The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) will distribute $1.2 trillion to transform the nation’s infrastructure. But how will it help communities that don’t have the tools to access the funding? Enter the Thriving Communities Program (TCP). Under the direction of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), TCP ensures that urban, rural, and Tribal communities that lack resources can receive money for infrastructure projects.
What is the Thriving Communities Program?
TCP guarantees that disadvantaged communities disproportionately affected by environmental, climate, and human health policy outcomes have the technical tools and organizational capacity to compete for federal aid. This access to money should deliver quality infrastructure projects that enable their communities and neighborhoods to thrive.
Funded with $25 million through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, the TCP facilitates the planning and development of transportation and community revitalization activities. It also provides tools to ensure that under-resourced communities can access the historic funding provided in the IIJA. It will be administered by the Build America Bureau at USDOT.
There are two ways to apply for funding from the TCP: A Letter of Interest, and a Notice of Funding Opportunity. For those looking to receive support, you must submit a Letter of Interest by December 6. The TCP will provide technical assistance, planning, and capacity building support to teams of community partners that lack the staffing or technical expertise to scope, fund, and develop infrastructure projects.
A Notice of Funding Opportunity is now open through November 29 for those wishing to become a capacity builder for the communities applying to the TCP. The USDOT also will fund organizations to provide technical assistance, planning, and capacity building support to enable recipient communities to plan and develop transportation and community revitalizations. These improvements might include an increase in mobility, reducing pollution from transportation sources, preserving or expanding jobs, and enhancing connections to health care, education, and food security.
The IIJA provides funding for transformative investments in infrastructure, clean energy, and jobs. However, not every community can leverage the funding. Urban, rural, and Tribal communities that have suffered historic disinvestment often lack the resources and capacity to successfully engage, develop, design, and deliver infrastructure projects. The TCP aims to provide targeted support to navigate federal requirements, identify funding and financing opportunities, and grow long-term capacity to leverage transportation investments to achieve broader economic and community development goals.
This program provides hands-on planning support and access to a diverse set of technical assistance providers available to work directly with communities as they build upon local assets to co-design and advance infrastructure projects that address critical social, economic, environmental, and mobility needs. A pipeline of transformative community-driven infrastructure projects will be advanced across the country to drive inclusive economic growth, build resiliency, and ensure that every place has a chance to thrive.
The program will help communities fully utilize the funding from the IIJA. Be sure to check out our past articles on the IIJA, and come back next week when we look further into the IIJA.