The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) supports sufficient and sustained funding for programs within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that support housing and sustainable community development for urban, suburban and rural areas.
- Support a federal-state-local-regional partnership to resolve housing and community-based issues – urban, suburban and rural.
- Promote public-private partnerships to enhance community development initiatives.
- Engage directly with local elected officials, who understand the local needs, opportunities and obligations through their “on-the-ground” perspective.
- Encourage and expand the federal interagency Sustainable Communities Partnership by focusing on regional issues that necessitate regional approaches.
- Invest in programs that stabilize and enhance neighborhoods in urban, suburban and rural regions.
- Authorize HUD programs with funding increases to allow for expansion of economic and community development programs, both rural and urban, that promote regional approaches.
- Provide and sustain funding for comprehensive, integrated regional planning and implementation in all regions through HUD’s Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant program (SCRPG).
- Authorize and fund the Livable Communities Act. Support funding for proven programs like Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), HOME Partnerships Investment Program, Neighborhood Stabilization Program, Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) and the Rural Housing and Economic Development (RHED) Program.
- Support regional food system planning that links rural and urban networks and connects comprehensive regional planning.
- Authorize “Regional Infrastructure Improvement Zones” (RIIZs), a change to the federal tax code that would allow for businesses or individuals to make tax deductible contributions toward COG/MPO pre-approved infrastructure projects.
- Incent coordination among the many government agencies responsible for housing and community development.
- Assist communities and all regions in pursuing economic development and vitality.
- Encourage locally-driven regional collaborations across municipal and geographic boundaries.
- Promote the implementation of HUD programs to require development through a collaborative process with practitioners and stakeholders at the federal, state, regional and local levels.
- Provide a coordinated national approach that allows flexibility for local communities and regions to determine priorities.
- Provide incentives to regions and localities that perform comprehensive, integrated regional planning and innovative implementation that crosslink transportation, housing and economic development with environmental considerations.
- Expand programs focusing on diverse, affordable and workforce housing options – using programs that are successful as models – and ensure flexibility and streamlining of programs at the local and regional levels.
- Support the Community Renewal Initiative to help distressed rural and urban communities designated as Renewal Communities (RC), Enterprise Zones (EZ), and Empowerment Communities (EC) execute comprehensive revitalization plans with increased access to a package of federal tax credits, bonding authority and grants for implementation.
- Encourage “in-fill” redevelopment of neglected urban, suburban and rural areas.
- Remove barriers, provide incentives and allow flexibility to identify and remediate industrial and commercial land (brownfields) as a catalyst for redevelopment of economically distressed areas.
- Ensure that any decisions regarding land use rests within the jurisdiction of local governments.
Federal programs and funding are vital to community planning, development, sustainability and progress to guarantee a com- petitive edge in a global marketplace, while providing opportunities for American businesses, communities and families. Many regions were the recipients of HUD’s SCRPG to perform comprehensive regional planning and implementation that provides for sustainable and livable communities. These efforts are critical to the viability of communities.