The participation of both public housing residents living at HOPE
VI sites to be revitalized and the surrounding community is essential
to the HOPE VI Program and community building efforts. Full resident
involvement and community input are crucial elements of the HOPE
VI Program. The spirit of the HOPE VI Program is one of full consultation
and collaboration among the Grantee, affected residents and the
The Grantee must consider the advice, counsel, recommendations
and input of affected residents and the broader community in its
decision-making throughout the entire development process. As the
Grantee of the HOPE VI funds, the PHA has the fiduciary responsibility
for the grant, and therefore has final decision-making authority
regarding the use of funds.
This guidance suggests ways that housing agencies can foster resident
and community involvement. PHAs are encouraged to implement approaches
to meet the needs of their particular residents and address the
circumstances that relate specifically to their revitalization efforts.
Key Principles for Resident Involvement
Resident involvement must start with the duly elected Resident
Council, with an eye toward involving all residents in the development.
All affected residents must be given reasonable notice of meetings
about HOPE VI planning and implementation, and provide them with
opportunities to provide input. Such meetings should be open to
all affected residents and their representatives. Conducting resident
surveys on key issues is another way to obtain meaningful input
from all affected residents.
There are four key principles of the HOPE VI Program with regard
to affected residents: Collaboration, inclusion, communication and
- Collaboration involves working together to create a vision that
drives the HOPE VI revitalization effort. The objective is a cooperative
partnership with residents and the Resident Council, in which
the PHA and residents have a shared commitment and a productive
relationship. Residents are to be included in all phases of the
application preparation, planning, implementation and operation
of the HOPE VI development in this spirit of collaboration.
- Effective collaboration also requires inclusion. PHAs are responsible
for communicating with and disseminating information to all affected
residents and ensuring that all affected residents have opportunities
to participate in the activities related to the HOPE VI planning
and development process.
- Regular communication and information sharing with the residents
regarding all aspects of the revitalization plan are essential
to ensure continuing involvement, support, inclusion and collaboration.
All affected public housing residents must be informed of all
revitalization activities, and must make documents such as the
HOPE VI Application, Grant Agreement, Developers Agreement,
Revitalization Plan, Relocation Plan, Community and Supportive
Services Plan, and minutes of meetings with affected residents
available on-site at the management office, or at another easily
accessible location on-site. The information disseminated should
be clear and understandable to the target population.
Technical language and complicated concepts may require simplification
for both residents and the community-at-large. Where residents
speak a number of languages besides English, PHAs can explore
using language-based focus groups and consider other means of
getting information to residents. PHAs should put in place a public
information strategy in order to get timely information to residents
and the community. Reporting outcomes of development activities
is one way to keep people engaged in the process. Some PHAs use
a quarterly HOPE VI newsletter to keep residents informed of the
outcomes and the status of revitalization activities.
- Residents should be encouraged to participate in the planning
and implementation of the entire development process. For example,
residents may participate on selection panels to choose development
partners and consultants; attend meetings with the development
team, program manager, public and private lenders, the city and
other partners; and participate in working and advisory groups
(e.g., the Community Task Force). Where affected residents and/or
community representatives are included on selection panels, the
Grantee must constitute the majority of the panel membership.
PHAs and residents should be aware that Resident Councils often
evolve and are redefined in the new mixed-income communities. Because
residents who are relocated to other public housing developments
or take Section 8 are not eligible to hold office in the Resident
Council of the affected development, a HOPE VI Consultative Group
should be formed. This group should be composed of all residents
who wish to return to the revitalized development and will have
the responsibility of interacting with the PHA on all HOPE VI matters.
This consultative group is not required by 24 CFR 964. Therefore,
a Memorandum of Understanding should be developed between the PHA
and this body. After the site is revitalized and eligible public
housing residents have returned to the new development, residents
have the option of creating a new Resident Council or becoming part
of the larger community body. Active resident participation in the
HOPE VI development process will assist with this transformation
and ensure continuity of resident involvement.
PHAs are responsible for providing or funding training to residents
on the fundamentals of development issues related to procurement,
financing, development of mixed income communities, demolition,
relocation, Section 8, design and planning, and operations to enable
residents to participate meaningfully in HOPE VI planning and implementation
activities. Residents and housing agencies should work together
to identify specific needs and appropriate sources of training to
meet those needs. For example, local universities, non-profit organizations,
and professional associations may be excellent sources of technical
assistance and training for residents.
This participatory process seeks to build consensus while also
assuring that PHAs obtain valuable input from residents critical
to creating a positive living environment. Residents need to see
that their input is thoroughly considered in creating and implementing
the revitalization plan. This input is integral to the planning
and implementation of the HOPE VI Program without controlling it.
Resident and Community Involvement Prior to the Award of Grants
Resident and community participation are key ingredients to a successful
HOPE VI application. Involving residents and the community in the
planning process and in shaping the HOPE VI application should start
well before the application is submitted, ideally a year or more
before submission. Early discussions with residents and community
members about the HOPE VI application should focus on the entire
development process and how it works. Basic topics of discussion
may include: physical design of buildings and units including accessibility
for persons with disabilities, demolition, unit mix, relocation,
procurement, homeownership plans, lease agreements and community
and supportive services. Affected residents, as well as other stakeholders
including persons with disabilities, should achieve a sense of ownership
of the plan.
The effectiveness of resident and community participation in the
planning and application preparation process will be carefully assessed
during the application review process. Notices of Funding Availability
(NOFAs) explain the specifics of how resident involvement will be
evaluated. NOFA applications have required PHAs to detail how affected
residents and the broader community have had and will continue to
have full and meaningful involvement in the planning and implementation
Resident and Community Involvement after Relocation
PHAs must continue to involve affected residents in HOPE VI activities
after relocation from the original public housing site. However,
participation in the Resident Council changes once residents are
relocated to Section 8 housing. When relocating, residents have
the option to choose among the following options: other public housing,
Section 8, private rental market, or affordable homeownership. Residents
who relocate and choose Section 8 are not eligible to vote or participate
as leaders of the Resident Council of the affected development since
they are no longer public housing residents.
The HOPE VI Office is working with PHAs, public interest groups
and resident groups to ensure the continuing involvement of all
affected residents in the HOPE VI process after relocation. Further
guidance will be developed and issued as an additional insert to
this chapter of the HOPE VI Guidebook by December 30, 1999.
PHAs are encouraged to include Resident Council members or their
designees on selection panels for the procurement of services related
to the HOPE VI revitalization efforts, including the selection of
the developer, program manager, etc. PHA officials or employees
must constitute a majority on all selection panels. Typically, the
PHA establishes an evaluation plan which sets up the criteria for
evaluating the proposal, helps the panel reach consensus in the
procurement decision and lends structure to the process. In addition,
the HUD Procurement Handbook has specific guidelines that must be
followed. Residents who participate on these panels must receive
training on procedures, conflict of interest issues, and substantive
issues concerning the specific services to be procured so that they
can participate as informed panel members. Residents that serve
on selection panels or as advisors to selection panels must comply
with the PHAs procurement policy and HUD procurement regulations
for grantees (PHAs) at 24 CFR 85.36 and in particular 24 CFR 85.36(b)(3)
regarding conflicts of interest.
PHAs should ensure that such residents are provided related training
and copies of the PHA's procurement policies and 24 CFR 85.36, since
such residents will be considered agents of the PHA when serving
on selection panels. Under no circumstances should there be communication
between respondents to RFQs and panel members. In order to contract
with resident-owned businesses, PHAs must follow the alternative
procurement requirements under 24 CFR Part 963.
In addition to affected public housing residents, neighbors, local
businesses, service providers, community groups, local officials,
public agencies, and other stakeholders must be involved in the
HOPE VI planning and implementation process. A Community Task Force
(CTF) is one way to involve these different players, and foster
broader collaboration and support for the HOPE VI Program. The CTF
provides advice, counsel and recommendations to the PHA on all aspects
of the development process, including both the hard
side and self-sufficiency activities. The PHA is responsible for
ensuring that the CTF holds regular meetings. PHAs should support
the CTF by disseminating information, providing sufficient notice
about time and place of meetings, developing formal agendas, and
providing meeting minutes and reports, etc.
Experience has shown that for effective integration and acceptance
of public housing and low-income residents into the broader community,
the broader community must be involved in developing the HOPE VI
proposal. Collaboration, inclusion, communication and participation
are also critical elements in the community involvement process.
The support and involvement of the community surrounding the HOPE
VI development and proposed scattered sites is crucial for developing
a sound and feasible development plan.
Every HOPE VI development is unique in terms of unit mix, geographic
area, local needs and desires, and social and economic history.
Over the years, each PHA has developed a unique relationship with
its residents and the surrounding community. That relationship must
meet the needs and challenges of the particular plan and community.
PHAs must create and maintain frameworks for trust to build those
relationships and truly transform distressed public housing, the
surrounding community, and the lives of residents. At a minimum:
- Resident and community involvement is required throughout the
entire HOPE VI planning, development and implementation process.
- PHAs must provide information and training so that residents
may participate fully and meaningfully throughout the entire development
Only through effective collaboration and consensus-building can
a PHA generate resident and community support of the plan, which
is essential for a successful HOPE VI development which meets the
spirit and principles of HOPE VI. Working together requires not
only the solicitation and gathering of resident and community input,
but also serious consideration and response to that input, even
if the input ultimately is rejected. While residents are to participate
actively in all aspects of the HOPE VI process, PHAs remain accountable
for meeting the terms of the Grant Agreement, have fiscal responsibility
for the funds, and have final decision making authority.