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(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission will receive $147,878 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through its joint Community Challenge partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).  The Commission will use the funds to collect and analyze data to help community leaders increase the supply of affordable housing within walking distance of food sources.  

"Strong, healthy, livable communities are the backbone of our state and our country," said Shaheen.  "With the funding from this grant, communities in the Upper Valley have the opportunity to become even stronger through the study and implementation of smart growth policies."

"The Regional Planning Commission is very excited about the collaboration within the region that has taken place," said Commission Executive Director Christine Walker.  "There are very few opportunities available at the regional level to assist municipalities with their priorities and we are excited to be given this opportunity through this new HUD/DOT partnership."

The Commission will use the award to establish a Livable Communities Corps to train local citizen volunteers to use GPS equipment and help conduct inventories that will map healthy food sources in the region.  The Housing Needs Assessment will assist the Upper Valley Housing Coalition in promoting sustainable and mixed-use development through local zoning amendments and inclusionary housing opportunities, and a local pilot project will enable communities to better understand and use financing mechanisms to promote energy efficiency.