Rural communities get $550,000 to create more housing choices, sustainabilityThis week, the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) $550,000 as the lead-agency in a national consortium established to assist rural communities and Indian tribes in enhancing community and regional sustainability.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
This week, the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) $550,000 as the lead-agency in a national consortium established to assist rural communities and Indian tribes in enhancing community and regional sustainability. MHP is one of eight awardees nationwide to be selected.
The award will be used to help HUD and EPA community and regional grantees effectively implement plans for sustainability. With this assistance, communities will be able to create more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, invest in efficient water and wastewater infrastructure, and build healthy, stable neighborhoods for American families.
HUD and the EPA, funders for this award, along with the U.S. Department of Transportation, constitute the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, launched by President Obama in 2009. The Obama Administration believes that the Partnership will maximize the value of taxpayer money by more efficiently coordinating federal investment in communities and regions.
“True sustainability is far-reaching and includes social, economic and environmental dimensions.” said Chip Halbach, MHP Executive Director. He adds, “Sustainable communities and regions enhance the quality of life and economic competitiveness for the current generation, while laying a foundation for the well-being of future generations.”
While sustainable community development and coordination of federal resources is challenging everywhere, it is particularly so in rural and tribal areas. When compared to the nation’s metropolitan regions, rural areas typically have less wealth and access to resources and information. To promote a comprehensive approach to sustainability, MHP has enlisted eleven other agencies experienced in working in rural areas and on reservations across the country.
MHP consortium members include the Housing Assistance Council, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Rural Community Assistance Partnership, Rural Development Specialists, California Community Economic Development Association, Enterprise Community Partners, Center for Creative Land Recycling, Envision Minnesota, Wisconsin Partnership for Housing Development, Great Lakes Capital Fund, and Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership.
MHP expects to be able to start delivering assistance under the HUD/EPA grant later this year.