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Publication #FCS7218-Eng

Sustainable Community Development Step 5: Identify Sources of Help1

M.E. Swisher, Sandra Rezola and James Sterns2


This document contains lists of resources for developing a sustainable community. There are two lists, one containing national resources and a second containing Florida resources.

Identify Sources of Help

State, federal and private programs may be available to assist your community in developing, funding and implementing sustainability projects. The following list, while by no means exhaustive, provides links to resources that may assist your community in identifying technical and funding assistance for a sustainability initiative.

National Resources

EPA's Office of Sustainability Ecosystems and Communities: This office is involved in developing and supporting demonstration projects, tools, and policies that support community-based environmental protection activities. In addition, the EPA created a Guidebook of Financial Tools: Paying for Sustainable Environmental Systems, a directory of means to fund environmental protection and restoration activities.

  • U.S Department of Energy's Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development: This center provides resources and funding opportunities for sustainable development initiatives.

  • U.S Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration: EDA's mission is to generate jobs, help retain existing jobs, and stimulate industrial and commercial growth in economically-distressed communities. Their website provides grant requirements, and program and funding information.

  • EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response: This office is involved in brownfields cleanup revolving loan fund programs that provide financial assistance for the environmental cleanup of brownfields and also funds assessment demonstration pilot programs to assess brownfields sites and facilitate cleanup.

  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: This department provides funding for community revitalization and development.

  • Department of Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service: This department provides information about fish and wildlife habitat protection in Florida.

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture's Community Facilities Grant Program: Community Programs provides grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population.

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service: NRCS can provide grants for land conservation, water management, community development, and environmental needs.

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture's Water and Waste Programs: This program provides loans and grants for water waste disposal, solid waste management, and technical assistance.

  • National Association of Counties and the United States Conference of Mayors' Joint Center for Sustainable Communities: The Joint Center helps local elected officials build sustainable communities by promoting community leadership initiatives, providing technical assistance and training, and conducting community policy and educational forums.

  • International Council for Local Environmental Initiative's Local Sustainability Project: This project provides technical and financial support to local-level initiatives to address sustainable development and poverty alleviation and environmental problems.

  • Local Government Commission's Center for Livable Communities: The Center provides awards for programs that can help communities expand transportation alternatives, reduce infrastructure costs, create more affordable housing, improve air quality, preserve natural resources, conserve agricultural land and open space, and restore local economic and social vitality.

  • EPA's Office of Research and Development/National Science Foundation's Partnership for Environmental Research: This entity provides information about environmental research grants.

  • US Department of Transportation's Livable Communities Initiative: This initiative supports development of transit facilities and services that promote more livable communities.

Florida Resources

• Florida Department of Community Affairs

  • Florida Energy Extension Service

  • Florida Housing Coalition

  • Florida House Institute for Sustainable Development

  • Florida House Learning Center

  • Florida Main Street

  • Florida Sustainable Communities Center

  • Florida Yards & Neighborhoods

  • Keep Florida Beautiful

  • UF Center for Construction and Environment



This document is FCS7218-Eng, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date September 2003. Revised September 2006. Reviewed July 2012. Visit the EDIS website at


M.E. Swisher, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Sandra Rezola, M.S., Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and James Sterns, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.