Equity and access to opportunity were critical underpinnings of the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant program. Grantees created a more inclusive conversation on regional issues, with a particular emphasis on engaging those who had traditionally been marginalized from the community planning process. This provided new insight into the disparate burdens and benefits experienced by different groups across a region. One way grantees began to address these disparities was the Fair Housing and Equity Assessment (FHEA), which program participants were required to complete.
HUD provided direct technical assistance to make it easier for grantees to conduct their analysis. After completing their FHEA, regional grantees had a powerful tool for addressing regional issues more effectively and proactively. For local Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) entitlement communities, meanwhile, opting into the regional analysis allowed them to forgo submitting their own analysis while helping to address their own housing equity issues in a more comprehensive and collaborative way than was previously possible.