Northeast Ohio Wins A $4.25 Million U.S. Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant; Collaboration Key to Securing Federal Investment for Sustainable Planning, Job Creation and Economic Growth

CLEVELAND--Oct. 14, 2010--Northeast Ohio has been awarded a $4.25 million dollar grant from the U.S. Sustainable Communities Program, an initiative designed to support regional approaches to land use, housing, environmental and economic development issues. Northeast Ohio is one of 45 communities selected nationwide. The money will be used to develop a cooperative regional plan to address housing, transportation, environmental impact and economic development for Northeast Ohio. The grant was/will be announced by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan on Friday, October 15 at 9 a.m. in Cleveland. Led by The Fund for Our Economic Future and several of its member foundations, more than 20 public and private sector organizations submitted the grant application in an unprecedented effort of regional cooperation. “This is a great day for Northeast Ohio. Collaboration is integral to transforming and revitalizing our region,” said Brad Whitehead, President of The Fund for Our Economic Future. “Thanks to the vision and enthusiasm of the application consortium, we have successfully collaborated to plan for the region’s future. This grant gives us a unique opportunity to work together to create a better, more efficient way to capitalize on our assets and manage our physical and economic growth in the future.” The consortium that won the grant is called the Northeast Ohio Consortium for a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development and it includes four metropolitan planning organizations, six county governments, five city governments and educational and nonprofit institutions from across Northeast Ohio. This marks the first time that all of the organizations involved have applied jointly for a federal grant.  

Several key elements that will be included in the regional planning effort: land use, transportation and mobility alternatives and infrastructure, equitable housing policies and priorities, community and neighborhood development policies and priorities, and economic development growth policies and priorities.The Fund, a collaboration of philanthropy in Northeast Ohio, helped pay for the consultants that organized the consortium and wrote the grant application. The George Gund Foundation in Cleveland, the Raymond John Wean Foundation in Warren, the Nord Family Foundation in Lorain County, the Stark Community Foundation, the GAR Foundation in Akron and the Community Foundation of Lorain County also contributed funds to organize the application. The application was formally submitted by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), the metropolitan planning organization that serves five counties in Northeast Ohio. The other MPOs participating in the consortium serve seven additional counties in Northeast Ohio. “This is grant represents a tangible first step in advancing Northeast Ohio,” said Joel Ratner, President Raymond John Wean Foundation in Mahoning Valley. “Collaboration and planning across the region will help lay the groundwork for future success and making Northeast Ohio a more sustainable, vibrant and livable community.” 

The Consortium Participants are: Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) Eastgate Regional Council of Governments (Eastgate) Stark County Regional Planning Commission/Stark County Area Transportation Study (RPC/SCATS) Cuyahoga County Lorain County Mahoning County Stark County Summit County Trumbull County City of Akron City of Canton City of Cleveland City of Warren City of Youngstown Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority Cleveland State University Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Fund for Our Economic Future Regional Prosperity Initiative Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority ### About the Fund for Our Economic Future The Fund for Our Economic Future (www.futurefundneo.org) is a collaboration of more than 100 foundations, organizations and philanthropists from across Northeast Ohio that strengthens the region’s economic competitiveness through grantmaking, public engagement and research.