We recently added areas designated as federal Promise Zones to PolicyMap. What is a Promise Zone? These areas are the first five of 20 total communities to be designated through 2015 by the Obama administration:
Designation as a Promise Zone does not entail any additional federal grants or funding; instead, HUD, USDA, HHS, DOJ, SBA, and other federal agencies will help local government representatives to coordinate and maximize the impact of existing programs. Of the five places named this year so far, all are home to existing programs or designations such as Promise Neighborhoods, Choice Neighborhoods, and/or Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program partnerships. The administration has also proposed a tax incentive for private businesses who locate jobs in these areas.
The Promise Zone dataset is not large in size, but the locations of the initial round of designees may be of interest to other localities that are targeting development in low-income areas. Urban, rural, and tribal governments around the country are currently preparing applications for the competition to designate the second round of Promise Zones. Demonstrated success in administering and measuring the outcomes of federal programs is a prerequisite for designation as a Promise Zone, so this should be a cinch for all the PolicyMap users out there! Materials are due to HUD November 21, 2014.
Use PolicyMap to compare your neighborhood/region to one of the Round I Promise Zones, and to gather additional information on education, affordable housing, health services, and jobs for your own application. Promise Zones are located in the Federal Guidelines tab.