New Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities

Washington, DC (June 16, 2009)- The U.S. EPA announced new programs last week aimed at promoting sustainable development, including the formation of the new Office of Sustainable Communities. The agency also formed two pilot programs to help communities improve water quality and clean up contaminated properties, building on an existing interagency effort between EPA, the Transportation Department and the Housing, and Urban Development Department.

One program offers grants to help California, Maryland, and New York use Clean Water State Revolving Fund loans to support communities that adopt sustainable strategies, like transit-oriented, mixed-use development, EPA said. The other program involves five brownfield sites where there is the need for public transit and affordable housing. The five sites are: Fairmount Line in Boston; the Smart Growth Redevelopment District in Indianapolis; the La Alma/South Lincoln Park neighborhood in Denver; the Riverfront Crossings District in Iowa City, Iowa; and the Westside Affordable Housing Transit-Oriented Development in National City, Calif.
“The partnership recognizes that the work of our agencies is interconnected,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said at a Senate hearing last year announcing the initiative’s launch. “In designing or improving our communities to be sustainable for the long term, mobility, housing and environmental issues are entirely interconnected.”
This Office will be directed by Shelley Poticha, who has an extensive background in transit, new urbanism and sustainability.