Sustainable Strategies DC
500 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 261-9881

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Sustainable Strategies DC is a government affairs & strategic consulting firm helping clients obtain resources for revitalization & tools for success in the green economy.

Based in Washington DC, Sustainable Strategies DC provides local governments, non-profits, coalitions, and green technology firms with strategic consulting, federal advocacy, funding support, grants advocacy, issue campaign management, environmental legal services, and other assistance.  Our focus areas include community revitalization, sustainable community development, infrastructure investment, environmental and clean energy technologies, clean transportation, brownfields redevelopment, and other sustainability issues.

Led by experienced sustainability advocates and government affairs experts, including CEO Matt Ward and President Andrew Seth, and boosted by strategic alliances with a team of specialized firms, Sustainable Strategies DC will help you obtain the results you seek on sustainable community and green technology issues. 

Looking for project funding?  Need support for a clean energy or environmental restoration project?  Seeking a public or private partner on your infrastructure project?  Trying to overcome tough legal, regulatory or environmental policy challenges?  Do you need a strategy or assessment of your project's opportunities and how you might navigate the federal process?  Want to get something done in Washington, DC?  The team at Sustainable Strategies DC has a solid track record of helping organizations create and implement strategies that can help you secure resources for revitalization and tools for success in the green economy.  Let us know how we can serve you.

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Hot News & Issues

Funding Available for Innovative Urban Solutions
Bloomberg Philanthropies has announced the availability of $45 million in competitive grants to help cities create teams that use data and other tools to come up with innovative solutions to complex urban problems. The Innovation Delivery Grants program encourages government officials to consider innovation as a process and build innovation teams to stimulate idea generation techniques and promote a structured, data-driven approach to delivering results. Bloomberg Philanthropies tested the Innovation Delivery approach through a multi-year investment in five cities – Altanta, Chicago, Louisville, Memphis, and New Orleans – with great results. In this second round, an eligible city must have a population above 100,000 and be led by a mayor who has at least two years left in office. Competitive applications will effectively explain how innovative problem solving can be implemented within a city’s unique organizational structure to solve challenges ranging from climate impacts to murder reduction, using diverse, data-driven techniques. Grant awards will be in a range up to $1 million for a three-year period. The foundation expects to select 10 to 15 cities to be named by the end of the year. The deadline for applications is October 6, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or

Grants Available to Support Economic Development Projects
The Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Economic Development Assistance Program provides grants to support job creation in economically distressed areas of the United States. Public Works investments support the construction or rehabilitation of essential public infrastructure and facilities. EDA grants can also support green economic development, including renewable energy, green building, energy efficiency, and recycling projects. Sustainable Strategies DC has helped localities nationwide secure EDA funding for their community priorities. The deadline for applications is October 17, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or

Smart Growth Training Available
Smart Growth America makes a limited number of technical assistance workshops available to interested communities for zero cost each year. This competitive award gives communities a chance to understand the technical aspects of smart growth development through a one- or two-day workshop. The deadline for applications is November 3, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or

Funding Available for Transit-Oriented Development
The Federal Transportation Administration (FTA) has announced the availability of $20 million in funding for local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning with a transit capital investment that will seek funding through the FTA’s Fixed Guideway Capital Investment Grants. Grants will range from $250,000 to $2 million, with 20 percent required match. Comprehensive planning funded through the program must examine ways to improve economic development and ridership, foster multimodal connectivity and accessibility, improve transit access for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, engage the private sector, identify infrastructure needs, and enable mixed-use development near transit stations. FTA is seeking comprehensive planning projects covering an entire transit capital project corridor, rather than proposals that involve planning for individual station areas or only a small section of the corridor. Transit capital projects must be New Starts, Core Capacity or fixed-guideway Small Starts projects to be eligible. Competitive projects will include strategies to support housing affordability and address residential and commercial displacement that can sometimes occur when transit capital projects are implemented. The deadline for applications is November 3, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or

Assistance Available for High-Poverty Communities
The Obama Administration has announced the second round of the Promise Zone competition, which invites urban, rural and tribal communities with high-poverty levels to compete for Promise Zone designation by putting forward a plan to partner with local business and community leaders to make evidence-based investments that reward hard work and expand opportunity. Promise Zone designation allows communities to receive preferred access to certain competitive federal investments, federal staff on the ground to help them implement their goals, and five full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to recruit and manage volunteers to strengthen the capacity of Promise Zone partners. Earlier this year, the President announced partnerships with the first five Promise Zones – San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Kentucky Highlands, and Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma – which are now implementing their plans to create jobs, improve educational opportunities, increase economic security, and reduce violent crime. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture intend to name at least eight more Promise Zones in this round. The deadline for applications is November 3, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or

Funding Available for Creative Placemaking
ArtPlace America has announced the fifth round of its National Grants Program. ArtPlace America is a 10-year collaboration between 14 foundations, 8 federal agencies, and 6 financial institutions. The National Grants Program is one of several ArtPlace programs designed to invest in creative placemaking projects that involve cross-sector partners committed to strengthening the social, physical, and economic fabric of their communities through arts and culture. ArtPlace America provides support for projects that lead through the arts, integrate with a community’s economic development and revitalization strategies, and have the potential to attract additional support. Due to the commitments of several of ArtPlace’s foundation partners, approximately 50% of the $10 million to be disbursed in 2015 is restricted to projects in Alaska, California, and Minnesota; for rural communities throughout Arizona, Iowa, the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin; and for the cities of Akron, OH; Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, MA; Charlotte, NC; Detroit, MI; Macon, GA; Miami, FL; Greater Philadelphia, PA; San Jose, CA; and St. Paul, MN. Several funders are also interested in ensuring the participation and representation of folk and traditional arts, Native American arts, and the performing arts. ArtPlace America will provide communities with grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. The deadline for applications is November 3, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or

Funding Available for Rural Community Development Projects
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the availability of approximately $6 million in competitive grant funds for its Rural Community Development Initiative, which seeks to help rural communities realize their long-term economic development goals. Grants of up to $250,000 can be used for, but are not limited to, the following purposes: (1) Provide technical assistance to develop recipients’ capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development; (2) Develop the capacity of recipients to conduct community development programs; (3) Develop the capacity of recipients to increase their leveraging ability and access to alternative funding sources by providing training and staffing; (4) Develop the capacity of recipients to provide the technical assistance component for essential community facilities projects; (5) Assist recipients in completing predevelopment requirements for housing, community facilities, or community and economic development projects by providing resources for professional services; and (6) Improve recipient’s organizational capacity by providing training and resource material on developing strategic plans, board operations, management, financial systems, and information technology. Eligible applicants are qualified private, nonprofit, and public intermediary organizations proposing to carry out financial and technical assistance programs related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development in rural areas. The deadline for applications is November 12, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or

Funding Available for Arts Engagement, Cultural Planning, and Design Projects
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced the availability of funding to support a variety of arts engagement, cultural planning, and design projects across the country in rural and urban communities of all sizes. Projects should represent the distinct character and quality of their communities, and must reflect a vision for enhancing the livability of the community, a systemic approach to equitable civic development, and support for artists, design professionals, and arts organizations by integrating the arts and design into the fabric of civic life. Arts engagement projects include festivals and performances that activate space not normally used for such purposes, innovative arts programming, and public art that improves public spaces. Cultural planning projects support the development of local support systems necessary for creative placemaking to succeed through creative asset mapping, cultural district planning, creative industry cluster/hub development, and development of community-wide strategies for public art. Design projects demonstrate artistic excellence while supporting the development of creative places, including design of public spaces, parks, plazas, infrastructure, bridges, and rehearsal, studio, or live/work spaces for artists. NEA will award grants up to $200,000, requiring a 1:1 match. The deadline for applications is December 3, 2014. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or

Great Lakes Restoration Funding Available
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) Coastal Program provides technical and financial assistance to coastal communities and landowners to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat on public and private lands. Projects are developed strategically, in coordination with partners, and with substantial involvement from FWS field biologists. Funding is available to coastal areas within the Great Lakes basin, including parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Project funding ranges from $40,000 to $150,000; approximately $400,000 is available in 2014. Eligible applicants include state, county, city or township governments, special district governments, independent school districts, public and State controlled institutions of higher education, private institutions of higher education, Native American tribal governments and organizations, nonprofit organizations, individuals, for profit organizations, and small businesses. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or

Funding Available for Green Infrastructure
Since 2009, states have been required to spend a portion of their Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) dollars on projects that address green infrastructure, water or energy efficiency improvements, or environmentally innovative activities. In FY 2014, Congress and President Obama have provided another $1.45 billion to capitalize the CWSRF program, and mandated that no less than 10 percent of these funds be dedicated to the Green Project Reserve, or approximately $145 million nationwide. The state agencies that administer CWSRF programs have developed different methods to disperse Green Project Reserve dollars. Contact Sustainable Strategies DC for help in navigating how Green Project Reserve dollars are spent in your state. Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at
(202) 261-9881 or

$750 Million Authorized in FY 2013 for Transportation Loans, Lines of Credit and Loan Guarantees
The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program provides secured loans, lines of credit and loan guarantees for eligible surface transportation projects. Eligible projects include highways, transit and intermodal, passenger rail, and intelligent transportation systems. Generally, the minimum size for TIFIA projects is $50 million ($25 million in rural communities). The recently signed transportation reauthorization legislation - Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) - authorizes $750 million for the TIFIA program in FY 2013, a significant boost above the FY 2012 level of $120 million. Entities wishing to apply for TIFIA credit assistance must first submit a Letter of Interest.
Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at (202) 261-9881 or

Bonds Available for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects
In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated $3.2 billion in bond volume for the Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECB). QECBs are debt instruments that states, local governments and tribes can issue at extremely low rates to fund energy conservation projects, including energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy installations, green community programs, and public education campaigns. Each state received a QECB allocation proportionate to its population, which was subsequently sub-allocated to their largest local governments (cities and counties of 100,000 population or more). While a number of localities have successfully used QECBs, much of the $3.2 billion allocation remains unissued. In most states, cities and counties interested in funding energy projects with QECBs can still tap into unused allocations.
Click here for more information. Contact Andrew Seth at (202) 261-9881 or for additional details.














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