A UTC alumnus and Senior Advisor for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) addressed regional consortium partners at the UTC University Center where the discussion centered upon regional growth planning and sharing a vision for the future.
Salin G. Geevarghese discussed the Greater Chattanooga area’s newly-awarded Preferred Sustainability Status from HUD, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection. This status awards points for future HUD discretionary funding. It also means applications will meet the region’s integrated sustainable vision and adhere to HUD’s national livability principles, to:
- Provide more transportation choices
- Promote equitable, affordable housing
- Enhance economic competitiveness
- Support existing communities
- Coordinate policies and leverage investments
- Value communities and neighborhoods
“We believe place matters,” said Geevarghese. “Quality of life, competitiveness, connectivity are among the flagship initiatives of the Obama administration.”
As a consortium of Chattanooga and its regional partners makes application for the second round of HUD Sustainable Communities Initiative funding, Geevarghese emphasized that markets, jobs, housing and transportation are all regional issues. He added that problems do not follow jurisdictional lines.
“Process matters. These results are important,” Geevarghese said.