The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Tuesday that Sacramento's Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) has been awarded a $150,000 Community Challenge Planning grant from the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities. The grant was included in the highly competitive 2011 Sustainable Communities grant program, which awarded a total of $97 million, though only 27 communities will be awarded with the Community Challenge grants.The goal behind the Sustainable Communities program is to assist cities in improving their economic competitiveness by connecting their real estate markets with jobs, schools, and transportation. The program was set up to encourage reforms, influencing communities to transform into affordable, sustainable and economically competitive communities. The SHRA will use the grant to establish a Transit Oriented Development Loan Fund in partnership with local companies and organizations. The goal of the fund will be to capitalize on historically low home values by improving the availability of financing for projects deemed important to the Sacramento community.In addition, the grant will be used to try to address the lack of jobs and neighborhood services in TOD neighborhoods by investigating the possibility of creating a food distribution hub there. In addition to creating jobs for local residents, the food hubs would also provide access to fresh fruit and vegetables in urban neighborhoods that do not have access to full service grocers.