HUD grants to promote sustainable communities
Ron Sims, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, visited Kansas City on Thursday, March 24, to formally announce two grants that will help transform key transportation corridors, activity centers and neighborhoods in the Kansas City region. Sims joined Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II and other officials at the kickoff meeting of the Mid-America Regional Council’s Creating Sustainable Places coordinating committee and met with more than 50 area housing stakeholders at the Green Impact Zone offices.
HUD awarded a $4.25 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant to MARC, which applied for the grant on behalf of a broad coalition of partners, including seven counties, 22 cities and 32 business, university and nonprofit organizations. The three-year grant will fund the Creating Sustainable Places initiative, which will include developing plans for six key corridors, implementing four to six demonstration projects, creating technical tools and providing training opportunities. MARC will work with over 60 local government and other community partners on the grant.
The corridor plans will integrate land-use, transportation, housing and environmental sustainability principles along six key corridors across the region:
- State Avenue Corridor (Kansas City, Kan.)
- Eastern Corridor along U.S. 40 (Kansas City, Independence and Blue Springs, Mo.)
- Shawnee Mission Parkway/Metcalf Corridor (Roeland Park, Mission, Overland Park and Shawnee, Kan.)
- North Oak Trafficway Corridor (North Kansas City, Gladstone and Kansas City, Mo.)
- Central City Corridor (downtown to south Kansas City, Mo.)
- Rock Island Rail Corridor (Kansas City, Raytown, Lee’s Summit and Pleasant Hill, Mo.)
The demonstration projects will include a housing effort in the Green Impact Zone, a 150-square block area in the urban core of Kansas City, Mo., that is the focus of targeted efforts to transform a community that has seen years of disinvestment, and other projects to be selected later. More information about the Creating Sustainable Places initiative is available online at www.marc.org/sustainableplaces.
The second grant announced, a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant, will provide $250,000 for the Kansas City Housing Authority to create a transformation plan for Chouteau Courts, a public housing project in the Paseo Gateway neighborhood east of downtown. The plan will focus on mixed-income housing, walkable city blocks and better access to schools, jobs and services for neighborhood residents.
Note to media: Photos of the grant announcement are available on MARC’s Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/marckc/sets/72157626222621177.