Tag: Obama Administration

What President Obama’s budget proposal means for community development programs

Crossposted from The Atlantic Cities

President Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2014, released this morning, focuses on economic growth and a strong middle class. Better urban development isn’t the first item on that agenda, but it’s an important part of the administration’s priorities for the coming year.

Three agencies in particular are at the core of that work, with offices dedicated to making sure community development contributes to regional and national economic growth. The president’s 2014 budget would change how each of these agencies invest in community development. Here’s how it breaks down:

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would see a significant increase in funds for neighborhood revitalization through $400 million in funding for the Choice Neighborhoods program (up from $120 million appropriated in 2012). The budget cuts funding for the Community Development Block Grant program to $2.8 billion (down from $3.241 billion in 2012), but includes $200 million in new competitive funding to reduce and repurpose vacant and blighted properties and create jobs in communities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.

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Smart growth news – October 12

Obama selects D.C. project, 13 others to help spur jobs
Washington Post, October 11, 2011
A mixed-use development in the District’s Shaw neighborhood is one of 14 infrastructure projects across the country that the Obama administration has selected to be put on the fast track to help create jobs, the White House announced Tuesday.

Quicken welcomes 1,500 suburban workers to Detroit
The Detroit News, October 11, 2011
As Gilbert and Bing noted, the latest group of workers means another 1,500 people dining in downtown restaurants, walking along the RiverWalk, staying after work for ball games or concerts and, possibly, taking advantage of new incentives to move to the greater downtown area.

Mayor Swearengin unveils Fresno Downtown Neighborhoods Community Plan
ABC 30 (Calif.), October 12, 2011
Fresno residents voiced their concerns Tuesday as city leaders revealed their plan to revitalize Downtown and its surrounding areas. The 150-page document has been two years in the making.

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Smart Growth America Applauds President Obama for Budget Provisions that Strengthen Communities

President Obama today unveiled a budget proposal for fiscal year 2012 that includes strategic investments in America’s economic competitiveness and promotes long-term economic growth. Geoffrey Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America, issued the following statement in response:

“The President’s proposed budget rightfully acknowledges the difficult financial times we as a country are facing. Many provisions propose spending the federal government’s limited funds in smarter ways that will help make the towns, cities and regions in our country more economically effective. Several aspects of the proposed budget focus on programs that will catalyze job creation and economic growth in the United States and we applaud the Obama Administration for putting taxpayer dollars to such good use.

“Smart growth is about building neighborhoods that work for the people who live there – meaning rural, suburban and urban communities with more housing and transportation choices near jobs, shops and schools where people want them. These are places where strong economies and a healthy environment can both thrive at once. Places where community leaders choose to get the most out of each federal or state dollar invested in the neighborhoods. Where the private sector can help jump-start the local real estate market in a way that is right for that unique community. Where we make decisions to save money in our municipal budgets and in our own wallets and invest for the future.

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A Sputnik Moment for Smart Growth

In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a strategy to rebuild America’s economy, calling on the country to “Out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.” He laid out strategies for better education, better energy production, better transportation and better job creation. All of these strategies are key to a stronger American economy.

It is time we remember and take pride in the fact that “America is the nation that built the transcontinental railroad, brought electricity to rural communities, constructed the Interstate Highway System. The jobs created by these projects didn’t just come from laying down track or pavement. They came from businesses that opened near a town’s new train station or the new off-ramp.”

The President’s statement means we have to continue to expand our infrastructure and communities with an understanding of how the two connect and support one another, and that’s exactly what smart growth does. The big national decisions we make about budgets and investment can ultimately make life better in the towns and neighborhoods that knit this nation together.

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