What is Neighborhood Networks?
Launched in 1995 by the HUD Office of Multifamily Housing Programs,
Neighborhood Networks was one of the first federal initiatives to
promote self-sufficiency and help provide computer access to FHA-insured
and -assisted housing communities. To accomplish these goals, the
community-based Initiative encourages property owners and managers
to establish multiservice community learning centers that bring
digital opportunity and lifelong learning to residents living in
multifamily-insured and/or -assisted housing.
there are approximately 1,500 Neighborhood Networks centers operating
in HUD multifamily-insured and -assisted housing communities located
in all 50 of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto
Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Neighborhood Networks? Why now?
In today's technology-driven world, it is imperative that jobseekers
possess the skills employers require. From adult education and computer
skills classes to job-readiness and job-preparation programs, Neighborhood
Networks centers help residents living in HUD FHA-insured and -assisted
housing communities obtain the skills needed to succeed in today's
marketplace. By providing residents with convenient access to computer
technology and offering a variety of workforce development programs,
Neighborhood Networks centers are connecting residents with opportunities.
addition, centers help residents overcome the barriers to employment,
such as securing safe and reliable childcare and transportation,
so they can focus on achieving professional success.
there a typical Neighborhood Networks center?
No two Neighborhood Networks centers are alike. Residents, center
staff, property owners and managers, and partners work together
to create a customized curriculum that meets the specific needs
of residents. Centers might offer computer training, Internet access,
job-readiness support, microenterprise development, general educational
development (GED) certification, healthcare and social services,
adult education classes, youth services, and more.
is the goal of Neighborhood Networks?
The Neighborhood Networks mission is to help ensure that all Americans-regardless
of age, income, race, ethnicity, disability, or geography-gain access
to the technological tools and skills needed in the digital economy.
As the program expands, the vision for creating economic opportunity
and lifelong learning is becoming a reality for many families and
are the partners that support Neighborhood Networks?
Local and national businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions,
faith-based organizations, civic organizations, foundations, hospitals,
community clinics, and federal and state government agencies, among
others, are joining forces with residents and property owners of
HUD housing to develop and expand Neighborhood Networks centers
across the country.
are the benefits of Neighborhood Networks centers?
The benefits of a Neighborhood Networks center are far-reaching.
Adults gain access to onsite programs and services that provide
job skills, education, and supportive services, fostering healthier,
self-sufficient families. Children and youth are given an environment
that promotes academic achievement. Seniors gain access to health
programs and services, computer training, and activities that help
them remain productive and maintain their quality of life and self-sufficiency.
Residents with disabilities gain access to equipment, products,
and software that incorporate assistive technology. Property owners
and managers often realize a return on their investment as a Neighborhood
Networks center makes a property more attractive to both potential
and existing residents and decreases security and upkeep costs.
Partners connect with the community whose support is critical to
their success and increase awareness of their organizations within
the community. And, communities benefit by the creation of a positive
force that connects residents and community members to greater opportunities.
is Neighborhood Networks different from other government programs?
Neighborhood Networks is not a federal grant program. The Initiative
encourages centers to be self-sustaining through partnerships, business
opportunities, and other income-generating options. It is an innovative,
community-based approach to housing and community development. Neighborhood
Networks encourages residents to become involved in the actual planning
and development of self-sustaining centers.
is HUD's role?
HUD works behind the scenes to encourage creation and expansion
of Neighborhood Networks centers across the country. HUD staff may
help guide communities through the Neighborhood Networks center
development process, from business plan to grand opening to program
expansion. HUD also provides information and networking opportunities
for participants to learn how to develop a center, contact potential
partners, and draw upon the experiences and successful practices
of existing centers. HUD also may provide limited assistance to
help launch the centers.
are centers funded?
Neighborhood Networks centers rely primarily on local support. The
Initiative encourages partnership development, business opportunities,
and other income-generating activities. To help support and sustain
a center, funding can be obtained in various ways, including:
||HUD funding, including residual receipts account,
owner's equity, funds borrowed from the Reserve for Replacement
Account, rent increases, special rent adjustments, and excess
||Private and corporate contributions. |
||User fees, such as membership fees, class fees,
and public access fees. |
||Business development, including outsourcing,
small business support, self-employment, and entrepreneurship.|
||Fundraising events. |
||In-kind contributions, such as computer hardware
and software, space, volunteer supervisors and teachers, clerical
assistance, and accounting services. |
kinds of jobs have residents found using Neighborhood Networks centers?
Resident achievement varies nationwide. Many centers, however, report
significant numbers of residents who have landed jobs, moved from
welfare to work, and improved their quality of life. Examples of
jobs obtained by residents using Neighborhood Network centers include
clerical, healthcare, retail, insurance, and manufacturing positions.
are centers staffed?
Networks centers are staffed by a variety of full- or part-time
professional staff and volunteers. These individuals are responsible
for center administration and management, computer training and
education, and program development. HUD has recommended that centers
have at least one coordinator to provide expertise in computer training,
technical skills, and resident community outreach programs.
more information, contact:
Department of Housing and Urban Development
P.O. Box 1127
Silver Spring, MD 20910-1127
call us at (888) 312-2743.