New Homeland Security Hub Poised for Nuthouse?


D.C. officials are hoping President Obama will help fund a huge homeland security hub they plan to build on the east campus of St. Elizabeths, a former insane asylum in Washington. According to the Washington Business Journal, the plan is to meet the specs of the president’s Sustainable Communities Initiative, a program with $100 million devoted to assisting transportation, economic development, and sustainability in urban planning efforts across the country.

If officials have their way, WBJ reports, the 173-acre site on the east campus will include 4 million sq.-ft. of development in total, with space for a domestic security university, a tech incubator, subcontractor office space, Federal Emergency Management Agency office space, and work force housing.

The program offers grants up to $5 million. Regional applications are due June 5, and winners will be announced Aug. 2. There are three categories for funding listed in the program:

– Communities that are still in the early stages of planning

– Regions prepared to adopt detailed plans for sustainable communities

– Regions that’d like to make sustainable planning efforts yet need funding for this to take place

While it does seem logical to keep all domestic homeland security facilities as close as possible, that by no means guarantees that the city will receive funding from the national government to make it happen. The city will have to compete with other local jurisdictions through the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, who will match 20 percent of whatever grant is offered. 

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