Doña Ana County is one of 29 communities nationally to win a Federal Housing and Urban Development sustainability challenge grant, the Obama Administration announced on Tuesday. The $2 Million dollar grant will be administered by core partners in the County including New Mexico State University, the City of Las Cruces, the Colonias Development Council, and Tierra del Sol Housing corporation, among others. The Doña Ana County grant will bring new economic development opportunities to the area while preserving the historical settlement pattern of Camino Real.
All across the country, thousands of Americans spend a great amount of time commuting to their jobs. This is precious time that could be spent with their families and not sitting in traffic. As our families grow and our lives get busier, living close to work becomes vital to our quality of life. We are constantly looking for a better solution, something to make things just a little bit easier.
Now, thanks to nearly $96 million in Sustainable Communities Awards announced this week, 27 communities and 29 regions across the country, including residents of Doña Ana County, will be able to establish a more livable, equitable, and economically competitive future. These funds, awarded to two grant programs, are poised to help change the face of communities across the country.
The Community Challenge Grants aim to reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. Awarded to large and small communities, these funds will help address local challenges to integrating transportation and housing. Funds awarded to communities may also be used to retrofit main streets to provide safer routes for children and seniors and to preserve affordable housing and local businesses near new transit stations.
The Regional Planning Grants allows grantees to support efforts that integrate housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure developments. This will empower regions to consider how all of these factors work together to create more jobs and economic opportunities.
As a direct result of this funding thousands of jobs will be created and will impact the lives of 45.8 million Americans, including here in southern New Mexico. The full details of the Grant are below:
Doña Ana County will be awarded $2,000,000 to develop the Camino Real: Regional Plan for Sustainable Development. Through grouping the work into 6 component areas, Doña Ana County hopes to bring new economic development opportunities to the area while preserving the historical settlement pattern of Camino Real. The plan will integrate housing and transportation planning to minimize vehicle miles traveled, and explore innovative ride-sharing and public transit options. The plan will provide a rationale for capital spending decisions so that infrastructure resources that permit higher residential densities are combined in ways that protect existing traditional communities and agricultural lands while encouraging growth patterns that support public transit options. In doing so, this project will build local capacity to plan, promote community engagement and support a more sustainable future.
Anticipated Project Benefits:
- Establishment of coordinated intergovernmental planning and secure agreements
- Alignment of infrastructure investment to ensure equitable land use planning
- Identification of measures to track progress in the creation of sustainable communities
- Engagement in site-specific planning and design of capital projects or programs
Funding Amount: $2,000,000
Core Partners: City of Las Cruces, New Mexico State University, South Central Council of Governments, Las Cruces Metropolitan Planning Organization, El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization, Colonias Development Council, Tierra del Sol Housing corporation.
Read a complete summary of each grant awarded funding on Tuesday.