The Senate Banking Committee recently voted to approve the Livable Communities Act, a proposal to create more sustainable and energy-efficient communities. The bill, sponsored by Chairman Christopher Dodd, provides a series of planning and project implementation grants for communities to help plan and coordinate initiatives to develop affordable housing and public transit solutions.
The bill authorizes $475 million for development of plans for land use, housing and public transportation and provides $2.2 billion for development of affordable housing supported by accessible public transportation. Part of the bill authorizes the creation of a new HUD office, Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, to work across government agencies to foster a coordinated and comprehensive approach to community development.
“This bill also recognizes that the demographics in our nation are shifting significantly. The share of the population over 65 will grow rapidly in coming decades. An AARP survey showed that 71 percent of older Americans want to live within walking distance of transit. More walkable communities that offer access to shopping, medical services, and social amenities can help older Americans age in place, and preserve their independence—even while they curtail their driving,” said Senator Chris Dodd in his prepared remarks.