US DOT launches US$30M Thriving Communities program to help communities identify, develop infrastructure projects; program to provide two years of intensive technical assistance to under-resourced and disadvantaged communities at no cost to community

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WASHINGTON D.C. , October 6, 2022 (press release) –

$30 million Program will allow Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development to provide technical assistance to help communities access grants and opportunities, diversifying the pipeline of projects under consideration for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding and financing

Today the U.S. Department of Transportation released information about its Thriving Communities Program. The program is part of an ongoing effort by the Biden-Harris Administration to ensure that ensure state, local, Tribal and territorial governments large and small have the tools needed to access federal funding for projects serving their communities. 

The Thriving Communities program will provide two years of intensive technical assistance to under-resourced and disadvantaged communities to build upon their existing expertise to identify, develop and deliver transportation and community revitalization activities. Capacity builders funded through Thriving Communities will help selected communities in a variety of activities from   preparing application materials or predevelopment activities to deploying innovative community engagement, workforce development and clean technology strategies. There is no cost for communities to receive support through the program.

"No one understands a community’s needs better than those who live there,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This program will help equip more local leaders with the resources, knowledge, and assistance they need to access federal funding, and modernize their infrastructure so that it serves the community well for decades to come.”

“Affordable housing investments must go hand-in-hand with transportation improvements. Connecting housing and transportation through transit-oriented development improves housing affordability, reduces automobile dependence, and expands access to employment, schools, health care, and other critical needs and opportunities for residents,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “I am pleased to partner with Secretary Buttigieg and the Department of Transportation on the Thriving Communities program to better integrate housing and transportation planning to improve outcomes for America’s underserved communities.” 

The Thriving Communities program will prioritize the selection of communities that are working to advance projects to improve health outcomes; reduce housing and transportation cost burdens and improve housing conditions; preserve or expand jobs and increase reliable mobility options for disadvantaged communities and households to better access health care, food, education, and other essential destinations.

Today the Department released both a call for Letters of Interest (LOI) from community leaders seeking support from the program as well as a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for capacity builders.

The NOFO will provide funding for organizations to provide technical assistance, planning and capacity building support to recipients under the Thriving Communities Program. Capacity builders are invited to apply individually or as a team and may include non-profits, state, local or Tribal governments or philanthropies. In addition to the NOFO, the Department has a fact sheet for interested capacity builder applicants here. The NOFO will be open until November 22, 2022. 

More information on how to submit a LOI to participate in the Thriving Communities program can be found here. State, local, and Tribal governments, United States territories, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies are eligible for assistance, when applying with community partners. The program will support small, rural and tribal communities working on main street revitalization projects; suburban and urban communities in metropolitan areas working to integrate transportation with land use, housing and economic development; and those communities located near ports, airports, freight and rail facilities. Rural, tribal and other disadvantaged communities such as those facing persistent poverty, environmental justice, disproportionate rates of pollution or poor air quality, and historically disadvantaged communities will be prioritized for assistance and are strongly encouraged to submit a LOI, which must be received by December 6, 2022.

The Department will host a series of webinars to provide more information both to interested communities and capacity builders. More information on the series can be found here.

The Thriving Communities Program is one of several tools being provided by DOT to ensure every community has the opportunity to access federal transportation funding and financing to deliver transformative infrastructure projects. Additional technical assistance resources can be found on the DOT Navigator at www.transportation.gov/dot-navigator.

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Dan Rivard
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