At the Center for Intergovernmental Partnerships, we seek to identify cross-agency collaborations that promote program assessment, design, and implementation for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments. On October 6, 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation released details for a promising new program called Thriving Communities. This $25 million investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide two years of intensive technical assistance to at least thirty under-resourced and disadvantaged communities to build upon their existing goals to identify, develop, and deliver transportation and community revitalization activities. The program also provides contract funding for three organizations to carry out technical assistance, planning, and capacity-building tools to all communities within the specific cohort they are assigned to support.
The Center has learned good governance requires modernization and the one size fits all approach is often ineffective. With a nation as geographically and culturally diverse as the United States, every community has its own complex strategic and capacity development challenges. The Center is excited that the Thriving Communities program will engage with a wide variety of localities on issues more specifically related to their individual stumbling blocks.
For example, communities selected for the program will receive tailored support from Capacity Builders to prepare application materials for predevelopment activities, workforce development, and clean technology strategies. “No one understands a community’s needs better than those who live there,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This program will help equip more local leaders with the resources, knowledge, and assistance they need to access federal funding and modernize their infrastructure so that it serves the community well for decades to come.”
Upon finalizing community selections, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge will invest an additional $5 million of funding to work with jurisdictions across the country to consider housing needs and infrastructure investment plans. “I am pleased to partner with Secretary Buttigieg and the Department of Transportation on the Thriving Communities program to better integrate housing and transportation planning to improve outcomes for America’s underserved communities,” stated Secretary Fudge. She went on to say , “connecting housing and transportation through transit-oriented development improves housing affordability, reduces automobile dependence, and expands access to employment, schools, health care, and other critical needs and opportunities for residents.”
A siloed governance model provides little opportunity for collaboration on shared goals. Secretaries Buttigieg and Fudge recognize the interconnectedness of transportation and housing with employment, healthcare, and education. The Center’s beliefs align with the Secretaries, as these intersections of agencies and levels of government are the kind of intergovernmental areas we focus on and promote.
To consider applying to the program, ideal communities will have a plan to:
- Improve health outcomes;
- Reduce housing and transportation cost burdens and improve housing conditions;
- Preserve or expand jobs; and
- Increase reliable mobility options for disadvantaged communities and households to better access health care, food, education, and other essential destinations.
Interested applicants can submit a Letter of Interest to the Department of Transportation no later than 11:59 PM Eastern Time on December 6, 2022. For more information, visit the HUD Notice of Funding Opportunity page or register for free online information sessions:
October 11, 2022, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time – Joint DOT-HUD Thriving Communities Program Overview for Prospective Technical Assistance Providers
October 13, 2022, at 4:00 PM Eastern Time – Interested in Receiving Technical Assistance? DOT Thriving Communities Program Overview for Prospective Technical Assistance Recipients
October 19, 2022, at 1:00 PM Eastern Time – Interested in becoming a DOT Thriving Communities Capacity Builder? Thriving Communities Program Overview for Prospective Technical Assistance Providers
If you missed the window to register for a live information session and would like to watch a recording, or have questions related to the Thriving Communities Program, contact ThrivingCommunities@dot.gov