USDOT Issues Nearly $22M in ‘Thriving Communities’ Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently issued 64 grants totaling more than $21.5 million through its new “Thriving Communities” program to fund two years of no-cost intensive technical assistance to help under-resourced and disadvantaged communities “identify, develop, and deliver” local transportation projects.

[Above photo by the USDOT]

Managed by the Build America Bureau within USDOT, the program’s “technical assistance” includes a variety of tasks, from preparing application materials and predevelopment activities, to deploying innovative community engagement, workforce development, and clean technology strategies.

In a statement, the USDOT said its new Thriving Communities program – funded by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA enacted in November 2021 – works to advance projects to improve health outcomes, reduce housing and transportation cost burdens, improve housing conditions, preserve or expand jobs, and increase reliable mobility options for “disadvantaged communities,” especially small, rural, and tribal ones.

Grant recipients are being grouped into four “Communities of Practice” identified by USDOT based on their unique technical assistance needs:

  • Main Streets – Focused on tribal, rural, and small-town communities and the interconnected transportation, community, and economic development issues they face.
  • Complete Neighborhoods– Focused on urban and suburban communities located within Metropolitan Planning Organization areas to help advance complete streets policies and coordinate transportation with land use, housing, and economic development.
  • Complete Transit-Oriented Neighborhoods – Focused on urban and suburban communities located within metropolitan regions working to advance equitable transit-oriented development and improve safe, reliable and accessible transit service.
  • Networked Communities– Focused on communities located near ports, airports, freight, and rail facilities to address mobility, access, housing, environmental justice, and economic issues.

USDOT added that its technical assistance is part of the Thriving Communities Network, an interagency initiative among USDOT, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, Commerce, and Agriculture, as well as the General Services Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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