City of Somerville
Massachusetts

Agenda Item
190782

Requesting acceptance of a Sustainable Community Challenge Grant of $1.8 million from the Dept. of Housing & Urban Development for several SPCD initiatives, including the Comprehensive Plan, Green Line planning, a rewrite of the zoning ordinance, streamlining the permitting process, and a land bank for affordable housing.

Information

Department:PlanningSponsors:
Category:Mayor's RequestPurposes:Grant/Gift

Financial Impact

$1,800,000 Grant award from HUD

Official Text

To the Honorable Board:

 

I respectfully request that the Board of Aldermen accept the $1,800,000 Sustainable Community Challenge Grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Recently, because of all of our hard work on the Comprehensive Plan and planning for the Green Line Extension, we successfully competed nationally for a $1.8 million Sustainable Community Challenge Grant.  HUD and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) jointly awarded a total of $68 million to help stimulate a new generation of sustainable and livable communities that connect housing, employment and economic development with transportation and other infrastructure improvements.  Out of 583 applications nation-wide, the City of Somerville was one of only 62 communities awarded these prestigious funds.  In addition, the City’s grant was one of the highest awarded.  We are extremely proud of this accomplishment.

 

The Sustainable Community Challenge Grant will be used for five major initiatives: complete the citywide Comprehensive Plan and seek adoption by the Board of Aldermen; perform Green Line station area planning; re-write the Somerville Zoning Ordinance; streamline the permitting process; and, create a land bank for affordable housing.  These initiatives align with the ongoing Green Line Extension planning effort that will bring back the rail access on which Somerville was built. 

 

In accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 44, Section 53A, which requires a vote of the Board of Aldermen for the expenditure of grants or gifts from the federal government and from a charitable foundation, private corporation, or an individual, or from the Commonwealth, a county or municipality or agency thereof, I request approval to expend this grant.

 

OSPCD staff will be available to respond to any questions you may have.

 

Sincerely,

 

Document Comments

APPROVED BY THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF SOMERVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS, PURSUANT TO CHARTER SECTION 16.

Meeting History

Jan 27, 2011 7:00 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
RESULT:REFERRED FOR RECOMMENDATION
Feb 9, 2011 6:00 PM  Finance Committee Committee Meeting

Ms. Lamboy told the members that this grant includes funding for the positions of Area Planner, Zoning Planner and an Operations Manager (in the Inspectional Services Department). The bulk of the $1.3 million grant will go towards the city's land bank. It was recommended that the details and programs of this grant be presented to the board at a future meeting.

RESULT:APPROVED
Feb 10, 2011 7:00 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
RESULT:APPROVED