Biden-Harris Administration Awards $21.15 million Through New Thriving Communities Program to Help 64 Communities Better Access Federal Funding
The Thriving Communities Program funds tailored technical assistance to under-resourced and disadvantaged communities, helping them better access historic infrastructure investments and deliver transformative projects.
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced funding through the Thriving Communities program to help 64 communities across the country have a fair shot to access historic funding opportunities provided by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
The program provides two years of no-cost intensive technical assistance to under-resourced and disadvantaged communities to help identify, develop, and deliver transportation projects that strengthen communities. In the first year of this program a large proportion of the communities selected had submitted previous applications for federal funding that were unsuccessful in large part because they did not have the same resources to complete their applications. The Thriving Communities Program will grow the pipeline of communities that can successfully compete for federal funding.
Thriving Communities funding will help selected communities get technical assistance for a variety of tasks – from preparing application materials and predevelopment activities, to deploying innovative community engagement, workforce development, and clean technology strategies. Interested communities submitted Letters of Interest for support and were selected through a competitive process.
"The historic investments we are making in America’s infrastructure must reach the communities that need them the most,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “With the new Thriving Communities program, we are helping under-resourced communities better access federal funding for transportation projects that will create jobs, improve safety, and strengthen their economies.”
The Thriving Communities Program prioritized the selection of disadvantaged communities – especially small, rural, and Tribal communities – that are working to advance projects 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.
“Growing an inclusive and stable economy requires technical assistance that helps communities develop and advance projects that connect people to the resources they need,” said Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy Christopher Coes.
Selected communities will be grouped into four "Communities of Practice" identified by USDOT based on their unique technical assistance needs. The Communities of Practice are:
- Main Streets – Focused on Tribal, rural and small-town communities and the interconnected transportation, community, and economic development issues they face.
- Complete Neighborhoods – Focused on urban and suburban communities located within Metropolitan Planning Organization planning areas working to better advance complete streets policies and coordinate transportation with land use, housing, and economic development.
- Complete Transit-Oriented Neighborhoods – Focused on urban and suburban communities located within metropolitan regions working to advance equitable transit-oriented development and improve safe, reliable and accessible transit service.
- Networked Communities – Focused on those communities located near ports, airports, freight, and rail facilities to address mobility, access, housing, environmental justice, and economic issues.
Thriving Communities is one part of the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to ensuring that all communities have an equal opportunity to benefit from federal infrastructure funding. USDOT’s technical assistance is part of the Thriving Communities Network, an interagency initiative among the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, Commerce, and Agriculture, as well as the General Services Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Each agency in the Thriving Communities Network is committed to coordinating and collaborating to ensure federal place-based technical assistance and capacity building resources are delivered to communities experiencing a history of economic distress and systemic disinvestment.
“Communities that have long faced historic underinvestment and disadvantage are finally going to get the technical assistance they need to explore innovative concepts and build better transportation solutions through the Thriving Communities Program,” said Build America Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian.
Thriving Communities is one of several USDOT programs managed by the Build America Bureau that provide technical assistance. Other programs to be announced soon include:
- Regional Infrastructure Accelerators Program – this program will provide $24 million in grants to build regional project development capacity. The program’s third Notice of Funding Opportunity will be released in the coming weeks.
- Rural and Tribal Technical Assistance Pilot Program – created by BIL, this program will provide $10 million in grants for rural and tribal communities for early-stage project development over five years. The program is expected to accept applications later this spring for the first $3.4 million in grants.
The Thriving Communities Program is one of the USDOT programs covered under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative.
More information about the Thriving Communities Program and selected communities is available HERE.