Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Administration Announces Promise Zones

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released information about Promise Zones – an initiative first announced in President Obama’s State of the Union Address in early 2013. Sharing information on the HUD website, as well as an accompanying FAQ document, HUD outlines the key components of the Promise Zones initiative, as well as a list of neighborhood eligible to participate in the 2013 round of Promise Zones designations.

The Promise Zones initiative builds on the Administration’s existing commitment to revitalizing high-poverty communities through the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI). Having already invested more than $350 million in 100 of the nation’s persistently impoverished neighborhoods, Promise Zones will continue the federal government’s efforts to partner with and invest in communities in order to spark job creation and improve access to affordable housing, educational opportunities and community safety. The Promise Zones initiative will build on the work of existing NRI programs and provide communities with an opportunity to accelerate revitalization efforts through increased access to federal supports and programs.

As outlined in the FAQ document, the Administration will designate 20 of the highest poverty urban, rural and tribal communities as “Promise Zones” throughout the next four years, including up to five communities in 2013. Those communities designated as Promise Zones will receive:
  • Tax Incentives (if enacted by Congress): Private businesses will receive tax incentives for hiring and investing in Promise Zones.
  • Intensive Federal Partnership: Local leaders will have the opportunity to receive on-the-ground technical assistance in navigating federal programs and regulations in order to effectively utilize existing funding that can help communities address their most persistent challenges and implement local revitalization plans.
  • Access to Proven Tools: Promise Zones will have increased access to investments that target job creation, economic activity, improved educational outcomes and community safety. Specifically, Promise Zones will receive competitive preference priority for existing signature investments, such as the Choice Neighborhoods, Promise Neighborhoods and Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation programs.
The communities eligible to apply for Promise Zones in 2013 are those that have been previously selected to participate in one of a related set of programs (Choice Neighborhoods, Promise Neighborhoods, Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation, etc.). For a list of those urban, rural and tribal neighborhoods that are eligible to receive a Promise Zone designation, please review the FAQ document. Communities that are eligible will be notified directly be federal agencies and invited to apply by the end of July 2013.

Stay tuned to the Center for the Study of Social Policy and our Investing in Community Change blog for updates about the Promise Zones initiative.

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