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Senate Committee Approves Bill to Promote Sustainable Communities

"Workers across the nation are living farther away from their jobs and commuting longer distances," said committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut. "Our roadways are ever more crowded, and this strains our infrastructure. Farmland and open spaces are disappearing, and the impact on the environment from the large numbers of cars on the road is adding significantly to the problems of oil dependence and climate change."
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Senate Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs Committee approved the Livable Communities Act by voice vote. The legislation aims to improve the coordination between housing, community development, transportation, energy and environmental policies to help create better places to live, work, and raise families.

Sponsors said S 1619 would promote sustainable development to enable communities to cut traffic congestion, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and oil consumption. As a benefit to the landscape industry, the bill would protect farmland and green spaces, revitalize existing Main Streets and urban centers, spur economic development and create more affordable housing.

Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd and other supporters of the bill d that too many Americans have settled into suburban communities that do not have access to public transportation. This has left no alternatives to commuting to work by automobile. Traffic congestion has greatly increased across the country, something the bill aims to fix by encouraging smart planning of communities to ensure that more-efficient and affordable housing is created along transit lines.

S 1619 would authorize nearly $3 billion of general revenue for the creation of an Office of Sustainable Housing & Communities within the Department of Housing & Urban Development. That office would distribute the money through two competitive grant programs to projects that support regional efforts to improve access to transit and promote walkable development.

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November 13, 2019, 7:20 pm PDT

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