Friday, August 14, 2009

New Urban Institute Report Looks to Assess Future Sustainability of HOPE VI Redevelopments

In September, “Open House” will begin discussing lessons learned from the HOPE VI program, which was introduced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1992 to redevelop blighted public housing and help revitalize the surrounding communities. The blog will examine the ways in which the successes and shortcomings of HOPE VI can be used to continue the revitalization of Public Housing developments and to also inform the Administration’s new Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, a proposal that was introduced in May as part of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Request.

This week, the Urban Institute released a new report entitled “The Uncharted, Uncertain Future of HOPE VI Redevelopments: The Case for Assessing Project Sustainability” as part of a series of reports focused on the future of public housing. Authored by Urban Institute Researchers Martin Abravanel and Diane Levy and University of Maryland Director of Graduate Programs in Real Estate Development Margaret McFarland, this report discusses the long-term viability of properties redeveloped under the HOPE VI program. The study also demonstrates the need for, and feasibility of, assessing the sustainability of these neighborhoods. Given the unique incorporation of mixed-income and mixed-tenure characteristics in these neighborhoods, this analysis is intended to help the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative build and expand upon the experiences of HOPE VI.

Conrad Egan, president and CEO of NHC, reinforced the need to implement assessments that will help continue the revitalization of Public Housing developments and also guide the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, emphasizing:

“Because the program’s intention is to improve the lives of people as well as the neighborhoods in which they reside, fresh policy and practical insights from seasoned HOPE VI redevelopments will be essential to the prospective success of the Administration’s proposed Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. How better to provide this, from the very beginning, than to draw on the lessons of HOPE VI properties using independent, evidence-based assessment—which heretofore has been in short supply.”

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