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11/5/2010 Urban Affairs Weekly Newsletter

A weekly look at recent and upcoming events in urban policy from the Office of Urban Affairs

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. 


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.