HUD Sustainable Communities Challenge Planning Grant

In 2010, Grand Traverse County was awarded $395,000 through the Sustainable Communities Challenge Planning Grant Program. The program is made possible through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an interagency partnership of the US Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Through this partnership, these three federal agencies came together to help places around the country develop in more environmentally and economically sustainable ways. To guide its work, the Partnership developed six livability principles:

  • Provide more transportation choices
  • Promote equitable, affordable housing
  • Enhance economic competitiveness
  • Support existing communities
  • Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment
  • Value communities and neighborhoods
Funding Use
By working with core partners including the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments and the City of Traverse City, Grand Traverse County was able to develop a strong proposal for funding. Out of 583 eligible grant applications, only 42 communities received funding. Grand Traverse County appreciates the opportunity to be among the inaugural award winners of this exciting program and partnership.

The grant funds were used to:
  • $50,000: The Northwest Michigan Council of Government conducted a housing information inventory and analysis. Housing and community data was collected, developed, maintained and analyzed, including inventorying and analyzing substandard housing in the County. A primary benefit of this effort is recognizing ways to improve existing housing through rehabilitation and reducing substandard conditions for renters. The effort also compliments and supports the County's Master Planning efforts and affordable housing strategy development. See more on about the Housing Inventory and Strategy.
  • $50,000: The County Planning and Development Department conducted a new Master Plan process. The Plan took a different approach compared to previous County plans. It integrated local land use priorities into a county-wide policy by utilizing the leadership of local planning commissioners from local units. It was also built upon the principles of the Grand Vision.
  • $100,000: The City of Traverse City conducted planning processes for the revitalization of five significant transportation corridors. The Traverse City Corridors Master Plan (PDF) focuses on restoring economic vitality, increasing housing, and improving public infrastructure.
  • $195,000: As a matching grant to the County's new Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which is an initiative of the Land Bank Authority that utilizes the proceeds from the sale of tax foreclosed properties for affordable housing development efforts.
Grant activities have been completed and the grant was officially closed in June, 2014.
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