Today, I was proud to announce that we are making $95 million available in Regional and Community Challenge grants to support local efforts to build more livable and sustainable communities that ensure that all Americans can afford to live in places with access to employment, schools and public transit options.
But that’s not all these efforts represent. They show that President Obama recognizes that in world where flexible workplaces win, where flexible minds win and where flexible economies win, communities need a flexible federal partner that’s responsive to local needs.
With this funding, we’re building on the $170 million in grants we awarded last fall with our partners from the Department of Transportation to offer a different kind of partnership to local communities. Rather than the “one-size-fits-all” rules and regulations that too often ignored the unique needs of every community and created barriers to growth, the Partnership for Sustainable Communities is helping drive innovation at the local level and leveraging the public, private, and philanthropic investment communities need to thrive.
And if last year was any guide, not only will the demand for these grants be high – they will also pack a powerful punch. Indeed, the $98 million we awarded in Regional Planning Grants last year are expected to leverage another $120 million in other investment. For example:
Through this work, and the funding we’re announcing today, we’re doing more than helping communities plan for their futures – we’re helping build stronger the regional economies we need to ensure the futures of our children are never again determined by the zip codes they grow up in.
That’s the new way of doing business that these grants and the work of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities represent. It’s the kind of partner the Obama Administration is committed to being to communities all across the country as we work to unleash opportunity for everyone and ensure our recovery is as robust as possible. And it’s the work I’ve been so proud to be a part of these last two years.
You can read more about the Administration’s sustainability efforts at www.sustainablecommunities.gov.