Competition Begins for Third and Final Round of Promise Zones
On Dec. 18, 2015, HUD and the USDA announced that communities may now apply to be designated a Promise Zone under the third and final round of competition. Promise Zones are high-poverty communities where the federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, leverage private investment, reduce violent crime, enhance public health, and address other priorities identified by the community. Through the Promise Zone designation, communities will work directly with federal, state, and local agencies to give local leaders proven tools to improve the quality of life in some of the country’s most vulnerable areas.
Urban, rural, and tribal communities nationwide are invited to submit plans to address multiple community revitalization challenges in a collaborative way. Communities that are designated will also demonstrate strong capacity to implement their plans, accountability to clear goals, and a commitment to results.
Any community meeting the eligibility criteria can apply for a designation. HUD and the USDA will designate seven Promise Zones across urban, rural, and tribal communities for the final round. The deadline for submitting Promise Zone applications is Feb. 23, 2016, at 5 p.m. EST. Announcements will be made in the spring.
All Promise Zones will receive priority access to federal investments that further their strategic plans, federal staff on the ground to help them implement their goals, and five full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to recruit and manage volunteers and strengthen the capacity of the Promise Zone initiatives. Application-related questions should be emailed to: Promisezones@hud.gov.