The Department of Housing and Urban Devleopment has announced the award of a $7.1 million to communities and regions across the state through the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program. Michigan received the nation's largest total of funds.
The projects selected involve a number of local agencies collaborating as Governor Snyder noted "to help our regions create jobs, improve housing, strengthen our transportation systems and restore economic prosperity to help Michigan compete in a global economy.” The projects funded include:
$3 million to the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission to create the Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability. The project involves 40 local agencies working together to revitalize a 19 mile stretch of Michigan and Grand River avenues from Lansing to Webberville.
$3 million to Washtenaw County for the Washtenaw County Sustainable Community project. A coordinated approach will be created along the corridor from Ann Arbor to Ypsilanti (where 64% of county residents live) to provide affordable and energy-efficient housing, as well as to connect these affordable housing options to job centers through an enhanced multimodal transportation corridor.
$660,000 to the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments to develop the action plan of the Grand Vision, a regional plan for sustainable development. The plan will improve regional planning efforts that integrate housing, transportation, economic development and environmental infrastructure investment decisions and increase state, regional, and local capacity to incorporate sustainability principles and social equity into community planning.
$459,224 to the City of Grand Rapids for the Michigan Street Corridor Plan. The goal is to engage anchor institutions in a collaborative partnership with local government, community stakeholders, landowners, neighborhood residents, and business owners to advance housing, economic and community development, transportation, and environmental outcomes to ensure a sustainable future for Grand Rapids and the West Michigan region.
These projects are great examples of collaborative efforts between the public and private sector to create vibrant, sustainable 21st century communities reflecting many of the assets of the MML Center for 21st Century Communities program. Congratulations to all!
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail.