects in 40 states will share nearly $600 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s popular TIGER II program for major infrastructure projects ranging from highways and bridges to transit, rail and ports. Roughly 29 percent of TIGER II money will go to road projects, 26 percent for transit, 20 percent for rail projects, 16 percent for ports, four percent for bicycle and pedestrian projects and five percent for planning projects. Using merit-based evaluation criteria allows the Department of Transportation to address some of the nation’s most critical challenges like sustainability and economic competitiveness. “These are innovative, 21st century projects that will change the U.S. transportation landscape by strengthening the economy and creating jobs, reducing gridlock and providing safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation choices,” said Secretary LaHood. HHS Announces New Affordable Care Act Grants for Consumer Protection

    HHA Announces New Affordable Care Act Grants for Consumer Protection: Secretary Sebelius announced new Consumer Assistance Grants program awards of nearly $30 million to help 35 states enforce the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections. Specifically, these grants will make fund state and non-profit efforts to increase access to reliable healthcare by educating consumers on their new rights, help file appeals, and track consumer complaints to help identify problems and strengthen enforcement. “These grants will help ensure consumers’ rights are protected, and they are another way the new law is putting patients, not insurance companies, in charge of their health care,” said Secretary Sebelius. 

    Secretary Duncan Announces $27 Million Ready-to-Learn Television Program Grants:  Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced three awards totaling $27 million for projects to improve educational opportunities for young learners through innovative technology. Grants will be used to develop and deliver high-quality, age-appropriate, educational content to increase the early literacy and mathematics skills of young children age two through eight years old. The five-year grants were awarded to three public telecommunications entities that will offer services across the nation. “These grants will surround young children with a variety of innovative media to equip them with early literacy and numeracy skills to prepare them for success in school,” said Secretary Duncan.


    Featured


    National Economic Council: Women and the Economy
    The National Economic Council released a report this week on Job’s and Economic Security for America’s Women. The report lays out the economic landscape facing women today and details some of the many ways the administration is committed to making sure the government is working for all Americans especially American women.

    Funding Opportunities

    Choice Neighborhood Planning and Implementation Grants: Deadline Oct. 26
    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced $65 million in competitive Choice Neighborhoods pilot grants for redevelopment of both public and other HUD-assisted housing properties. The program also widens the traditional pool of eligible applicants by allowing local governments, nonprofits and for-profit developers that submit joint applications with a public entity to apply. HUD anticipates funding 12-15 Planning Grants with a maximum award of $250,000 each and approximately 2-4 implementation grants at a maximum of $31 million each.

    Community Health Centers New Access Points Program: Deadline Nov. 17
    The Health Resources and Services Administration seeks applicants for up to $250 million in competitive 2-year grants to support development of New Access Points-- new full-time service community health delivery sites that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care services to improve health of, and decrease health disparities of, medically underserved and vulnerable populations. Organizations eligible to compete for the 350 awards include public or nonprofit private entities, including tribal, faith-based and community-based organizations.

    HUD Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Assistance Grants: Deadline Nov. 18
    HUD made $1.68 million available through the CoC Homeless Assistance Programs, a set of three competitively-awarded programs created to address the problems of homelessness in a comprehensive manner with other federal agencies. CoC programs aim to reduce the incidence of homelessness in Continuum of Care communities by assisting homeless individuals and families move to self-sufficiency and permanent housing. Eligible services include transitional housing, permanent supportive housing and other services to help homeless persons transition from homelessness to living independently, programs providing rental assistance for homeless individuals with disabilities; and programs offering Section 8 rental assistance for moderate rehabilitation of buildings with single-room dwellings, designed for individual use.

    Treasury Grants for Community Development Financial Institutions: Deadline Nov. 19
    The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) today announced grants providing up to $135 million in Financial and Technical Assistance awards. The awards will support Community Development Financial Institutions providing affordable financing and related services to low-income communities and populations that lack access to credit, capital and financial services.

    HUD Hope VI Grants: Deadline Nov. 22
    The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking applicants for $124 million in grants to transform severely distressed public housing developments. Grant funds may be used for an array of activities, including: demolition of severely distressed public housing; acquisition of sites for off-site construction; capital costs of major rehabilitation, new construction and other physical improvements; and community and supportive service programs for residents, including those relocated as a result of revitalization efforts. It is anticipated that five to six grant awards will be made, with a maximum award of $22 million each. 

     Labor Competition for YouthBuild grants: Deadline Dec. 3
    The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration announced grants possible totaling $130 million for the YouthBuild program, an alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and construction skills training to at-risk individuals ages 16 to 24. Awards will be give to organizations that embody the YouthBuild model of balancing in school learning that leads to the achievement of a high school diploma or passing the General Education Development (GED) test, and construction skills training that prepares youth for career placement. YouthBuild grantees will tap the energies and talents of disadvantaged youth to increase the supply of permanent affordable housing for homeless individuals and low-income families. 

    NEW Capital Fund Education and Training Community Facilities Program (CFCF): Deadline Jan 14
    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that it is offering $35 million to public housing authorities to develop facilities that will provide early childhood and adult education, and/or job training programs for public housing residents. The maximum grant award is $5 million.  

  • Developing Long-Term Solutions to Some of the Country’s Most Significant Housing Challenges

    Yesterday, I had the privilege to participate in an event that demonstrated the Obama Administration’s commitment to developing long-term solutions to some of the country’s most significant housing challenges.  While the Administration has been focused on developing effective responses to our most pressing crises, this has not diverted our attention from resolving persistent and long-standing housing problems.  Over the course of the day, we heard from a variety of experts and voices from outside the Administration regarding the future of the nation’s housing policy during The Next Generation Housing Policy:  Convening on Rental Housing.

    Co-hosted by the White House Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Council of Economic Advisors, the MacArthur Foundation as well as HUD, the Department’s of Treasury, and Agriculture, yesterday’s convening represents a tremendous opportunity for us to begin envisioning the future of our nation’s rental housing policy. 

  • 10/8/2010 Urban Affairs Weekly Newsletter

    Top News


    One Week Later, Nearly 2,000 Small Businesses Approved for SBA Loans Due to Jobs Act: Late Tuesday, just a week after President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, nearly 2,000 small business owners who had been waiting for SBA-backed loans were approved and will soon have those loan funds – totaling nearly $1 billion – in hand. The Jobs bill provides a second round of funding for the successful Recovery Act initiative that took $680 million in taxpayer dollars and turned it into nearly $30 billion in lending support to about 70,000 small businesses.

    President Obama Announces Skills for America’s Future: This Monday, at a meeting, of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB), President Obama announced the launch of Skills for America’s Future, a new, industry-led initiative to dramatically improve industry partnerships with community colleges and build a nation-wide network to maximize workforce development strategies, job training programs, and job placement. Leading companies such as PG&E, Gap Inc., McDonald’s, United Technologies and Accenture have already committed to the initiative and support the President’s goal of 5 million additional community college degrees and certificates awarded by 2020. “We want to make it easier to connect students looking for jobs with businesses looking to hire”, said the President. “We want to help community colleges and employers create programs that match curricula in the classroom with the needs of the boardroom”.


    Federal Agencies Host National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention: The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education lead the official launch of an Administration wide National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. Participating cities have pledged to develop or enhance comprehensive and innovative plans to prevent youth and gang violence. On Monday and Tuesday, teams from the cities of Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, Salinas, and San Jose met to share information and experience about what works in preventing youth and gang violence. These plans will aim to reduce violence, improve opportunities for youth, and encourage innovation at the local and federal levels.

    U.S. Department of Education Awards $38.8 Million in Safe and Supportive School Grants: The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $38.8 million in Safe and Supportive School (S3) grants to 11 states to measure school safety at the building level and to help intervene in those schools with the greatest safety needs. Managed by the Department’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, the grant recipients will share findings in collaboration with local educational agencies to improve the learning environment within schools facing the biggest challenges.
     

    HHS Grants Resources to Forty-eight States to Build competitive Health Insurance Marketplaces: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today awarded nearly $49 million to help 48 states and the District of Columbia plan for the establishment of health insurance exchanges. A key part of the Affordable Care Act, starting in 2014, are the health insurance exchanges – new, competitive, consumer-centered private health insurance marketplaces that will allow individuals and small businesses to have the same purchasing power as big employers. These grants of up to $1 million each will give states the resources to determine how their exchanges can best fit their needs.

    HUD  Announces  $905.3 Million in Financing to rebuild Hospitals Across the Nation: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced commitments to back the mortgage loans for nine construction and renovation projects through the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Section 242 Hospital Mortgage Insurance Program. The primary purpose of the loans is to increase access to quality care by offsetting the cost of construction and major equipment needed to operate facilities.  By insuring the mortgage loan, FHA is enabling the hospitals to obtain lower cost financing that will save an estimated $370.7 million in interest expense over the life of the loan.
     

    Secretary Locke Announces Recovery Act Investments To Expand Broadband Internet Access : Today U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced 14 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act investments in a program to increase broadband Internet access and adoption, enhancing the quality of life for Americans and laying the groundwork for sustainable economic growth.  These investments, totaling $206.8 million in grants, will help bridge the technological divide, create jobs, and improve education and public safety in communities across the country.

    Featured


    USDA:  Report showcases the importance of urban forests: A new report by the USDA Forest Service, Sustaining America’s Urban Trees and Forests, provides an overview of the current status and benefits of America’s urban forests that affect the lives of nearly 80 percent of the U.S. population. The distribution of urban forests varies from community to community, but most share the same benefits provided by city trees: improved water quality, reduced energy use, diverse wildlife habitats and increased quality of life and well-being for residents.

    Funding Opportunities

    EDA Space Coast Regional Innovation Cluster Competition: Deadline Oct. 15
    The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration has funding available for projects that advance innovation, boost competitiveness, and create jobs. Grants will be given to innovations in commercialization, regional innovation clusters, global export promotion, and green technology.

    Choice Neighborhood Planning and Implementation Grants: Deadline Oct. 26
    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced $65 million in competitive Choice Neighborhoods pilot grants for the redevelopment of both public and other HUD-assisted housing properties. The program widens the traditional pool of eligible applicants by allowing local governments, nonprofits and for-profit developers that submit joint applications with a public entity to apply. HUD anticipates funding 12-15 Planning Grants with a maximum award of $250,000 each and approximately 2-4 implementation grants at a maximum of $31 million each.
     

    Community Health Centers New Access Points Program: Deadline Nov. 17
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration seeks applicants for up to $250 million in competitive 2-year grants to support development of New Access Points, new community health delivery sites that will provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care services with the goal of  improving the health of, and decreasing the health disparities that exist within, medically underserved and vulnerable populations. Organizations eligible to compete for the 350 awards include public or nonprofit private entities, including tribal, faith-based and community-based organizations.

    HUD Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Assistance Grants: Deadline Nov. 18
    The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development made $1.68 million available through the Continuum of Care (CoC) Homeless Assistance Programs, a set of three competitively-awarded programs created to address the problems of homelessness in a comprehensive manner with other federal agencies. CoC programs aim to reduce the incidence of homelessness in Continuum of Care communities by assisting homeless individuals and families move to self-sufficiency and permanent housing. Eligible services include transitional housing, permanent supportive housing and other services to help homeless persons transition from homelessness to living independently, programs providing rental assistance for homeless individuals with disabilities; and programs offering Section 8 rental assistance for moderate rehabilitation of buildings with single-room dwellings, designed for individual use.
     

    NEW Treasury Grants for Community Development Financial Institutions: Deadline Nov. 19
    The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) today announced grants providing up to $135 million in Financial and Technical Assistance awards. The awards will support Community Development Financial Institutions which provide affordable financing and related services to low-income communities and populations that lack access to credit, capital and financial services.
     

    HUD Hope VI Grants: Deadline Nov. 22
    The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking applicants for $124 million in grants to transform severely distressed public housing developments. Grant funds may be used for an array of activities, including: demolition of severely distressed public housing; acquisition of sites for off-site construction; capital costs of major rehabilitation, new construction and other physical improvements; and community and supportive service programs for residents, including those relocated as a result of revitalization efforts. It is anticipated that five to six grant awards will be made, with a maximum award of $22 million each.

    NEW Labor Competition for YouthBuild grants: Deadline Dec. 3
    The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration announced grants possibly totaling $130 million for the YouthBuild program, an alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and construction skills training to at-risk individuals ages 16 to 24. Awards will be given to organizations that embody the YouthBuild model of balancing in-school learning that ultimately leads to the achievement of a high school diploma or passing the General Education Development (GED) test and construction skills training that prepares youth for career placement. YouthBuild grantees will tap the energies and talents of disadvantaged youth to increase the supply of permanent affordable housing for homeless individuals and low-income families. 


     

  • What You Missed: Open for Questions on the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative

    Yesterday, the White House Office of Urban Affairs hosted a live chat on the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative to support the transformation of distressed neighborhoods into neighborhoods of opportunity. Larkin Tackett, Department of Education; Luke Tate, Department of Housing and Urban Development; Thomas Abt, Department of Justice; and Richard Frank, Department of Health and Human Services; joined Derek Douglas, White House Domestic Policy Council, to discuss one of the Obama Administration’s signature place-based initiatives to support and revitalize distressed communities.

    Here are a few highlights from the discussion:

    “We truly believe we need a great school at the center of every great neighborhood,” said Larkin Tackett, Director of Promise Neighborhoods, Department of Education.

    “This collaboration is very important. . . public safety is a critical component of neighborhood revitalization. . .without it, kids can’t learn, residents can’t feel safe in their own neighborhoods, and resident health is threatened by drugs and violence,” said Thomas Abt, Chief of Staff, Office of Justice Programs, DOJ.
     
    “Community resources are critical to how people live their lives,” said Richard Frank, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, HHS.

    “Choice Neighborhoods broadens our focus...beyond the walls of the development itself to the entire neighborhood,” said Luke Tate, Special Assistant to the Secretary, HUD.

    Watch the video of the chat and use the links below to skip directly to questions (questions are paraphrased):

    Download Video: mp4 (543MB) | mp3 (52MB)
     

    Alaina Beverly is Associate Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs