HUD's Office of Economic Development supports the Administration's broader place-based strategy by collaborating with other Federal agencies on the following initiatives:
HUD's Regional Planning Grants and the SCI
HUD supported regional and local planning efforts that helped communities to make strategic housing, transportation, and infrastructure decisions to create more prosperous and healthy cities and regions. This work was initiated through two competitive grant programs in FY2010-11: The Regional Planning Grant Program, and the Community Challenge Grant Program.
- The Regional Planning Grant Program supported locally-led collaborative efforts that brought together diverse interests from the many municipalities in a region to determine how best to target housing, economic and workforce development, and infrastructure investments to create more jobs and catalyze regional economic activity.
- The Community Challenge Planning Grant Program fostered reform and reduced barriers to achieving affordable and economically vital communities. Community Challenge efforts included amending or replacing local master plans, and updating land-use rules and codes to promote mixed-use development, affordable housing, pedestrian safe communities, and other activities.
- The Capacity Building Program engaged a national network of intermediary organizations with expertise across a variety of sectors to work directly with Sustainable Communities grantees and built their capacity to fulfill the goals of the SCI Program. This network facilitated the exchange of successful strategies, emerging tools, lessons learned, and public engagement strategies that maximized the effectiveness of the grantee projects.
- HUD Policy Guidance for Grantees
The SCI Resource Library is a one-stop-shop for the high-quality innovative products, tools, media, and best practices that were created by Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI) Grantees over the course of the Regional Planning, Community Challenge, and Capacity Building programs.
OED continues its liaison with the 143 graduates of its grant programs to support their emerging implementation efforts. The Office is also producing analyses of the SCI work in the form of fact sheets, case studies, and toolkits to synthesize the lessons learned and develop ways to improve their applicability in a variety of contexts. Learn more here.
OED served as HUD liaison in the interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a joint effort between HUD, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other federal partners to help communities improve access to quality affordable housing, provide efficient transportation options, increase climate resilience and bolster economic competitiveness while protecting the environment.
The Partnership was created in 2009 and adopted the following Livability Principles to guide federal funding programs and policies:
- Provide more transportation choices.
Develop safe, reliable, and economical transportation choices to decrease household transportation costs, reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil, improve air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote public health.
- Promote equitable, affordable housing.
Expand location- and energy-efficient housing choices for people of all ages, incomes, races, and ethnicities to increase mobility and lower the combined cost of housing and transportation.
- Enhance economic competitiveness.
Improve economic competitiveness through reliable and timely access to employment centers, educational opportunities, services and other basic needs by workers, as well as expanded business access to markets.
- Support existing communities.
Target federal funding toward existing communities-through strategies like transit-oriented, mixed-use development and land recycling-to increase community revitalization and the efficiency of public works investments and safeguard rural landscapes.
- Coordinate and leverage federal policies and investment.
Align federal policies and funding to remove barriers to collaboration, leverage funding, and increase the accountability and effectiveness of all levels of government to plan for future growth, including making smart energy choices such as locally generated renewable energy.
- Value communities and neighborhoods.
Enhance the unique characteristics of all communities by investing in healthy, safe, and walkable neighborhoods-rural, urban, or suburban.
Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2):
SC2 is an Obama Administration initiative that uses a new model of federal-local collaboration to help economically distressed cities. SC2 cities benefit from on-the-ground inter-agency teams that help community leaders focus federal, state, and local resources on meeting local goals for economic development and community revitalization. SC2 is currently being piloted in 14 communities across the country.
The Administration is applying the lessons learned from these pilot communities in the National Resource Network, which scales up the SC2 model to provide more places with customized technical assistance and tools to solve economic challenges.
The Choice Neighborhoods program supports locally-driven strategies to revitalize distressed public and HUD-assisted housing and broader community challenges in surrounding area. Local leaders, residents, schools, business owners, nonprofits, city agencies, and other stakeholders come together to develop a comprehensive Transformation Plan that will guide resources to address three core goals:
- Housing: Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood;
- People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and supports delivered directly to youth and their families; and
- Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families' choices about their community.
The program provides Planning Grants and Implementation Grants to catalyze neighborhood transformation and is a central part of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative.
In 2013, President Obama announced an initiative to designate a number of high-poverty urban, rural and tribal communities as Promise Zones: places where the federal government could partner with local leaders to collectively confront a number of community revitalization challenges.
Promise Zone designees receive:
- An opportunity to engage five AmeriCorps VISTA members to advance the work
- A federal liaison assigned to help designees navigate federal programs
- Preferences for certain competitive federal grant programs and technical assistance from participating federal agencies
With coordinated federal support and local leadership, Promise Zone communities strive to:
- Create jobs
- Leverage private investments
- Increase economic activity
- Expand educational opportunities
- Reduce violent crime
Five communities were selected in the First Round, and eight communities in the Second Round of Promise Zone designations. Ultimately, twenty communities will receive a Promise Zone designation by the end of 2016.
Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP): A coordinated federal effort led by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help manufacturing communities develop long-term regional economic development plans that strengthen their global competitive edge and attract private investment.
Urban Waters: An EPA-led effort to support projects and build partnerships with federal, state, tribal and local stakeholders to foster increased connection, understanding, and stewardship of local waterways, particularly in underserved communities.
Local Food/Local Places: A federal partnership that aims to boost economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses, improve access to health local food, and revitalize neighborhoods through the development of local food systems.