City Hall

City Expects $2 Mil In Federal Money Will Spur Development Around Four Light-Rail Stations

The Hatcher Station, one of four light-rail stations identified as by the city as a recipient of the feds' grant announced this morning
This morning we've received several press releases from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation announcing that Dallas is getting $2,225,000 in federal dough to build 193 workforce housing units near transit-oriented developments -- four transit-oriented developments, to be specific. Dallas's share comes out of $40 million in Sustainable Community Challenge Grants, which the agencies say will "help support local planning designed to integrate affordable housing, good jobs and public transportation." The city -- working with Dallas Area Rapid Transit, the Real Estate Council, the Dallas Police Department and the Urban League -- will use the money for planning and land aquisition.

The full release from HUD follows, but it doesn't answer the most basic question: Which are the four DART light-rail stations that'll benefit from the $2,225,000? Since Karl Zavitkovsky, head of the city's Office of Economic Development and the city's point person on the project, isn't available, City Hall spokesman Frank Librio offered some more details.

According to info he was kind enough to forward along, the land acquisition will take place in three different tax increment financing districts: the TOD TIF (which includes the Lovers Lane-Mockingbird station area, the Lancaster Corridor, Cedars West and Cedar Crest), the Vickery Meadow TIF and the Grand Park South TIF. The grant will be concentrated at four light-rail stations: the VA Medical Center Station, the MLK Jr. Station, the soon-to-open Hatcher Station and the Park Lane Station.

Says the doc from Librio, which also follows: "More than 1,000 mixed-income housing units and complementary retail and commercial sites could be developed as a result of this grant." Which'll make Linda Koop happy -- as you may recall, no so long ago the council member was complaining about the lack of development around light-rail stations.


Unprecedented joint funding to foster integrated approach to housing, jobs and transportation

FORT WORTH - In an unprecedented collaboration between two federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today jointly awarded $68 million to cities across the country to help stimulate a new generation of sustainable and livable communities connect housing, employment and economic development with transportation and other infrastructure improvements. The joint HUD-DOT funding will support 62 local and regional partnerships seeking to create a more holistic and integrated approach to connecting affordable housing, job opportunities and transportation corridors. HUD awarded $2,865,000 in grant funds to Texas communities as part of today's announcement.

"Today two federal agencies come together to produce a win-win for local communities around the country," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "We're helping local and regional planners connect all the dots in their efforts to make their communities more sustainable and livable. These grants will help communities to hit on all cylinders, producing more affordable housing near good jobs and commercial centers which will help to reduce our energy consumption and increase competitiveness."

HUD is awarding $40 million in new Sustainable Community Challenge Grants to help support local planning designed to integrate affordable housing, good jobs and public transportation. Meanwhile, DOT is awarding nearly $28 million in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II Planning Grants to implement localized plans that ultimately lead to projects that integrate transportation, housing and economic development.

HUD is awarding the following grants in Texas:

The City of Dallas will receive $2,225,000 to fund land acquisition and planning for four sites that will be part of Dallas' Transit-Oriented Development Workforce Housing Project for 193 workforce housing units near public transit. The funding will allow Dallas to acquire land at all four sites and produce detailed designs, site plans, construction development plans and environmental assessments required for development to proceed. Core project partners, who will provide $1,000,000 in leveraging funds, include the Real Estate Council; Dallas Area Rapid Transit; Dallas Police Department and the Urban League.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments will receive $640,000 for the Planning for Livable Military Communities project. The project will provide for improved transportation and housing conditions while providing military families a more traditional neighborhood and "home town" feel in residential areas. Planning will include an Off-Base Military Housing and Retail Feasibility and Siting Study, a technical study of transportation in the area with short- and long-term recommendations for to improve transportation options, establish a model building code for greater energy efficiency, and update the City's zoning, ordinances and comprehensive plan. Fort Worth, Benbrook, Lake Worth, River Oaks, Westworth Village, White Settlement, Tarrant County, Naval Air Station Fort Worth, and Joint Reserve Base are core partners providing upwards of $200,000 in leverage and other resources.

HUD's Sustainable Communities Challenge Grants will foster reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. These funds will be used by communities, large and small, to address local challenges to integrating transportation and housing. When these activities are done in conjunction with transportation projects, they can greatly increase the efficiency and access of local transportation while encouraging mixed-use or transit-oriented development. Such efforts may include amending or updating local master plans, zoning codes, and building codes to support private sector investment in mixed-use development, affordable housing and the re-use of older buildings. Other local efforts may include retrofitting main streets to provide safer routes for children and seniors, or preserving affordable housing and local businesses near new transit stations.

TIGER II Planning Grants will prepare or design surface transportation projects that would be eligible for funding under the TIGER II Discretionary Grant program. These projects include highways, bridges, transit, railways, ports or bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

Rather than require applicants to navigate two separate grant application procedures that might be on different timelines and with different requirements, HUD and DOT joined their two new discretionary planning programs to create one point of entry to federal resources for local, innovative sustainable community planning projects.

The Community Challenge grants compliment the 45 Sustainable Communities Regional Grants announced last week by HUD. The Challenge Grants help to support local communities seeking to integrate housing, transportation, and environmental strategies that will enhance local economic development, provide greater housing and transportation choices, and develop long-range visions for how they want their community to grow.

The new HUD-DOT program also builds on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an innovative new interagency collaboration, launched by President Obama in June 2009, between the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Guided by six Livability Principles, the Partnership is designed to remove the traditional federal government silos that exist between departments and strategically target the agencies' transportation, land use, environmental, housing and community development resources to provide communities the resources they need to build more livable, sustainable communities.

HUD Announcement

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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