City Aims to Address Challenges in East Arlington Through Federal Thriving Communities Program Support
By Office of Communications
Posted on April 17, 2024, April 17, 2024

Thriving Communities Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced $23.6 million in funding through the Thriving Communities Program to help 112 communities nationwide, including the City of Arlington, access resources provided by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Thriving Communities Program provides two years of no-cost, intensive technical assistance to under-resourced and disadvantaged communities to help them identify, develop, and deliver transportation projects to achieve locally driven economic development, health, environment, mobility, and access goals.

With support from this program, the City of Arlington will partner with two key community stakeholders, East Arlington Renewal and St. Matthew Catholic Church, to develop a comprehensive blueprint for sustainable, long-term investments designed to reduce community challenges in East Arlington. These issues include access to healthy foods, affordable housing, transportation, jobs, health care and educational opportunities.

“While the City has prioritized community engagement and outreach, it is still challenging to reach the many diverse populations with differing language needs, cultural backgrounds, and socioeconomic profiles. To develop a plan with community buy-in, we will need assistance in building consensus on a vision and action plan for the area,” Transportation Director Alicia Winkelblech said. “A key goal will be to bring together additional community stakeholders using the existing relationship between the City and the key community partners to strengthen communication, build additional capacity, and develop a holistic vision for the area. Following completion of the grant program, the City will have a blueprint that can continue to be implemented in the area and then expanded to other areas that are also disadvantaged.”

The City of Arlington has previously worked with both partners to address community issues. East Arlington Renewal has been a champion for the beautification and revitalization of East Arlington and has partnered with the City since the early 1980s. St. Matthew Catholic Church is centrally located in the target area and offers many outreach opportunities in English and in Spanish. They previously partnered with the City to host community resource fairs and other community empowerment initiatives.

Thriving Communities Program Capacity Builders will provide selected cities, such as Arlington, with project-level technical assistance and planning support on issues such as preparing grant application materials, undertaking pre-development and project delivery activities, designing and deploying more inclusive community engagement strategies, and fostering small business and workforce development.

The Thriving Communities Program prioritized the selection of disadvantaged and under-resourced communities that are working to advance transportation projects to improve health and safety outcomes, reduce housing and transportation cost burdens, preserve, or expand job opportunities, and increase reliable mobility options to better access health care, food, education, and other essential destinations.

"President Biden’s infrastructure law has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity through which communities are reimagining and delivering safe, reliable transportation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Our department is proud to help another 112 under-resourced communities with hands-on assistance to secure federal infrastructure funding, and then deliver those projects well.”

More information is available on the Thriving Communities Program webpage.

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