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Promise Zones Update: Third Round Promise Zones Competition | ConnectHome Initiative | 2015 Our Town Grant

Third Round Promise Zones Competition

A competition to select a third round of Promise Zones will commence later this year. In the Summer of 2015, HUD will publish a Notice in the Federal Register requesting public comment on the proposed selection process, criteria, and submissions for the final round of the Promise Zones initiative. This notice will provide urban, rural, and tribal communities the opportunity to help shape the third round application guide and efforts to support other communities more effectively in future years.

Join the mailing list to receive announcements and to follow the new round of Promise Zones in their journey.

More information is available on the Promise Zones web page.

President Obama and Secretary Castro Announce Initiative to Extend High Speed Broadband Access for Students in HUD-Assisted Housing

Building on the Obama Administration’s goal to expand high speed broadband to all Americans, President Obama and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro announced, ConnectHome, an initiative to extend affordable broadband access to families living in HUD-assisted housing. Through Connect Home, Internet Service Providers, non-profits and the private sector will offer broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in assisted housing units in 28 communities across the nation.

Read the HUD Press Release.

More information on ConnectHome is available here.

Watch: President Obama Announce ConnectHome Initiative in Choctaw Nation.

Secretary Castro Announces HUD’s Final Rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

Secretary Castro announced HUD’s long awaited final Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule in Chicago, alongside Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) Assistant Secretary Gustavo Velasquez and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Read the HUD Press Release.

The goal is to equip communities that receive HUD funding with data and tools to help them meet long-standing fair housing obligations in their use of HUD funds. This obligation was intended to ensure that every person in America has the right to fair housing, regardless of their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability or familial status. The final rule aims to provide all HUD program participants with clear guidelines and data they can use to achieve those goals. See PBS News Hour Video.

Leaders in city government, the U.S. Congress, think tanks, civil rights organizations, fair housing organizations, housing groups, regional councils, and academic institutions have quickly offered their support of this announcement.

More information on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule is available on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing web page.

NEA Announces Our Town Grants

On July 15, 2015, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced the 2015 Our Town awards; 69 awards totaling almost $5 million will support projects in 35 states plus Puerto Rico.

Read the Press Release.

View the list of 2015 Our Town grant projects in the Promise Zones and Strong Cities Strong Communities.

AmeriCorps Members: Coming to a Town Near You

Over the past few months, the Corporation for National and Community Service has announced more than $220 million in new AmeriCorps grants. This funding will put AmeriCorps members on the ground across the country, including Promise Zone communities.

Altogether, the grants will enable more than 44,000 individuals to serve through AmeriCorps while they earn money for college. AmeriCorps members will help strengthen education, provide disaster services, foster economic opportunity, assist veterans and military families, preserve the environment, and expand health services. A complete list of recent AmeriCorps grant competition announcements may be found on the Corporation for National and Community Service website. See below coverage of grants benefiting Promise Zone communities:

Los Angeles Magazine: Work That Corps! The City’s Big Plans For Three New Grants

The Notebook Blog: Promise Zone Grant to help West Philly Students with College and Career

CNCS Press Release: New Camden AmeriCorps Program to Address Youth Workforce Development and Environmental Challenges

Promise Zones in the News

New York Times: U.S. Program Will Connect Public Housing Residents to Web

Reuters: Obama Launches Project For More Broadband In Public Housing

KXii.com: President Obama Announces Connect Home Initiative in Choctaw Nation

Indian Country Total Media Network.com: Obama Announces Broadband ‘Game-Changer’ While Visiting Choctaw Nation

McClatchy DC: U.S. Expanding Internet Access In Low-Income Communities

News9.com: President Obama To Visit Durant on Wednesday

NewsOK: Choctaw Nation Is Abuzz With Visit From Obama

NBC News: Obama Pledges To Bring Broadband Internet To Poor Households

Jasper Sun Times: Input 'Critical' At Promise Zone Meeting

Fox59: Federal Grant Awarded To RecycleForce To Grow Indianapolis Ex-Offender program

Indiana Public Media: Indy Organization Receives Grant To Help Former Inmates

News 10: Sacramento Mayor Counting on ‘Promise Zone’ In City

KCRA.com: Sacramento Takes Steps Toward Ambitious Housing Project

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