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Rural Update: Funding Opportunity Announcements and Request for Comment for the Third Round of the Promise Zones Initiative

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Public and Indian Housing

Jobs Plus Pilot Initiative

Application Deadline: September 28, 2015

The purpose of the Jobs Plus Pilot program is to develop locally-based, job-driven approaches to increase earnings and advance employment outcomes through work readiness, employer linkages, job placement, educational advancement, technology skills, and financial literacy for residents of public housing. The place-based Jobs Plus Pilot program addresses poverty among public housing residents by incentivizing and enabling employment through earned income disregards for working families, and a set of services designed to support work including employer linkages, job placement and counseling, educational advancement, and financial counseling. Ideally, these incentives will saturate the target developments, building a culture of work and making working families the norm.

The Jobs Plus Pilot program consists of the following three core components:

  • Employment-Related Services
  • Financial Incentives – Jobs Plus Earned Income Disregard (JPEID)
  • Community Supports for Work

In addition to these components further defined below, applicants are encouraged to develop key partnerships to connect participants with any other needed services to remove barriers to work. An Individualized Training and Services Plan (ITSP) should be developed for each participant to establish goals and service strategies, and to track progress.

View the Jobs Plus Initiative NOFA.

View the webcast.

More information is available on the Public and Indian Office website.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Public and Indian Housing and Urban Development

Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program for Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages

Application Deadline: October 14, 2015

The purpose of the ICDBG program is the development of viable Indian and Alaska Native communities, including the creation of decent housing, suitable living environments, and economic opportunities primarily for persons with low- and moderate-incomes as defined in 24 CFR 1003.4. The Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) in HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing administers the program. Applicants can use these funds for a multitude of community development purposes including those that improve the lives of tribal youth by creating and providing protective factors that build an individual's resiliency. Accordingly, funds can be used to develop Head Start facilities, Boys & Girls Clubs, recreation centers, and job training programs as well as to improve the living situations of entire families.

HUD is making available through this NOFA $58,856,810 for Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Program for Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages. HUD expects to make approximately 75 awards from the funds available under this NOFA.

Bonus Points

In support of certain inter-agency initiatives, HUD awards bonus points to projects where the preponderance of work will occur in a designated zone, community or region. These points will be awarded only if the application otherwise meets or exceeds the Program's minimum fundable score based on the rating factors of this NOFA.

HUD encourages activities in communities with Preferred Sustainability Status (PSS) and/or Promise Zones (PZ), HUD will award two (2) points for qualified activities within a designated zone or area and supporting either or both initiative(s).

  1. To receive Preferred Sustainability Status Communities Bonus Points, applicants must submit form HUD 2995, Certification of Consistency with Sustainable Communities Planning and Implementation, signed by the designated Preferred Sustainability Status Community point of contact. View the list of current PSS points of contact.

  2. To receive Promise Zones Bonus Points, applicants must submit form HUD 50153, Certification of Consistency with Promise Zone Goals and Implementation, signed by the Promise Zone Official authorized to certify the project meets the criteria to receive bonus points. To view the list of designated Promise Zones and persons authorized to certify, please go to the Promise Zones webpage.

View the ICDBG NOFA here.

More information is available on the Public and Indian Office website.

Comments Needed on the Third Round of the Promise Zone Initiative

The third and final round of the Promise Zones competition will open in the Fall of 2015. HUD and USDA invite you to provide written comments on ways to improve the future competition.

In addition to providing comments on the proposed selection process, criteria, and submissions for the third round of the Promise Zone Initiative, commenters are encouraged to address any or all of the following questions.

A. Overarching Questions

For communities considering a Promise Zone application:.

  • Are the programs that provide preferential access for designated Promise Zones helpful? Are there policy areas or issues that you need to address that are not represented?
  • If your community is not designated, but you and your partners intend to continue community revitalization efforts, please explain what particular types of information, technical assistance, peer exchange, introductions or other non-competitive assistance would be helpful to you as you move your work forward?
  • Do you find the MAX Survey sufficiently easy to use compared to other federal application systems (e.g. Grants.Gov)?
  • Would you be willing to provide the type of information requested in the Goals and Activities template for purposes of potentially connecting you to federal and private partners/peers that could facilitate your community’s development work if it were not part of a competition for a federal designation? (See MAX Survey.)

B. Community Development Marketplace

For users of the Community Development Marketplace (a database of strategy and activity information Second Round applicants permitted HUD and USDA to share):

  • What kind of potential user are you? HUD has heard from foundations, investors, communities, researchers and national intermediaries and stakeholder networks, but there may be others who can use this data.
  • Does the Third Round template capture information that would be useful to you? (See MAX Survey.) If yes, how is this information useful to you?
  • Are there additional pieces of information that would assist you in filtering and searching for information you would like to have?

C. Promise Zone Website

  • Is the website clear and easy to use? If not, what elements would be more helpful? (See the Promise Zones webpage and linked program information)
  • Is the interagency program information presented on the website well-matched to your community's needs? If not, what type of information would be helpful to add?

D. Communications and Stakeholder Engagement

  • Do you find Promise Zone communications, through emails, webinars, written documents and other means, useful to organizations working in your community? Please elaborate on what is useful or what could be done to make it more useful.
  • How can HUD communicate more clearly/effectively with residents and community based organizations about the way that the Promise Zone Initiative operates and how it supports local work?
  • How can the Promise Zone Initiative better engage new Americans and immigrant stakeholders?

E. Data collection, research and evaluation

  • How can the Promise Zones make use of the EPA Smart Location database?
  • Does the Promise Zone framework for tracking data address the issue of burdening designees in terms of data access and reporting? Are there other ways we could accomplish this?
  • Is the Promise Zone table of core indicators, measures, and data sources useful for community development outcome tracking? Are there other measures that should be added?

The deadline for submitting comments is September 28, 2015. Written comments can be submitted by email to: PromiseZones@hud.gov with "Third Round Promise Zone selections" in the subject line.

Questions or comments may also be directed by postal mail to:

Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development,
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 Seventh Street SW., Room 7136
Washington, DC 20410
ATTN: Third Round Promise Zone selections

Visit the Promise Zones webpage for more information.

Visit the HUD Exchange at https://www.hudexchange.info
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