(From the Wire includes press releases received from reliable sources that help tell the story of the many happenings in Greater Downtown Phoenix. Yep, they are ripped from our inbox.)

(left to right) Mayor elect Greg Stanton, HUD regional administrator Ophelia Basgal, Congressman Pastor, City Manager David Cavazos and Mayor Gordon

This morning, Ophelia Basgal, regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), announced a $2.9 million Sustainable Communities Grant to the city’s Planning and Development Department to fund a program to promote transit-oriented development along the light rail line.

Congressman Ed Pastor, Mayor Phil Gordon, Mayor-Elect Greg Stanton and City Manager David Cavazos joined Administrator Basgal, community members, business partners and other stakeholders for the morning announcement at the light rail station at 24th and Washington streets.

“We chose the City of Phoenix’s proposal because the city not only had a great plan – but the right community partnerships and a vision for success,” said Administrator Basgal. “It is with partners like Mayor Gordon and Congressman Pastor that we’ve proven that small investments can yield big results for our economy – and that this debate isn’t about government that’s big or small. It’s about government that’s smart.”

The Reinvent Phoenix: Cultivating Equity, Engagement, Economic Development and Design Excellence with Transit Oriented Development Program includes area research, short- and-long-range planning, community engagement and development incentives to set the foundation that will encourage commercial and housing development along the light rail.

“Thank you to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for continuing its legacy of investing in the residents of Phoenix,” said Mayor Gordon. “This grant will continue Phoenix’s rise on the national and world stage – to become a model for innovation, sustainability and quality of life for all.”

The city of Phoenix received the fourth-largest grant amount during this funding cycle. HUD received more than $500 million in funding requests from communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico for the $96 million in available funding.

During the next three years, the Reinvent Phoenix Program will promote, encourage and provide incentives for transit-oriented development along the light rail line to provide all residents with safe, convenient access to quality, affordable housing, well-paying jobs, education and training programs, fresh food and healthcare services.

Core partners include: Arizona State University, St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Luke’s Health Initiative, Mountain Park Health Center, METRO, Discovery Triangle Development Corp., Urban Land Institute, American Institute of Architects, American Society of Landscape Architects, Southwest Autism Research Center, Arizona Bridge to Independent Living, Phoenix Union High School District, Maricopa County Community Colleges, Art Link, Local First Arizona, Native American Connections, Gorman and Co., Inc., Cloudbreak Phoenix LLC, Bethel Development Inc., NRP Group, Desco Inc.