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White House Neighborhood Working Group Emerges (Sort of)

Some leading lights in the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Working Group wrote a blog post on the White House Office of Urban Affairs web site yesterday. We have written previously about this working group, but they have largely remained in the shadows until now.

The working group includes the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Education (ED), Justice (DOJ), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Treasury.

According to the blog post:

This group is integrating housing, education, justice and health programs with the overarching goal of transforming neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity – neighborhoods that provide the opportunities, resources, and environment for children, youth, and adults to maximize their life outcomes.

The Working Group is pursuing a new approach to Federal engagement with neighborhoods of concentrated poverty that is more interdisciplinary, coordinated, place-based, data- and results-driven, and flexible.

The authors described four programs currently on their radar:

(1) Choice Neighborhoods, a HUD program to transform distressed public and assisted housing into sustainable mixed-income housing that is physically and financially viable over the long-term;

(2) Promise Neighborhoods, an ED program that creates a comprehensive continuum of academic programs and family and community supports, with great schools at the center, that will significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children in the nation’s most distressed communities;

(3) Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation, a DOJ program with a community-based strategy that aims to control and prevent violent crime, drug abuse and gang activity in designated high crime neighborhoods across the country;

(4) Community Health Centers, an HHS program that has for more than four decades provided comprehensive high-quality preventive and primary health care to America’s most medically underserved communities.

We need to learn more about those last two and I guess this is our cue to start.

One of the three blog post authors, Mr. Larkin Tackett (Deputy Director of Promise Neighborhoods), is partly notable because I will never let him live down his use of a dancing metaphor during the popular DOE webinars. Of course, there are worse things than being associated with a classic Motown tune.

The other two authors are less well known to us (well, okay, less well known to me).

  • Thomas Abt, Chief of Staff to the Office of Justice Programs at Justice
  • Luke Tate, Special Assistant to the Secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development

Presumably there is a fourth agency person with the HHS Community Health Centers. To the extent they choose to make themselves public figures, we will proceed to make them famous in our little world, at least to the best of our ability.

Hmmm. I think they may be hiding. I wonder why? (grin)

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Blog | by Dr. Radut