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Obama Administration Announces Competition to Designate the Third and Final Round of Promise Zones

Today, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that communities may now apply to be designated a Promise Zone under the third and final round 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.

Any community meeting the eligibility criteria can apply for a designation. HUD and USDA will designate seven Promise Zones across urban, rural and tribal communities for the final round. The deadline for submitting Promise Zone applications is Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 5:00 PM EST. Announcements will be made in the Spring of 2016.

Each urban, rural, and tribal Promise Zone applicant will be asked to put together a clear description of how the Promise Zone designation would accelerate and strengthen the community’s own efforts at comprehensive community revitalization.

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.

Third Round Promise Zones Competition Urban Informational Webcasts

HUD will host two webcasts to provide information and guidance to communities applying for designation for the third round of the Promise Zones Initiative. The webcasts will provide an overview of the Third round Urban Application Guide and will include a question and answer session. Communities are encouraged to submit questions in advance to promisezones@hud.gov. Please include on the subject line: Questions for Urban Webcast.

Urban Webcasts
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Register for this webcast.

Monday, February 1, 2016
2:30 – 3:30 PM EST
Register for this webcast.

Third Round Promise Zones Competition Rural and Tribal Informational Webinars

USDA will host two distinct webinars to provide information and guidance to communities applying for a rural or tribal designation for the third round of the Promise Zones Initiative. The webinars will provide an overview of the Third round Urban Application Guide and will include a question and answer session.

Rural Webinar
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
1:30 – 2:30 PM EST
Registration information coming soon.

Tribal Webinar
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
3:30 – 4:30 PM EST
Registration information coming soon.

Mapping Tool and Max Survey Informational Sessions

During the month of January, HUD and USDA will host 3 informational sessions for prospective applicants. Applicants will have an opportunity to ask technical questions regarding the mapping tool and max survey. Informational sessions will be recorded. Replay information for each informational session will be posted on the Promise Zones webpage.

Application related questions should be submitted to promisezones@hud.gov.

Informational Sessions: Mapping Tool and Max Survey

Thursday, January 14, 2016
2:00 – 3:00 PM EST
Register for this Informational Session.

Thursday, January 21, 2016
2:00 – 3:00 PM EST
Register for this Informational Session.

Thursday, January 28, 2016,
2:00 – 3:00 PM EST
Register for this Informational Session.

Resources for Applicants

A Notice has been posted to the Federal Register with information on how to apply.

View the urban, rural and tribal application guides, the Promise Zone Fact Sheet, and the Frequently Asked Questions, and the schedule for informational webcasts and webinars on HUD’s website.

Application related questions should be directed by email to promisezones@hud.gov.

To receive information about upcoming webcasts, webinars, and funding and technical assistance opportunities, please join the Promise Zone mailing list.


 
            
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