(New York, NY) – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrion today formally presided over the kickoff event for the New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities initiative, an unprecedented bi-state collaboration that is the recipient of a $3.5 million HUD Sustainable Communities Initiative Grant. He was joined by representatives from five New York and four Connecticut cities, the Nassau County and Suffolk County Executives, the New York City Planning Commissioner, and the heads of six regional planning organizations, who collectively comprise the consortium.
By developing livable communities and growth centers around the region’s transit network, the New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities initiative seeks to expand economic opportunity by creating and connecting residents to jobs; fostering new affordable, energy-efficient housing; providing more transportation choices; strengthening existing communities; and making the region more globally competitive. The grant will be administered by Regional Plan Association, a nonprofit regional planning organization. For more information on the initiative, log on to www.sustainableNYCT.org.
Joining HUD Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrión at the kick-off event were: Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano; NYC City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden; NYS DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald; Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch; White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach; New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson; Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia; representatives from Suffolk County, New Haven, Stamford, Yonkers and Mount Vernon; and principal representatives from major planning organizations.
"Through an integrated approach to transportation, development and housing challenges, we can ensure that economic growth goes hand-in-hand with a healthier environment and higher quality of life,” said Hon. Noam Bramson, Mayor of the City of New Rochelle. “Our region is ideally positioned to benefit from and contribute to a greener economy, and our linked efforts will strengthen all communities within the Consortium."
Activities that will be undertaken include large-scale transit-oriented development and neighborhood sustainability projects at key nodes in the MTA Metro-North Railroad and MTA Long Island Rail Road commuter rail systems, strategies to advance climate resilience, open space protection and access to affordable housing, and enhancements to existing regional sustainability plans. A description of individual projects is attached.
Consortium members include the cities of New York, New Haven, Bridgeport, Norwalk, Stamford, Yonkers, White Plains, New Rochelle, and Mount Vernon; Nassau and Suffolk counties; the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC), South Western Regional Metropolitan Planning Organization (SWRMPO), Greater Bridgeport/Valley Metropolitan Planning, Organization (GBVMPO), South Central Regional Council of Governments (SCRCOG); and the Long Island Regional Planning Council (LIRPC) and Regional Plan Association (RPA).
An Advisory Board will initially consist of eleven state agencies and non-profit organizations, including the Connecticut Housing Finance Agency; Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development; New York State Department of State; New York State Homes & Community Renewal; the Empire State Development Corporation; Local Initiatives Support Corporation; Urban Land Institute; International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives; WE ACT for Environmental Justice; the One Region Funders Group; and the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.
The goal of the Consortium is to reposition the New York-Connecticut region to fully harness its innovation capabilities in a competitive global environment, build on its strong foundation of energy efficiency, and become as equitable as it is efficient. Its primary focus is to leverage the most extensive and robust transit system in the nation by developing livable communities with mixed-income housing and employment at key nodes in the MTA Metro-North Railroad and MTA
Long Island Rail Road network.
The $3.5 million grant is part of HUD's new Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program to support more livable and sustainable communities across the country. The grants, totaling $100 million, will support State, local, and tribal governments, as well as metropolitan planning organizations, in the development and execution of regional plans intended to build economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation. The grants are part of the Obama Administration’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which brings EPA, HUD, USDA and USDOT together to ensure the agencies’ policies, programs, and funding consider affordable housing, transportation and environmental
NY-CT Sustainable Communities Project Descriptions
As recipients of a Sustainable Communities Regional Planning grant, the New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities
initiative will implement 16 interrelated projects that address the region’s complex challenges at multiple scales—metropolitan, community, corridor and subregion—to expand economic opportunity; foster new affordable, energy-efficient housing; provide more transportation choices; strengthen existing communities; and make the region more globally competitive.
In the lower Hudson Valley, three initiatives will strengthen connections between Westchester’s largest cities and neighboring areas in Rockland, Connecticut and New York City:
• New Rochelle Smart Growth Initiative: New Rochelle will implement a comprehensive strategy to promote commercial and
residential development in proximity to the New Rochelle Transit Center as outlined in the City’s draft Sustainability Plan. The resulting Transit Oriented Development Zone will helps residents lead healthy, safe, affordable, and productive lives and connect to the Connecticut projects along the New Haven line and Yonkers and Mt. Vernon in the Cross County
NOTE: This press release has been edited to focus on New Rochelle (the quote from Noam Bramson and the project description of the New Rochelle portion of Westchester County initiatives. To read the entire press release click here.