Metro was one of 23 organizations across the country to receive a Federal Transit Administration grant in 2020 as part of that agency’s Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning. The $1.2 million award will help fund the continued work of the SW Equity Coalition.
The coalition, which emerged from Metro’s Southwest Corridor Equitable Development Strategy (SWEDS), is a public-private venture that was formed to ensure equitable development along the proposed light rail extension in the Southwest Corridor.
“The FTA grant will help keep the coalition accountable to its equity commitments and goals by resourcing community organizations that are organizing in the SW Corridor,” said Equity Coalition Manager Nuhamin Eiden. “It will support businesses that have already been hit hard by COVID-19 to stay engaged in SWEDS for the long haul.”
Metro was first awarded an FTA grant for this project in 2016. That grant allowed Metro to work with partners from the community to explore the impacts of the proposed light rail and other investments in the Southwest Corridor. The goal was to find ways to support community development and prevent displacement. The collaborative nature of that process led to relationships between government agencies, community members, affordable housing providers, and business leaders that launched the SW Equity Coalition.
“In these uncertain and transformative economic times, the Federal Transit Administration grant will allow us to take actions to address displacement pressures and build on existing community partnerships as part of the SW Equity Coalition,” said program manager Brian Harper. “It will also allow us to bring other needed resources to area workers, entrepreneurs of color, women-owned enterprises, and other underserved small businesses. We look forward to working alongside the community to address inequities and chart a path towards stabilization for those being left behind in SW Corridor.”