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More Details Emerge About President’s Proposed “Promise Zones”

In April, the White House released its FY2014 budget proposal which included a new neighborhood revitalization program dubbed Promise Zones. Few details emerged until recently, when HUD’s Office of Community Planning & Development posted more information, along with some helpful FAQs, online.
The interagency, place-based Promise Zones program is inspired by the existing Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. Communities suffering from intransigent, high poverty may propose projects and must “identify a set of outcomes they will pursue to revitalize their communities, develop a strategy supporting those outcomes, and realign resources accordingly.” Promise Zone projects must be individualized and responsive to local community needs. The role of the federal government will be to “partner with and invest in communities to create jobs, leverage private investment, increase economic activity, expand educational opportunities, and improve public safety.”
Up to 20 communities will be selected for Promise Zone assistance over the next four years, including up to five communities this year. Promise Zone designees will also receive competitive preference in existing NRI grant programs, such as Promise Neighborhoods, Choice Neighborhoods, and Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation. For 2013, designees will be chosen to apply from a list of 75 existing grantees of NRI and similar programs. Based on the pilot application process, draft qualifying and competitive criteria for future Promise Zones competitions will be released for public comment later this year. For more information, email promisezone@hud.gov.

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Blog | by Dr. Radut