On April 15, 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrion, along with mayors from nine New York and Connecticut cities, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano, four Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and heads of two regional planning entities launched an unprecedented bi-state sustainability initiative for coordinated regional and local planning. The new group, defined as the “New York & Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium”, will work collaboratively to develop livable communities and growth centers around the region’s commuter rail network to enhance affordable housing efforts, reduce congestion, improve the environment and continue to expand economic opportunities. The group will be coordinated by Regional Plan Association, a non-profit regional planning organization.
Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program
The New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium was awarded $3.5 million in funding under the inaugural year of HUD’s Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program. For the first time in history, HUD has awarded nearly $100 million in new grants to support more livable and sustainable communities across the country.Out of more than 180 applications nation-wide, a total of 45 regional areas will receive funding through this initiative intended to build economic competitiveness by connecting housing with access to jobs, quality schools, and transportation. A central goal of the Sustainable Communities program is to link strategies on a metropolitan scale that would foster creation of mixed-income housing, employment, and infrastructure in locations connected by the region’s robust commuter rail network. The Regional Planning Grant Program will be guided by HUD’s Six Livability Criteria listed below:
Providing More Transportation Choices
Promote Equitable, Affordable Housing
Enhance Economic Competitiveness
Support Existing Communities
Coordinate Policies and Leverage Investment
Value Communities and Neighborhoods
Regional and Local Coordination
At the regional scale, the Consortium will undertake an effort to integrate and enhance existing sustainability plans. Existing documents to be analyzed include: integrated transportation-land use plans, state and county economic development plans, housing plans, infrastructure capital plans, environmental resource management and climate adaptation plans. The process will involve the community in identifying ways to better align these plans with HUD’s livability principles as well as other federal, state, and local policies. The effort will culminate with an "Execution Plan for Regional Sustainable Development".
On the local scale, Nassau County will conduct an Infill Redevelopment Feasibility Study for properties within a half-mile radius of up to three existing Long Island Railroad stations located within and surrounding the the Nassau Hub Transit Study Area. Through an ambitious community outreach and engagement plan, twenty-one LIRR station areas will be evaluated to determine the availability of redevelopable land. The community will then inform the study team in its selection of up to three LIRR station areas for a more detailed redevelopment feasibility analysis.