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HUD Sustainable Communities Planning Grant

The HUD Sustainable Communities Planning Grant's goal is to expand existing affordable and energy efficient housing options and connect them to job centers, healthy food and shopping options through an enhanced Washtenaw Avenue transportation corridor. By pursuing several activities, Washtenaw County can meet this goal. The project's activities cover the urbanized area of Washtenaw County and can be grouped into six categories. 


ReImagine Washtenaw Avenue

The Reimagine Washtenaw project involves a comprehensive review of the entire Washtenanaw Avenue corridor including the different transportation, housing and shopping options available to people living on or around the corridor. There will be a right-of-way analysis, multi-modal and non-motorized improvements, as well as comprehensive planning and zoning.

The City of Ypsilanti Master Plan revision and zoning rewrite will anchor and complement an enhanced Washtenaw Avenue Corridor through public engagement, a housing and demographics analysis, and identification of transit-oriented development opportunities. 

New development and affordable housing in Ann Arbor

The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority's Connecting William Street project is an effort to transform five city-owned parking lots to better serve the community.

The Ann Arbor Housing Commission is looking to develop a green affordable housing demonstration project that will expand housing choices and educate the public about energy efficiency home technologies.  

Community development in Ypsilanti

Habitat for Humanity and the Community Alliance will acquire foreclosed properties to expand the inventory of quality affordable housing.

The EMU Institute for the study of Children, Families, and Communities and SOS Community Services will work with the new residents at the newly rehabilitated Hamilton Crossing community to create plans for family financial self-sufficiency.

The Washtenaw Area Transportation Study (WATS) will improve pedestrian and bicycle access for residents by evaluating and designing a safe crossing at the I-94/Huron/Whitaker intersection.

Region-wide efforts

The Washtenaw County Public Health Department, the University of Michigan, and Casa Latina will conduct a baseline survey of the health and well-being factors of Latino residents that will include those residents in planning and implementing the survey, sharing the results, and prioritizing health and social service improvements.

The Arts Alliance will work in conjunction with the other grant activities to support the planning and design of art projects into the overall grant.

The City of Ann Arbor Systems Planning Department will lead and create a community-wide energy strategy to accelerate energy efficiency improvements in rental housing.  

Food business and urban agriculture

Growing Hope will provide garden leadership training to empower residents to revive neighborhoods through gardening and supporting health-food entrepreneurs.

The Seeds for Change: Growing Local Prosperity project will develop a food-skills and job placement training academy for the chronically unemployed and will identify partnerships for a food incubator facility to create new food related businesses.

Community engagement

A focus of the project is to include residents in the public planning process who have traditionally been underrepresented, including the elderly, minorities, residents whose first language is not English, and the disabled among others. There will be targeted community engagement with Ypsilanti neighborhood organizations and residents in West Willow, Nancy Park, and neighborhoods south of Michigan Avenue to advance community quality of life goals. Also, a committee of all the project leads will work to incorporate this principle throughout their activities.


For more information about the project, contact Stephen Wade at or 734-544-3056.

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