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Preferred Sustainability Status

Preferred Sustainability Status Certification Request



In 2011, the Baltimore metropolitan region received a Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As a result of this award, entities from our region who apply for certain federal grant programs are eligible to request Preferred Sustainability Status (PSS) certification from the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC). PSS certification gives an application special consideration and/or bonus points from the awarding federal agency. Read More information about the Baltimore Sustainable Communities Initiative, including our application narrative, in this announcement: BMC Awarded $3.5M HUD Grant

Who is eligible for PSS certification?

Any entity (governmental or non-governmental) within the Baltimore metropolitan region applying for a federal grant that recognizes PSS may request certification from BMC. Our region includes Baltimore City, and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties.

Do all federal grants recognize PSS certification?

No. Only certain federal grant programs recognize PSS. The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) will clearly state whether a particular grant program recognizes PSS and the type of consideration to be awarded. The majority, but not all, of the grant programs that recognize PSS are HUD programs. These HUD grant programs include:

  • Section 4 Capacity Building (FYs 11 and 12)
  • Rural Innovation Program (FY 11)
  • SHOP (FY 11 and 12) FHIP (FY 12)
  • Lead-Based Hazard Control and reduction (FY 12)
  • Healthy Homes Production grants (FY 12)
  • Assisted Living Conversion program (FY 12)
  • Housing Counseling Program (FY 12)
  • Tenant Resource Network Program (FY 12)
  • Public Housing Capital Fund Education and Community Facilities (FY 11)
  • Choice Neighborhoods (FY 12)
  • HOPE VI (FY 11)
  • HOPE VI Main St. Program (FY 11)
  • Section 202 (FY 12)
  • Section 811 (FY 12)

How does my application get certified for PSS?

Certification requests should be emailed to Mike Kelly (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and include a short description of the application (limit 2 pages), with the following information. 

  1. A short narrative of the proposed project/program including the location of the project, with any relevant information about transportation choices to the location and/or nearby housing choices. The short narrative must include the name of the applicant and the name of the federal program to which you are applying.
  2. How the proposed project aligns with one or more of the Livability Principles? The Livability Principles are:
    • Provide more transportation choices. Develop safe, reliable, and economical transportation choices to decrease household transportation costs, reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote public health.
    • Promote equitable, affordable housing. Expand location- and energy-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities to increase mobility and lower the combined cost of housing and transportation.
    • Enhance economic competitiveness. Improve economic competitiveness through reliable and timely access to employment centers, educational opportunities, services and other basic needs by workers, as well as expanded business access to markets.
    • Support existing communities. Target federal funding toward existing communities—through strategies like transit-oriented, mixed-use development and land recycling—to increase community revitalization and the efficiency of public works investments and safeguard rural landscapes.
    • Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment. Align federal policies and funding to remove barriers to collaboration, leverage funding, and increase the accountability and effectiveness of all levels of government to plan for future growth, including making smart energy choices such as locally generated renewable energy.
    • Value communities and neighborhoods. Enhance the unique characteristics of all communities by investing in healthy, safe, and walkable neighborhoods—rural, urban, or suburban.
    • Protecting the Chesapeake Bay. Promote location efficient and low-impact development in the region, and more specifically by developing a Green and Healthy Housing Program aimed at preserving and rehabilitating existing housing in the region in a “green” manner that considers the water downstream.
  3. How the applicant will commit to maintain an on-going relationship with the Baltimore Sustainable Communities Initiative, for the purposes of being part of the planning and implementation processes in the designated area

BMC staff will review the request based on the following criteria outlined above. If it is determined that a proposed project meets these criteria, the BMC will complete HUD Form 2995 and provide it the applicant.

To ensure that we have sufficient time to review your request, please submit your request to us at least ten business days before your grant is due. Once a request is approved, BMC will provide you with a completed HUD 2995 certification form.

Advance notice of intent to apply is appreciated.

The applicant is responsible for including the HUD Form 2995 in its grant application. The Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC) staff will review the certification and alert the program office in question whether an entity qualifies for the bonus points. While the HUD 2995 certification form is the driving document in this process, HUD retains the right to do additional diligence to confirm that the points are merited, and to determine whether to award the bonus points.

Point of contact:

Michael B. Kelly
General Counsel and Government Relations
Baltimore Metropolitan Council
Offices @ McHenry Row
1500 Whetstone Way, Suite 300
Baltimore, Maryland 21230-4767
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 July 2017 18:46