Wednesday, September 2, 2009

HUD Secretary Donovan Talks About the Impact of HOPE VI on Public Housing Revitalization Efforts

On June 29, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan spoke at the "Solutions for Working Families: 2009 Learning Conference on State and Local Housing Policy" about the Administration's recently proposed Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, which builds off of the HOPE VI program.

Secretary Donovan emphasized the importance of HOPE VI, and other programs such as Choice Neighborhoods, to the revitalization of public housing, noting:
"We all know the impact the HOPE VI program has had on communities around the country – substantial declines in neighborhood poverty, in crime and in unemployment and real, tangible increases in income, property values, and market investment.

HOPE VI has changed the face of public housing. But we believe we have only begun to tap the potential of its ideas and practices.

That’s why we’ve introduced Choice Neighborhoods – challenging public, private, and nonprofit partners to extend neighborhood transformation efforts beyond public housing.

For safe, affordable housing to be truly sustainable, it needs access to good schools, child care, health care, public transportation, and retail businesses that are staple of every vibrant community.

A HOPE VI development surrounded by disinvestment and failing schools cannot succeed.

And so, Choice Neighborhoods would broaden the range of activities eligible for funding.

It would link housing interventions more closely with school reform and early childhood innovations.

And to realize this expanded mission, our Fiscal Year 2010 budget request would more than double the funding we saw under HOPE VI to $250 million.

At the core of all of these ideas is the same concept:

Planning communities in a more integrated, sustainable and inclusive way isn’t separate from advancing economic opportunity for the families we’re trying to reach – it’s absolutely essential."
To hear Secretary Donovan's remarks from the learning conference in full, please Listen Here.

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