Livable Communities Act Endorsed by the U.S. Senate Banking Committee

A partnership between HUD, DOT, EPA. Secretaries Shaun Donovan, Ray LaHood, Lisa Jackson, respectively. Photo: EPA

A partnership between HUD, DOT, EPA. Secretaries Shaun Donovan, Ray LaHood, Lisa Jackson, respectively. Photo: EPA

The U.S. Senate Banking Committee, chaired by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), approved the Livable Communities Act on August 3. The legislation would create an Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities to encourage comprehensive regional planning and sustainable development by breaking down federal agency and department barriers.

The Livable Communities Act would strengthen communities and increase housing affordability for families by encouraging sustainable development. Grant money made available through the legislation, for instance, would fund projects that prioritize vibrant downtown business districts within walking distance of homes and transit stops, brownfield redevelopment in struggling industrial areas, and public transit options to reduce household transportation costs—the second highest expense for Americans after housing.

The Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities would oversee two grant programs established by the Livable Communities Act. One grant program would make $2.2 billion available for communities to build and improve affordable housing, strengthen public transportation, promote transit-oriented development, and redevelop brownfield sites. A second grant program would provide $500 million to support comprehensive regional planning that recognizes the interconnectedness of transportation, housing, community and economic development and environmental sustainability.

The full Senate will likely debate the Livable Communities Act in the fall. The U.S. House of Representatives has introduced a companion bill and will likely debate it later this year as well.

The Livable Communities Act both needs and deserves your support!

You can download this letter and fill in the relevant blanks to let your Senators and Representatives know that you support passage of the Livable Communities Act.

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