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S. 1621 (112th): Livable Communities Act of 2011

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 22, 2011.

Livable Communities Act of 2011 - Establishes in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) an Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC).

Requires the OSHC Director to establish a program to make comprehensive planning grants to eligible entities (partnerships between a consortium of units of general local government and an eligible partner or an Indian tribe that meets specified requirements). Defines "eligible partner" as a metropolitan planning organization, a rural planning organization, or a regional council, or one of these and a state, an Indian tribe, a state and an Indian tribe, or an institution of higher education.

Requires the use of a comprehensive planning grant to carry out a project to: (1) coordinate locally defined planning processes, across jurisdictions and agencies; (2) identify regional partnerships for developing and implementing a comprehensive regional plan; (3) conduct or update assessments to determine regional needs and promote economic and community development; (4) develop or update a comprehensive regional plan or goals and strategies to implement an existing comprehensive regional plan and other related activities; and (5) identify local zoning and other code changes necessary to implement a comprehensive regional plan and promote sustainable development.

Requires the use of a community challenge grant to: (1) promote integrated planning and investments across policy and governmental jurisdictions, and (2) implement projects identified in a comprehensive regional plan.

Authorizes the Secretary of HUD to make or guarantee (up to 75% of) loans to eligible governmental, corporate, or partnership borrowers for infrastructure development projects used to support transit-oriented development.

Requires the Director of the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control to lead the federal initiative to support healthy housing and eradicate housing-related health hazards.

Requires the Secretary to study how sustainable building features in housing, such as energy efficiency, affect: (1) the quality of the indoor environment, (2) the prevalence of housing-related health hazards, and (3) the health of such occupants.

States that no housing assisted using a grant under this Act may be made available to an individual who is not lawfully present in the United States.