Join us in Supporting the Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities
September 13th, 2011 by Chris Sturm
UPDATE Sept. 22: The Senate Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to preserve funding for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities! No amendments were offered and the program at HUD and DOT are intact – for now.
The Senate appropriations bill will face a new round of negotiations with the House of Representatives before it’s finalized. The House has voted to strip all funding for the Partnership programs, and so the funding will again be at risk in the coming weeks.
Thanks to Sens. Lautenberg and Menendez for their leadership, and to everyone who joined us in contacting them.
New Jersey Future contacted U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg today, seeking their support to maintain funding for the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
The partnership is a collaborative effort by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency that helps communities break down barriers in federal housing, transportation and infrastructure programs in order to rebuild local economies, strengthen neighborhoods and create jobs.
Last week, the House of Representatives proposed to strip funding for Sustainable Communities programs from the FY 2012 budget. We hope you will join us in contacting Sens. Menendez and Lautenberg to urge them to protect funding for Sustainable Communities (especially at HUD, where the funding is most at risk) when the Senate takes up the measure this Thursday, Sept. 15.
The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is already making a difference in New Jersey. The Jersey City Redevelopment Agency is using $4.2 million in Sustainable Communities funds to prepare 111 acres of former industrial land for Canal Crossings, a new 7,000-unit residential area that will connect to jobs and transit. In the Meadowlands, a $10 million Tiger II grant is improving traffic flow and transit times by modernizing and coordinating signals. And last year, the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University received “preferred status” for a $5 million regional planning grant to foster sustainable development near bus and rail stations in northern New Jersey; Voorhees will submit a revised application next month.
As this country and our state continue to face difficult financial times, smart, coordinated investments will help the government work effectively and save taxpayer dollars. The programs of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities provide much-needed support for our work in New Jersey to advance a stronger economy, a healthier environment and a just society.