Eight communities have been selected to participate in the federal government’s ambitious Promise Zones initiative.
The new Promise Zones are in Camden, N.J.; Hartford, Conn.; Indianapolis; Minneapolis; Sacramento, Calif.; St. Louis; South Carolina Low Country; and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Each of these communities put forward a plan detailing how they will partner with local business and civic leaders to make investments that reward hard work, create jobs, and expand access to middle-class economic opportunity, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
To advance these goals, Promise Zones often incorporate evidence-based strategies to increase housing affordability, improve health and wellness, and cultivate civic engagement. Promise Zones receive priority access to the federal resources and partnership they need to achieve their goals.
HUD released a press release about the selected communities.
Participating communities also held events to announce the selection. In Sacramento, Mayor Kevin Johnson, HUD regional administrator Ophelia Basgal, and La Shelle Dozier, executive director of the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA), were among those taking part in a news conference.
SHRA will target its efforts in a neighborhood with a poverty rate of 34% and an unemployment rate of 18%. It will work to coordinate resources and create public-private partnerships to drive area revitalization. The goals include creating jobs, increasing economic activity, and sparking neighborhood revitalization.
In another example, the Hartford effort will focus in an area with a poverty rate of 49% and an unemployment rate of more than 27%. The city’s goals include increasing economic activity, reducing violent crime, improving educational opportunities, and improving housing assistance programs.
The latest participants join = the first five Promise Zones, which were selected in January 2014. They are Los Angeles; Philadelphia; San Antonio, Texas; Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.