Sustainable Communities Challenge Planning Grant
Grand Traverse County was awarded $395,000 through the Sustainable Communities Challenge Planning Grant Program. The program is made possible through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an interagency partnership of the US Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Through this partnership, these three federal agencies came together to help places around the country develop in more environmentally and economically sustainable ways. To guide its work, the Partnership developed six livability principles:
· Provide more transportation choices.
· Promote equitable, affordable housing.
· Enhance economic competitiveness.
· Support existing communities.
· Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment.
· Value communities and neighborhoods.
By working with core partners including the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments and the City of Traverse City, Grand Traverse County was able to develop a strong proposal for funding. Out of 583 eligible grant applications, only 42 communities received funding. Grand Traverse County appreciates the opportunity to be among the inaugural awardees of this exciting program and partnership.
The grant funds are being used to:
- $50,000: The Northwest Michigan Council of Government is currently conducting a housing information inventory and analysis. Housing and community data will be collected, developed, maintained and analyzed on an on-going basis, including inventorying and analyzing substandard housing in the County. A primary benefit of this effort is recognizing ways to improve existing housing through rehabilitation and reducing substandard conditions for renters. The also compliments and supports the County’s Master Planning efforts and affordable housing strategy development. Please contact Sarah Lucas for more information.
- $50,000: The County Planning and Development Department is conducting a new Master Plan process. The master plan is a different approach compared to previous County plans. It will integrate local land use priorities into a county-wide policy by utilizing the leadership of local planning commissioners from local units. It will also build upon the principles of the Grand Vision.
- $100,000: The City of Traverse City is conducting planning processes for the revitalization of five significant transportation corridors. The corridor plans will focus on restoring economic vitality, increasing housing, and improving public infrastructure. The City of Traverse City recently engaged Houseal Lavigne Associates as their primary consultant for this project, and the process completion date is expected to occur in September of 2012.
- $195,000: As a matching grant to the County’s new Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which is an initiative of the Land Bank Authority that utilizes the proceeds from the sale of tax foreclosed properties for affordable housing development efforts.