Q. WHAT IS CONNECTHOMEUSA?
A. ConnectHomeUSA is an initiative aimed at narrowing the digital divide in HUD-assisted communities across the country. Led by HUD with support from our national nonprofit partner, EducationSuperHighway, ConnectHomeUSA assists selected communities to build place-based solutions for narrowing the digital divide so HUD-assisted residents can access affordable internet, devices, training, and 21st century opportunities.
Q. WHAT IS THE DIGITAL DIVIDE?
A. The digital divide is the gap that exists between those who have access to the internet and computers and those who do not, primarily due to cost. The digital divide disproportionately impacts low-income communities. To combat this problem, HUD established the ConnectHomeUSA initiative. Since 2015, HUD has worked with nonprofits and other public-private stakeholders to close the digital divide in one hundred ConnectHomeUSA communities around the country. HUD is planning to expand the initiative to more communities. Check back here for updates.
Q. WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL CONNECTHOMEUSA COMMUNITY?
A. While no two communities are identical, those that have experienced particular success have the following elements in common:
- A dedicated staff person
- A strong relationship with municipal government/programs
- Committed local partners
- Robust resident engagement
Q. IS CONNECTHOMEUSA OPEN TO RESIDENTS IN ALL TYPES OF HUD-ASSISTED HOUSING (PUBLIC HOUSING, MULTIFAMILY, SECTION 8)?
A. Yes, participating communities include PHAs and a Multifamily owner—meaning that public housing, Section 8 and multifamily residents are served by CHUSA.
Q. WHO ARE THE STAKEHOLDERS (NONPROFITS, INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS, OTHERS) SUPPORTING CONNECTHOMEUSA?
A. The list of current stakeholders participating in ConnectHomeUSA is:
- ABC Mouse by Age of Learning
- Azpen Innovation
- Common Sense Media
- Cox Communications
- Starry Internet
Q. HOW CAN I LEARN ABOUT DIGITAL INCLUSION RESOURCES IF MY COMMUNITY IS NOT PARTICIPATING IN CONNECTHOMEUSA?
A. If you’re interested in setting up a digital inclusion program in your community, check out the ConnectHomeUSA Playbook and associated guides/toolkits. The Playbook is a concise how-to guide that will help you understand the key issues and the steps necessary to create a strong digital inclusion program locally.
- For more in-depth guidance, check out our webinar series, arranged by Playbook topic.
- For other resources and updates, go to our training homepage.
If you have questions or require additional assistance, drop us a line at ConnectHome@hud.gov.