Washington, D.C. –The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments announced at today’s COG Board of Directors meeting that all 21 of its participating local governments have endorsed Region Forward, a new planning guide for achieving environmental, housing, transportation, and other regional goals. It features a voluntary compact agreement that asks area governments to pledge to use their best efforts to advance the goals in Region Forward.
This week, the Manassas City Council and Prince George’s County Council became the 20th and 21st city and county councils to endorse Region Forward, which completed a four-month outreach effort by COG. It also represents the first time local governments in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia have supported a comprehensive regional vision plan.
“Having strong support for Region Forward from all of our jurisdictions is a major milestone for the National Capital Region, and it will help us compete with other regions as we seek to build more accessible, sustainable, prosperous and livable communities,” said David Robertson, COG Executive Director.
After the announcement, the Board of Directors authorized COG to submit an application on behalf of the D.C. region for a HUD Sustainable Communities Planning Grant. The new grant program offers up to $5 million in federal funding, including a 20% regional match of cash or in-kind contributions, to create detailed regional plans for sustainable development.
COG Board Members noted the similarities between the HUD Livability Principles guiding the grant program and the goals in Region Forward, such as more transportation choices, equitable, affordable housing, and support for existing communities.
“The HUD grant is an excellent opportunity for us to take what we’ve built and agreed to in Region Forward, and use it as a vehicle to achieve our goals,” said Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman, who led the public-private coalition that developed Region Forward.
The HUD grant application is due on August 23.
To read the Region Forward report, click here. For a web site featuring its goals, targets, compact, and endorsements, click here.