During his first year in office, President Obama established a Livable Communities Initiative that set out to ensure that more Americans—whether they’re living in a city, a suburb, or a rural town—have affordable, reliable access to safe transportation to get them where they need to go. Earlier this month, the Department of Transportation announced a new round of livability grants to help more citizens connect with jobs, schools, affordable housing, parks and recreation, and other activities that contribute to the kinds of healthy, vibrant neighborhoods where we choose to live.
Over the past two years, these livability grants have helped to bring new bus and streetcar service into places like Manchester, New Hampshire; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. These projects created much-needed jobs while spurring economic development along America’s main streets.
The purpose of the new round of livability grants is to ensure that transportation and housing decisions are made jointly and that they recognize the unique character of each community. These goals are in keeping with our Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which just celebrated its second anniversary. President Obama created this partnership among HUD, DOT, and the EPA to help American families gain improved access to affordable housing, better and more affordable transportation options, and cleaner air, water, and land.
These grants will go a long way toward helping to create communities that are economically competitive, where businesses thrive, and where people want to live—while spending less on transportation. If you are interested in learning more about this grant, visit the Federal Register.
Joanna Liberman Turner is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Transportation