Livable Communities Act Gains Momentum

A partnership between federal transportation and housing agencies has so far rewarded transit projects that support efficient land use, such as a bus hub in Connecticut's Storrs Center, a new town center in Manfield.

On Tuesday, the Livable Communities Act (S 1619 / HR  4690) was passed out of the Senate Banking Committee along party lines. If passed, the Act would provide $4 billion in competitive grants for projects that integrate transportation, housing, economic development and environmental planning.  It would also establish a new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities in the Department of Housing and Urban Development to coordinate federal policies that foster sustainable development and provide technical assistance to communities. This would effectively formalize the recent partnership between the federal transportation, housing, and environmental agencies, which has thus far rewarded projects which combine transportation and efficient land use.

Senator Dodd (D-CT) introduced this bill last year, and it has since garnered the support of our region’s senators and earned praise from groups and mayors around the country.  Dodd hailed the committee passage in a statement, saying the bill would “help Connecticut and other states and regions grow in ways that will not worsen traffic congestion or lead to continued loss of farmland and green space.”

The bill will face a Senate floor vote when Congress returns from the August recess.

Image: Via Manfield Downtown Partnership.

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