Herrera Beutler says revived CRC plan doesnt qualify for federal money

first_imgU.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler reminded U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Wednesday that a last-ditch effort to resurrect the Columbia River Crossing project still must overcome some difficult hurdles before receiving federal money.CRC critic Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, wrote a letter to Foxx in which she states the Interstate 5 Bridge replacement project has failed to meet funding requirements for its desired $850 million in federal New Starts grants. Most notable, she said, is that Clark County transit officials haven’t approved a plan to pay for light-rail maintenance and operation in Vancouver, and that the Oregon and Washington legislatures still haven’t both put up money for the controversial project.The $3.4 billion project was declared dead after Washington lawmakers declined to commit the state’s $450 million share; Oregon legislators had said they would only commit their share if Washington did. Since then, a new version of the CRC has emerged as a pared-down $2.75 billion effort with Oregon solely at the helm. It would still replace the I-5 Bridge and bring Portland’s light rail to Vancouver, but it wouldn’t update any Washington freeway interchanges north of state Highway 14.So far, the Oregon-led CRC has been viewed as a long shot.“Beginning a multistate project of this magnitude without the approval of one of the involved states and its local citizens would be unprecedented in recent history,” Herrera Beutler wrote. “Without cooperation from Washington state or any commitment to fund operation and maintenance at the local level, the project becomes ‘light rail to nowhere,’ and a completely different project from the plan originally submitted by the CRC.” She also requested that Foxx provide “clarity on the administration’s role going forward and the requirements the project must meet in order to qualify for any federal assistance.”last_img read more

Fannie Mae Offers 10M to Solve Affordability Issues

first_imgFannie Mae Offers $10M to Solve Affordability Issues Fannie Mae is offering $10 million for solutions to the country’s affordable housing issues.  The government-sponsored enterprise issued its Sustainable Communities Innovation Challenge earlier this week.As part of the Challenge, Fannie Mae is requesting proposals from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors for “promising ideas that will help it address the nation’s affordable housing issues,” the GSE reported.According to Jeffery Hayward, EVP and Head of Multifamily at Fannie Mae, the Challenge is part of the GSE’s overall mission to serve the American consumer.“The Challenge is a responsible way for Fannie Mae to uncover and explore innovative solutions to help address the affordable housing crisis in America,” Hayward said. “It supports our broad mission to increase housing opportunities across the country that are safe, sustainable, and affordable. We are excited to collaborate with new partners to source innovative ideas from other sectors.”There will be three parts to the Challenge. The first will focus on the research, design, and development of solutions, and proposals will be accepted through February 23, 2018. Specifically, Fannie is looking for ideas that “expand access to affordable housing in sustainable communities where strong employment opportunities are typically accompanied by high housing costs and improve access to quality employment opportunities for residents of existing affordable housing, while making sure housing is affordable to more people.”The Challenge is just one part of Fannie’s overall Sustainable Communities Partnership and Innovation initiative, which aims to develop “safe, stable, and thriving communities that provide residents with integrated access to quality affordable housing and opportunities for employment, health and wellness, and education.”According to Marie Evans, VP of the Sustainable Communities Partnership and Innovation initiative, the Challenge is designed to tap resources across sectors and industries.“Housing is inextricably linked to the broader community,” Evans said. “Accordingly, we recognize that in order to affect systemic change, affordable housing must be approached holistically, by focusing on where it intersects with key components of a sustainable community. With The Challenge, we are looking for new concepts, designs, and ways of solving our nation’s affordable housing issues from innovators who are working inside and outside of the traditional housing industry. Great ideas can come from anywhere.”To learn more about the Challenge, click here. December 19, 2017 591 Views Sharelast_img read more