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HUD   >   Press Room   >   Press Releases   >   2011   >   HUDNo.11-278
HUD No. 11-278
Tiffany Thomas Smith
(202) 708-0685
FOR RELEASE
Monday
November 28, 2011

HUD LAUNCHES WEB TOOL TO CONNECT BEST COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
EFFORTS TO PRIVATE, PHILANTHROPIC DOLLARS

New web feature spotlights the nation’s most promising plans for turning distressed communities into
diverse, livable neighborhoods of choice

WASHINGTON – In an effort to dramatically boost public/private partnerships and philanthropic support for strong community development plans across the country, the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) today unveiled a new web feature to spotlight grantee and top-tier applicant efforts to create opportunity and revitalize regions, communities and neighborhoods around the country. Featured at www.hud.gov, the web tool displays contact information, partnerships, maps and funders for the most robust proposals to HUD’s flagship community development initiatives, allowing users to easily find and support local transformation efforts. 

“We know that there is an unfulfilled demand in this country for healthy, livable, and prosperous neighborhoods. HUD is committed to transforming how we approach community redevelopment to meet those needs,” said HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic. “Instead of applying a one-size-fits-all design, for the first time, we’re seeking to lift up solutions developed at the local level that respond to local needs. This web tool will help the strongest applicants from across HUD’s programs to connect with philanthropic partners – private foundations, corporations, and family and community foundations – and explore ways to leverage federal investment to increase impact in their neighborhoods.” 

“Now more than ever, smart community development efforts require government, business, and foundations to combine their resources,” said Mimi Corcoran, director of the Special Fund for Poverty Alleviation at the Open Society Foundations. “HUD’s new web tool facilitates these partnerships, helping people revitalize their neighborhoods across the country.”

The first applicants to be featured on http://Partner.HUD.gov come from HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative – a centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s interagency Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. The partnership includes HUD , Education, Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services and supports local leaders from the public and private sectors as they attract the private investment needed to transform distressed neighborhoods into sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods with the affordable housing, safe streets and good schools every family needs. As part of the Administration’s commitment to a more transparent grant process, later updates will include information on high-scoring applications from HUD’s Sustainable Communities initiative and other programs to deepen the partnerships at the local level.

In 2011, HUD awarded over $129 million in Choice Neighborhoods funding to 22 communities preparing to take on this work. To date, the grantees have obtained a combined $7.3 million dollars in leveraged funding– nearly double their total grant award – as stakeholder partners committed their resources to planning the transformation of their neighborhoods. HUD’s first Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants – awarded to Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle – received a combined $122 million in late August to redevelop distressed housing and bring comprehensive neighborhood revitalization to blighted areas. Thosegrantees have leveraged a additional $1.6 billion – more than 13 times their total grant award – including refocused and streamlined funds from private investors, cities, universities, and a range of local partners.

However, because Choice Neighborhoods is a competitive grant program, strong demand has outpaced available funding.  HUD received over 150 applications from public, private, and nonprofit sponsors in 31 states and the District of Columbia. Due to the limited amount of funding, HUD was able to issue only five of implementation grants, and 17 smaller planning grants – leaving several strong applications that HUD was simply not able to fund and many more grantees eager to attract additional resources to their transformation plans.

In response, HUD is publishing – for the first time – comprehensive information about grantees and qualified applicants on an innovative online platform. The web-based tool includes winners of the first Choice Neighborhoods Planning and Implementation awards as well as high scoring runners-up from those competitions. The http://Partner.HUD.gov web feature is intended to provide information funders and other local stakeholders can use to propel applications that HUD deemed promising, but was unable to fund. It will also offer communities greater access to work happening around the country and best-practice models that might help shape their efforts.

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