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Dodd Introduces Livable Communities Act

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Chris Dodd has introduced legislation to help towns and regions across the country plan and implement development projects that integrate their community’s needs for transportation, housing, land use, and economic development.

By encouraging sustainable development at the local, regional, and federal level, the Livable Communities Act will help communities cut traffic congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption, protect green spaces, create more affordable housing, and revitalize existing Main Streets and urban centers. Dodd’s legislation is cosponsored by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Dan Akaka (D-HI).

“As our communities grow, people are commuting longer distances on more crowded roadways,” said Dodd. “Those are precious hours they could be spending with their families, and precious dollars wasted on gas. We must change the way we plan for the future of our communities and tackle these challenges with a coordinated strategy.”

The Livable Communities Act will:

· Create competitive planning grants that towns and regions can use to create comprehensive long-term plans that integrate transportation, housing, land use, and economic development.

· Create challenge grants that towns and regions can use to implement these long-term plans through investments in public transportation, affordable housing, complete streets, transit-oriented development, and brownfield redevelopment.

· Establish a federal Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to administer and oversee the Livable Communities grant programs;

· Establish a federal Interagency Council on Sustainable Communities that will include representatives from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies to coordinate federal sustainable development policies.

Last month, Dodd chaired a hearing at which Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced a new interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities that will help improve access to affordable housing, expand transportation options, and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment and combating climate change in communities nationwide. The three departments will be working together to create a coordinated approach to transportation, housing, energy and environmental policies. In February, Chairman Dodd sent a letter to President Obama calling for the creation of such an entity.

John DeStefano, Jr., Mayor, City of New Haven, Connecticut:

Senator Dodd’s proposed Livable Communities Act represents a major step forward for the federal government and its contribution to the economic health of vibrant communities and urban centers. The bill recognizes the relationship between housing, transportation and environmental performance – a relationship that is essential to the nation’s long-term economic prosperity.

Categories: General

8 Responses

  1. Neal says:

    So basically what Dodd is saying is that people need to be with their families, not use so much gas in their commute to work and ease congestion on the roadways. I’ve got an easier solution than making everybody move into the cities. It’s mostly middle management and higher that can actuall afford to have houses in the “burbs” and their presnese in the office isn’t really needed anyway so they can “tele-commute” (work at home through their computer). Easier than making them move into the city and giving up the homes that they have now. Reduces the pollution that would come from building all of those buildings (many of which will be just like “projects” in the inner cities but nicer) and save valueable resources needed in building those buildings. But they won’t do that because they want to control every ascpet of our lives.

  2. Holly says:

    I find myself being more and more leary of government programs that are suppposed to “improve our communities”. The people in those communities can always improve them without help from the government. Not only that but they can improve them how they want to. I remember a government program that was supposed to provide housing to anyone who wanted to be a homeowner And look how that turned out! And Eben- some people like the “suburban sprawl” as you put it. This seems like a great idea for those of you who love the urban land but not everyone does. So where is the freedom in choice when the government favors urban living over rural or suburban? Shouldn’t that choice lie with individual? I say no more programs. We have plenty to overcome. Please vote the liars/ incumbants out of office!

  3. Deloras says:

    Eben, PLEASE become informed re: that which our current “government” is trying to do to America. NONE of it is good. It’s all BAD. The proposed legislation of Chris Dodd (who is just another corrupt politician, is not running for re-election, and doesn’t care WHAT happens to US) is just another way to CONTROL OUR LIVES in every way. Every time the “government” uses OUR TAX DOLLARS (in this case, $4 billion just to start)it means more gov’t control of OUR LIVES. In Kantrowitz’s article above, & under the heading “The Livable Communities Act will”: every time the words “can use” are printed, it means “WILL USE”. The goverment clearly plans to FORCE this upon ALL Americans eventually, starting with those already living in concentrated quarters – then moving on to SEIZING private property, & gradually “sucking everyone into their trap”. Ever hear of the frog placed in cold water, & and then the heat gradually turned up until it was BOILED TO DEATH? Think about it! Open your eyes, get off your duff, & do what you can to help those who are truly in need. And above all, PRAY that God will intervene and help us take our nation back from the current insanity in DC, to sanity again.

  4. Eben says:

    I welcome the proposal. Few peolpe realize how poor the quality is of our cummunities is and specifically the public space of the street. If you have ever lived in a walkable urban environment you could never go back to the suburban sprawl. This is all about providing people with choices for how they want to live especially if you want something other than the car dominated strip malls and cheap low density single family shacks brought to you by the realestate and finance industry.

    Change is hard. Let’s begin building places worth protecting.

  5. Annie says:

    As a Westerner (and , GASP, a farmer) I am used to practical decision making. The cow is dead or alive type decisions that matter both to the bottom line and to our reputation to say the least and most basic. We are of strong sturdy stuff who resent people taking food literally off our plates in these social engineering schemes. This is so far over the cliff of the proverbial slippery slope of social engineering that I hope we can reel it back in before it’s too late and our great nation is rendered impotent by the stupidity of Congress and our lack of back bone as citizens to take back the reins that are clearly defined as the peoples’. Godspeed to the quiet masses who MUST speak up before we’re over-run.

  6. David says:

    More Socialist Engineering because it’s easy for the lazy people at the helm. Five and ten year plans only require moderate work in the first and last year.
    Our public servants Chris Dodd, Chuck Schumer etc would like to dictate and demand because they are lazy. The present crop in Congress is too lazy to write their own legislation or read, debate, and change the ponderous bills they receive from the people who do write them.

  7. Pete McGrath says:

    Oh Boy!
    More Socialist Social Engineering!

    Why don’t Democrats spend some time reading the Constitution and the Legislation they try to ram through quick before anyone can see what it is they are doing.

  8. Bud says:

    Apparently Senator Dodd isn’t content with having had a major hand in the destruction of the mortgage industry and creating the current recession. So he now turns his attention to making local governments superfluous. Has he no humility?

    Control freaks have a habit of trying to convince that they are doing it to your for your own good, and please ignore the gun stuck in your ribs.

    Nowhere in Article I, Section 8 will you find any grant of power for Congress restructuring cities and towns as it sees fit.