Forty-nine new Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) have been created by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), bringing the total to 370. The OMB also redefined existing MSAs by adding or subtracting counties.
The classification, updated every 10 years, was created to provide nationwide, consistent definitions for collecting and publishing federal statistics for a set of geographic areas. This year,the OMB designated two new sets of statistical areas: Micropolitan Statistical Areas and Combined Statistical Areas.
The Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas include about 93 percent of the U.S. population. MSAs have at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more people. Micropolitan Statistical Areas have at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 but fewer than 50,000 people. Combined Statistical Areas consist of adjacent Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas, in various combinations.
Detailed information about the changes is available at www.whitehouse.gov/omb. Go to "Bulletins."
Participating jurisdictions can use HOME Investment Partnerships funding to buy or rehabilitate manufactured housing units and then sell or rent them to low-income families, according to a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) advisory. The money can also be used to purchase land to be used as manufactured-housing sites.
HUD defines "manufactured housing" as any type of non-motorized, portable unit built on a chassis, connected to utility hookups and intended to be used as a dwelling.
For details, visit www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/lawsregs/notices/2003/03-05.pdf.
Starting in October, those seeking federal grants will be able to browse for funding from 26 agencies at a new one-stop Internet shop. The goal of the federal program, dubbed the "Grants.gov initiative," is to provide one place where customers can find and apply for more than 600 grants. The web portal will be the single point of entry for groups seeking grants and will offer general information and secure processing of transactions or applications. Users will also be able to sign up for e-mail alerts that will notify them when grant competitions have opened.
To read more, go to www.grants.gov.