The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today the five inaugural U.S. communities that have been designated as Promise Zones, an intensive and layered approach to revitalizing distressed communities. The Promise Zones will benefit from a comprehensive approach to development that will enhance and connect local assets ranging from schools to housing to jobs.
The first five Promise Zones--located in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma--have each put forward a plan on how they will leverage federal partnerships and resources in the most effective ways possible to improve their communities. In exchange, these designees will be able to access federal investments in order to achieve their goals.
"Rural Americans often face the same barriers to income equality as folks in our cities, and that's why the Promise Zones effort focuses on both urban and rural areas," said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Through intensive outreach and technical assistance, we will provide rural and tribal areas with the tools they need to create new, sustainable economic opportunity today and for generations to come. USDA looks forward to teaming up with partners across the federal government and at the local level to build a brighter economic future for all."
"The Promise Zones effort represents a partnership for progress," stated HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "Federal agencies will be working with each other, and local leaders, like never before to give distressed communities--urban, rural and tribal--the assets they need to succeed like good schools, safe streets and quality housing. Working together, we are going to give families what every American deserves: a fair chance to succeed. I look forward to working with all parties to chart a new course in these areas, one full of new hope and opportunities for the future."