Sen. Carper Announces Open Application Period for Delaware Communities to Gain Funding to Support Smart Growth

EPA Programs Commit $1.5 Million to 125 Communities in U.S.; Efforts will create healthy neighborhoods, attract local businesses

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) announced the open application period for local and state governments to apply to grants to help Delaware’s communities build more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods that attract businesses. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) commitment of more than $1.5 million will come through two separate programs – the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance program (SGIA) and the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. Both programs will be accepting letters from interested communities from Sept. 28 to Oct. 28, 2011.

“Local officials across our state are working hard each day to offer residents healthy, vibrant, and growing communities that offer a high quality of life and robust economic opportunities,” said Sen. Carper. “However, sometimes it’s hard to know the best way to achieve these goals. Together, the Smart Growth Implementation Assistance program and the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program can provide Delaware’s cities, towns and communities with top notch tools and valuable resources to help turn their visions and plans into a reality. These grants have demonstrated in communities across the country that smart planning and investment can strengthen local businesses, bring jobs into neighborhoods, and protect the environment. This makes our communities better places to live, work, and play, and I encourage Delaware’s community leaders to apply.”

The SGIA program, which EPA has offered since 2005, employs contractor assistance to focus on complex and cutting-edge issues in sustainable development. The assistance allows communities to explore innovative ideas to overcome barriers that have prevented them from getting the kind of development they want. Potential topics include helping communities figure out how to develop in ways that make them more resilient to natural hazards, increase economic growth, and use locally generated energy. The Agency anticipates selecting three to four communities for assistance with the goal of creating models that can help other communities.

The Building Blocks program provides targeted technical assistance to communities that face common development problems. It employs a variety of tools such as improving pedestrian access and safety, zoning code reviews, and housing and transportation evaluations. Assistance will be provided in two ways in the coming year. First, EPA will select up to 50 communities and provide direct assistance by EPA staff and private sector experts. Second, EPA has awarded cooperative agreements to four non-government organizations with sustainable community expertise to deliver technical assistance. The organizations include the Cascade Land Conservancy, Global Green USA, Project for Public Spaces, and Smart Growth America.

The Building Blocks and the SGIA programs assist in the work of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. These agencies share a common goal of coordinating federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently.

More information on the Partnership for Sustainable Communities:

More information on the Building Blocks program and the request for letters of interest:

More information on the SGIA program and the request for letters of interest: