Promise Zones Urban Finalists

The purpose of selecting Promise Zones Finalists is to recognize communities whose applications reflect high-quality strategies under the criteria set forth in the Application Guide, but are not selected as Promise Zone designees. The participating federal agencies will seek to expand national knowledge about Promise Zones Finalist communities and will communicate regularly with Finalists about opportunities for relevant funding or technical assistance that may become available. However, no preference points or other Promise Zone designation benefits will be given to Finalists.

The HUD Regional Office will contact finalists starting July 2016 to discuss next steps in the process. HUD plans to work with Finalist communities through the Community Needs Assessment Initiative to help advance priority projects identified in their promise zone applications. For further questions, contact the relevant Regional Administrators.

Map showing Promise Zones Finalists
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Birmingham, Alabama
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Birmingham
The target community encompasses 38 neighborhoods and 81,437 Birmingham residents, approximately 35% of whom fall below the poverty line. The community has seen decades of economic decline, exacerbated by white flight, deindustrialization, and historic patterns of segregation. Today, residents of the target area continue to struggle with limited access to quality jobs, affordable housing, health services, and opportunities for educational attainment and economic mobility. The City of Birmingham has partnered with local organizations to address these challenges, leveraging the partnership’s extensive experience in education, job creation, economic development, affordable housing, crime reduction, and healthcare. This team, along with stakeholders in the City's public, private, and nonprofit sectors, are poised to create a framework for creating catalytic change within the targeted area to comprehensively address community revitalization and the lasting effects of segregation.


Hayward, California
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Hayward
Located in South Central Hayward, the target community is home to 14,020 residents, over 34% of whom live in poverty. Residents grapple with high crime rates, poor health outcomes, and multiple obstacles to employment, including low levels of academic achievement and limited English proficiency. In an effort to address these challenges, the City of Hayward and a coalition of community partner institutions will coordinate resources to achieve ambitious community revitalization goals in alignment with federal, state, and local outcomes-based initiatives. Hayward’s plan builds upon and expands collaborative efforts in the multi-year Hayward Promise Neighborhood initiative with key local institutions and community partners. The plan is designed to significantly and positively impact the lives of thousands of residents through a coordinated focus of available resources, and by securing additional resources, in several key areas of need: public safety and crime reduction, improvement of educational outcomes of children and supporting youth adults at educational transitional points to enroll and complete college and/or obtain career based training/certification, improving the health and vitality of areas residents through addressing food security and access, expanding access to childcare, job readiness programs, and workforce development training.

Long Beach, California
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Long Beach
Within the target community in west Long Beach, the poverty rate is more than double the city average, and nearly 15% of working age adults are unemployed. While the community makes up only 4% of the city's geography, it accounts for more than 25% of all violent crime. Chronic disease rates are very high, and life expectancy is 7 years less than nearby areas. Over 40% of the population is foreign born, including the largest Cambodian population outside Cambodia, which has unique needs due to serious community-level trauma.  Led by the City of Long Beach, the community’s revitalization effort takes a collective impact approach to support mutually reinforcing activities focused on creating jobs, increasing economic opportunity, improving educational opportunities, reducing violent crime, increasing access to affordable housing, and promoting health and access to health care. The plan takes advantage of existing investments, a culture of partnership, and new locational advantages thanks to plans to revitalize the LA River, downtown Long Beach, and the Green Port.

Oakland, California
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Oakland
Located along the International Boulevard corridor, the target area is an ethnically diverse community of 55,786 residents. The poverty rate along the Corridor is nearly 39%, and the unemployment rate is 16%, three times the City's average. To address the issues associated with persistent poverty, the City of Oakland is will work with dozens of community, faith-based, business, philanthropic and public agency partners to implement creative solutions based on social equity principles. The partnership will promote revitalization by offering comprehensive job training programs linked to career pathways, sustaining existing businesses impacted by the Corridor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and supporting new business development along the Corridor, constructing new affordable housing complexes, and restoring naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH) units. The partnership will also support ongoing efforts to enhance quality of life in the Corridor, including the Oakland Unified School District's (OUSD) Career Academy programs, the City's Oakland Promise "Cradle to Career" initiative, and Ceasefire Oakland.

Pomona, California
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Pomona
The target community is located in central Pomona, approximately 30 miles west of Los Angeles.  Though the neighborhood makes up only 30% of the Pomona’s population, it accounts for over 40% of the City’s serious or violent crimes. With nearly one-third of residents living in poverty, the community’s poverty rate is more double the state average. In addition to high poverty rates, Pomona has seen a dramatic increase in its levels of homelessness in recent years. In response to these challenges, the City of Pomona and its partners will use a collective impact framework to address five community-identified and prioritized areas of focus, including education, health, public safety, economic development and community engagement. The partnership will work to revitalize the community by implementing a comprehensive, school-based program to meet the full spectrum of community needs, strengthening existing businesses and attracting new investments to the area, incentivizing the hiring of residents into living wage employment opportunities, enhancing public safety through prevention and intervention strategies, expanding access to healthcare, and developing a strategic plan for holistically addressing homelessness in Pomona.

San Bernardino, California
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: County of San Bernardino
The target community is located in downtown San Bernardino, a city in the midst of recovery from bankruptcy and a devastating terrorist attack. The target community includes two synergistic activity nodes: the revitalization of the Downtown/Civic Center, the central business district of the City, and the redevelopment of the Waterman Gardens public housing project. These neighborhoods face a number of economic and social challenges, including a concentration of crime hot spots, a vacancy rate of over 5%, a 20% unemployment rate, and a correlated extreme poverty rate of nearly 47%. The County of San Bernardino, in partnership with the City and a consortium of 14 Partners, has developed a Collective Impact framework to transform an area of extreme poverty into a sustainable, mixed income, service-enriched community. San Bernardino’s revitalization plan builds on the momentum of ongoing investments and initiatives to address the community’s needs and promote further investment and growth. The partnership will focus on reducing violent crime through prevention, intervention, and suppression strategies; supporting cradle to career pathways for PK-12 students to increase graduation rates and promote success in local jobs; providing skill-based education to residents with access to local jobs in growing sectors; investing in infrastructure and housing; attracting new capital resources and leveraging investment;  and expanding health insurance coverage for families and empowering residents to advance their own well-being through prevention and wellness programs.

Santa Ana, California
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Santa Ana
Situated along the Santa Ana River, the target community spans several communities across the Cities of Santa Ana and Garden Grove. The target area is characterized by low per capita income, high levels of violent crime, and the presence of large homeless communities. The target area encompasses the territories of three violent criminal street gangs, pockets of high density and deteriorated multi-family rental housing, and aging retail and commercial uses along thoroughfares. The area also suffers from 12.18% unemployment rate, 2.5 times greater than the overall unemployment rate for the City of Santa Ana.  Led by the City of Santa Ana, the partnership will implement a revitalization strategy designed to assist local residents and business owners in advancing in communities that are too often overlooked. Santa Ana’s plan harnesses new investments and opportunities to reweave the fabric of the community. The partnership will implement a holistic strategy to create jobs and grow the economy by supporting small business incentives and changes in business licensing policies, marketing underutilized development opportunities, and offering job training/placement resources for residents. The plan also focuses on increasing school readiness, creating a positive school climate, streamlining support services for post-secondary educational attainment, and supporting crime prevention, education, and intervention efforts.  Finally, the partnership will leverage newly adopted inclusionary housing ordinances to expand affordable housing options, and increase community connectivity through high-speed internet and new modes of transportation for residents.

Stockton, California
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Stockton
Located in South Stockton, the target community faces multi-generational challenges of crime, poverty, disparate health outcomes, low educational attainment and socio-economic disparity. Stockton has weathered momentous challenges over the last decade, as record unemployment and the nation’s highest foreclosure rate forced the city to file for bankruptcy during the Great Recession. The target community was hit hard by the economic decline, and approximately one-third of residents continue to live in poverty. Violent crime and homicides are also a particular challenge within the community, which accounts for nearly half of the City’s violent crime but less than one third of the City’s population. Based on resident feedback, the City and its partners have developed an ambitious agenda to address community priorities and promote long term, sustainable revitalization. Stockton’s strategy will focus first on efforts to reduce violent crime and improve educational outcomes through evidence-based violence prevention strategies, police-community trust building initiatives, blight reduction, youth mentorship, and early-learning and college- and career-readiness programs. The partnership will also work to spur job creation and catalyze economic activity in the near-term by leveraging existing employment resources, while developing strategies and partnerships to incentivize large private capital investment in the long-term.


New Haven, Connecticut
Round II Finalist
Lead Organization: City of New Haven
The target community is home to 95,517 residents, nearly 37% of whom live in poverty. Despite New Haven's role as the region's economic and creative hub and the incredible assets in and around the community, residents of the target community disproportionately suffer the effects of intergenerational poverty. Many community residents live in substandard housing and suffer negative health, employment, and educational outcomes. Led by the City of New Haven, the partnership creates a community-driven process to refine and implement strategies to confront the area's social and economic challenges. The community's plan focuses on creating a skilled workforce of lifelong learners, advancing investments in major projects and small businesses, promoting college- and career-readiness, creating safe communities through community policing, address physical blight and deterioration among housing and physical infrastructure, and building the wellness, stability, and civic cohesion of residents.


Pensacola, Florida
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Pensacola
The target community, located in the Florida Panhandle, has a population of 47,398 and an overall poverty rate of 35.40%. The area is characterized by high unemployment and underemployment, low performing schools, limited quality affordable housing, and a high incidence of violent crime. Led by the City of Pensacola, a partnership of community organizations will revitalize the area by leveraging local assets, including active neighborhood organizations, a Community School, and a synergy among businesses, government, educational institutions and residents supporting collaborative solutions to community problems. The partnership will work to improve educational and career outcomes for all residents by coordinating efforts for improved school readiness, expanding career academies at local middle and high schools, participating in the ‘Achieve Escambia’ cradle-to-career collective impact initiative, implementing Escambia Community Clinics to provide school-based health care programs, and creating opportunities for women and minority owned businesses.  Pensacola will also focus on promoting the redevelopment, reuse of contaminated properties, reducing blight and investing infrastructure, collaborating with police departments to build community trust and reduce crime rates, offering down payment and closing cost assistance to qualifying residents, and supporting the development of affordable rental units within area.

Tallahassee, Florida
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Tallahassee
Situated in the heart of Florida’s capital city, the target area is home to approximately 31,000 residents. Over half of the community lives in poverty, nearly twice the citywide average, and violent crime rates are amongst the highest in the Tallahassee. While the neighborhood is home to only 17% of the City's population, it accounts for almost half the City's reported murders and aggravated assaults. In collaboration with local partner organizations, the City has developed a plan to build upon and support ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life and expand opportunities for all residents. The community revitalization plan centers on expanding community-oriented policing initiatives, offering employment opportunities through youth and summer programs, rehabilitating affordable housing stock, connecting residents with human service providers in collaboration with the Community Human Services Partnership, and strengthening community based organizations.

Tampa, Florida
Round II and Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Tampa
Situated on the Florida’s Gulf Coast, the target community encompasses several areas of concentrated poverty within Tampa’s urban core. With nearly half of families living below the poverty level, there is a significant need for targeted revitalization within the neighborhood. After years of economic decline, the community continues to struggle with blight, insufficient opportunities for education and job training, lack of healthy food access, and growing health disparities. To address these challenges, the City of Tampa has partnered with the Tampa Housing Authority and the Hillsborough County Public Schools to transform Tampa's center city into a mixed-use, mixed-income community of choice, education and opportunity for all residents. The partnership’s plan focuses on replacing outdated public housing units to create mixed-income neighborhoods, opening a new job training facility, making strategic investments to support and stimulate private investment ,reducing crime through community policing efforts, establishing a new education campus and an early childhood education center, and improving access to health care and locally grown food sources.


Atlanta, Georgia
Round II Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Atlanta
Located in Westside Atlanta, the target community is home to 16,430 residents, nearly 50% of whom live in poverty. The community has experienced years of disinvestment, population loss, high poverty rates, escalating crime, high unemployment, and high concentrations of vacant and abandoned properties. Despite the identified challenges, however, a closer look at these Westside neighborhoods reveals communities with many resident and neighborhood assets, including a long history of advancing civil rights and equality. Importantly, a number of engaged educational anchor institutions and community partners, along with the residents of the community, have begun the important task of revitalizing these neighborhoods. Led by the City of Atlanta, the partnership focuses on strengthening key place-based strategies that have been identified as priorities by residents and neighborhood partners through 2 years of community engagement by partners. The community will build human capital through creation of job opportunities, create a safe environment that increases the perception of safety and resident connectedness, increase quality of life by supporting investments in healthy living and education, and stabilize and preserve existing housing stock in a manner that fosters neighborhood revitalization. Overall, the partnership aims to develop a thriving and sustainable community of opportunity where people want to live, work, play and learn using an interdisciplinary, place-based, data driven strategy and approach to community revitalization.


Nampa, Idaho
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization:  City of Nampa
Located approximately 20 miles west of Boise, the target community encompasses many of the highest poverty neighborhoods within the City of Nampa. Unemployment rates are high, and nearly 30% of residents over the age of 25 do not have a high school diploma. High-quality, affordable housing is scarce within the community, and over 56% of renters in the community are cost-burdened by housing expenses. In response to these challenges, the City of Nampa and its partners have developed a comprehensive plan to transform the central core of Nampa and expand opportunity for its most vulnerable residents. The plan prioritizes boosting educational attainment for students of all ages, starting with early childhood education and continuing through graduation, post-secondary education, and job-training. The partnership will help connect residents with living wage employment by supporting existing businesses, offering assistance to small businesses and start-ups, and recruiting new employers in economically viable industries. Nampa will also work to facilitate trust-building between community members and law enforcement, promote mixed-income and affordable housing infill development and blight reduction, and support multi-modal transportation options.


East St. Louis, Illinois
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: United Way of Greater St. Louis
Situated along the Mississippi River, the target area encompasses the City of East St. Louis, the Villages of Alorton and Washington Park, and portions of the City of Centreville. The area was once an industrial leader and job generator in the region, benefiting from the economic success of the Midwestern coal belt. As the economy has shifted, however, the economic health of the community has suffered, eroding both residency and sources of employment. Today, the target area includes large parcels of underutilized land with sub-standard infrastructure. Residents struggle with high rates of poverty, unemployment, and violent crime, and low educational attainment. Amidst vast challenges, the area benefits from diverse assets and momentum for community revitalization, including a growing collective impact effort, East Side Aligned. Over the last three years, East Side Aligned has convened stakeholders from diverse sectors and constituencies to develop strategies to change the trajectory of a generation. Building on this effort, the United Way of Greater St. Louis and its partners will address the most pressing needs and build a better future for all residents. The plan emphasizes the need to alleviate underlying environmental issues; develop quality, affordable and market rate housing; and transform the condition, usability and safety of streets to create secure, sustainable, economically‐ and socially‐vibrant physical environments that will help keep families stable, improve health and open the doors to opportunity. It also underscores the need to ensure residents thrive in school, work and life with activities to improve educational opportunities for children and adults, in part through aligning and building on existing efforts with federal investment. In addition, activities will significantly raise awareness about and build the community’s capacity to address the adverse effects of trauma.


Kokomo, Indiana
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: Kokomo Housing Authority
Located in north-central Indiana, the City of Kokomo was hit hard by the Great Recession. Today, the target area continues struggle, as many residents have not felt the effects of the improving economy. The target area encompasses pockets of economic distress, blight, and vacancy.  Unemployment remains high, while homeownership rates and educational attainment lag behind the county averages. To address these challenges, the Kokomo Housing Authority and its partners have developed a comprehensive plan to improve the quality of life for Kokomo residents. To promote economic activity in the community, the partnership will connect residents to training programs and employment opportunities, and increase incentives to attract and retain businesses in the target area.  The community’s revitalization plan will also focus on expanding access to educational opportunities for students of all ages,  supporting ongoing  community-oriented policing strategies, and redeveloping vacant land to improve community infrastructure and create high-quality, affordable housing options for all residents.


Louisville, Kentucky
Round II and Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: Louisville Metro Government
Located in West Louisville, the target community faces significant economic and social disparities. Over 45% of its 60,749 residents live in poverty, and the unemployment rate is more than double that of Louisville Metro. Led by the Louisville Metro Government, the partnership capitalizes on existing momentum and integrates multiple current efforts into a unified strategy. To leverage available resources and address identified needs, the partnership will focus on creating jobs within the target community and connecting residents to employment outside of the community, increasing private investment and business development, improving educational outcomes from cradle to career, improving housing conditions for community residents, and transforming a culture of violence into one of hope and safety, promoting health and wellness.


New Orleans, Louisiana
Round I and Round II Finalist
Lead Organization: City of New Orleans
Located in the Claiborne Corridor of New Orleans, the target community is home to 51,173 residents. Nearly 45% of residents live in poverty, and the majority of residents spend at least half of their household income on rental housing, struggle to find employment, earn low-wages, and do not achieve educational attainment beyond high school. The community is also the site of significant opportunities and assets, including the largest regional jobs center in the Central Business District, major sports venues, significant public/private investments, catalytic public space projects, a growing population, and vacant parcels ripe for development. The partnership to revitalize the Claiborne Corridor is an initiative of the City of New Orleans, through The Network for Economic Opportunity (The Network). The Network has established a broad cross-sector collective that operates with a shared vision for collaboratively enacting innovative and data-driven solutions that will increase community residents' long-term quality of life and the economic vitality of the core of New Orleans. The partnership will focus on developing pathways to economic opportunity, creating sustainable transit options to enhance intra-community flow and job access, expand access to quality affordable housing and ensure the long-term viability of local neighborhoods' distinct cultural traditions.


Boston, Massachusetts
Round I and Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
Located in the heart of Boston, the target neighborhood is among the most distressed in the City. Over 44% of residents are living below the poverty line, and violent crime occurs at twice the citywide rate. Adult learning opportunities are few, and approximately 38% of residents 25 and older lack a high school degree. Housing instability and homelessness are chronic concerns for residents, who are buffeted by poverty and unemployment in a city characterized by serious income disparities. Building on years of planning and collaboration among residents and community partners, the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative will promote neighborhood revitalization through a strategy that creates economic opportunities, reduces poverty, and increases access to quality affordable housing and education. The initiative is led by a unique partnership of community organizations and City government officials, focused on creating a successful multi-stakeholder collaborative that will result in specific, measurable outcomes.  The partnership will implement a wide array of coordinated activities which include creating jobs in construction and the food manufacturing industry; providing businesses and entrepreneurs with technical assistance and loans; building partnerships between schools and community based organizations to address issues such as homelessness; and developing additional affordable housing and rental units.


Detroit, Michigan
Round II Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Detroit Office of Grants Management
Located in Eastside Detroit, the target community is an area of enduring need. Almost 42% of its 197,999 residents live in poverty, more than 31% are unemployed, and violent crime persistently undermines opportunities for success. Amidst this great need are many assets to leverage, including an engaged community, development opportunities, and a history of collaboration among diverse stakeholders. The community's redevelopment plan better aligns resources to maximize social and economic opportunities for its low-income residents. The plan focuses on four reinforcing goals to improve quality of life: growing the economy in an equitable way for all Detroiters, establishing a pre-K through age 24 educational framework to develop all youth, reducing violent crime through intelligence-led and evidence-based policing strategies, and stabilizing neighborhoods by removing blight, rehabilitating housing and repopulating the strongest markets.

Genesee County (Flint), Michigan
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: United Way of Genesee County
Centered on the City of Flint, the target community is home to 104,541 residents, approximately 38% of whom fall below the poverty line. With the shift from the American industrial era to a competitive global economy, Flint has endured a great deal of dislocation, resulting in dramatically fewer jobs and a steadily decreasing population. This drastic loss of population has led to increased abandoned properties, blight, crime, and unemployment. The loss of the City’s tax base has brought drastic cuts in public funding for all city services. These factors, coupled with increased poverty and rampant blight, have led to an alarmingly high crime rate. The community has also felt the devastating effects of the water crisis, which exposed as many as 12,000 children to lead-contaminated water. Despite its clear and pressing needs, Flint is a resilient city, poised and ready for transformation. The United Way of Genesee County and its partners will implement Flint's Master Plan, adopted in 2013, which creates a structure for coordinating local assets with new resources from outside the community for Flint's revitalization, health and prosperity. The strategy includes supporting healthy cognitive development for youth that have been exposed to high lead levels in the water, increasing the credentials and skills of Flint's adult workforce, reducing crime through alternative paths for at-risk youth and ex-offenders, connecting viable business ventures with capital and coaching, increasing access to jobs through affordable childcare and better public transportation, and connecting residents to the extensive network of existing health programs, insurance enrollment opportunities, and preventative care services.

New Jersey

Newark, New Jersey
Round II and Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Newark
Encompassing six neighborhoods within the City of Newark, the target area encompasses the ring of deep poverty surrounding Newark’s Central Business District and air and seaports. Of the community’s 60,105 residents, approximately 44% are living in poverty. Educational attainment across the community is very low, and employment rates lag significantly behind State and national averages. The City of Newark and its partners will work to combat the interrelated effects of urban distress, building on the City’s ongoing violence reduction and job creation initiatives. The community’s plan will center on efforts to create jobs that pay a living wage in regional growth industries; improve educational opportunities and increase educational attainment; develop more targeted policing and redirect youthful and adult offenders towards job training and employment; leverage private capital investment to better connect residents to the private sector employers; create affordable mixed-income neighborhoods; and, rehabilitate blighted, abandoned properties.

New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Round II Finalist
Lead Organization: Rio Grande Community Development Corporation
Located in the high desert of Bernalillo County, New Mexico, the target community is a majority-minority population of Hispanics and urban Native Americans. Of the 117,940 residents, nearly 34% live in poverty. The community is divided into five neighborhoods that share characteristics of diversity, poverty, unemployment, crime, unrealized educational outcomes, poor health and homelessness. Still, the community boasts significant assets, including the state's flagship post-secondary institutions, nationally recognized workforce development and business incubators, and public/private unification in solving the area's interconnected issues. Led by the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation (RGCDC, the partnership has earned strong support from the leaders within the local and county governments, business community and nonprofit sector. The community revitalization plan applies a collective impact strategy that includes goals such as promoting college- and career-readiness by developing an integrated system of collaborative supports and opportunities between communities and schools, accelerating economic mobility for low-income and underrepresented populations through workforce development and supports, creating an environment conducive to business growth, fostering stable and healthy neighborhoods, and collaborating with law-enforcement to promote public safety and positive outcomes for youths.

New York

Rochester, New York
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Rochester
The target community is located in just north of downtown Rochester, a mid-sized city on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. While Rochester was once a global leader in manufacturing, industrial shifts have led to disinvestment and a reduction of jobs across skill levels. Today, the City struggles with large pockets of poverty, crime, joblessness and low educational attainment. Rochester has the highest rate of childhood poverty among all mid-sized American cities, and the the lowest-performing school district in the state. The target area encompasses a set of neighborhoods known collectively as the “Crescent,” in which 47.16% of residents live in poverty. Residents of these neighborhoods have been disproportionately impacted by the steep decline of manufacturing jobs, racial segregation, and population loss. To address these challenges, the City has assembled a robust team of partners to revitalize the City of Rochester and transform the target neighborhoods into a community where all residents have the opportunity be healthy, safe, and self-sufficient. Rochester’s strategy focuses on closing the skills gap and connecting workforce development programs to growth in key industries; creating, retaining and supporting expansion of businesses that build individual and community wealth and contribute to a stable tax base; investing in early intervention programs that improve graduation rates, increase job and college readiness, and expand access to employment opportunities; enhancing  community, law enforcement and other evidence-based crime prevention programs to reduce violence; providing support and resources to formerly incarcerated individuals to prevent recidivism; and increasing the quality, availability, and effectiveness of community-based health and wellness programs.

Utica, New York
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Utica
Situated midway between Syracuse and Albany, the target community is home to 20,228 residents. Nearly half of community residents are living in poverty, and median household incomes lag significantly behind the citywide average. The City of Utica and its partners have developed a roadmap for the community to leverage existing assets, including significant private and public investment and strong community institutions, as well as encourage further development to revitalize areas that have experienced decades of neglect and disinvestment.  The partnership will work to create jobs, increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, reduce violent crime, increase access to quality affordable housing, and promote health and access to healthcare. Partners will also focus on expanding access to childcare; supporting entrepreneur and social enterprise programs; offering soft skills, literacy, and school to NANO pipelines; fostering cultural diversity; enhancing behavioral health and supportive housing projects; and expanding access to healthy foods, lead reduction programs, and live/work space options.

North Carolina

Durham County, North Carolina
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: Durham County Cooperative Extension
Located in Durham County, North Carolina, the target community is characterized by pervasive poverty, low employment, high violent crime rates, and food insecurity. The community’s socio-economic decline began in the 1960s, when the closure of many tobacco and textile factories spurred unemployment. The community has yet to recover from this economic down turn, and stands in sharp contrast to the prosperous downtown development found just a few miles away. The Durham County Cooperative Extension has brought together a coalition of partner organizations to socially and economically transform the community by leveraging local assets, including its strong community organizations and its proximity to downtown Durham and other key employers. The partnership’s plan includes efforts to increase resident's net income, financial capabilities, long-term job retention and net worth overtime; attract and retain businesses in the target community’s commercial corridors; support students in graduating high school, college, and becoming career-ready; implementing a violence reduction strategy that supports at-risk youth, engages the community, targets gang and gun-related offenses, and assists returning ex-offenders in order to advance neighborhood revitalization; provide low-to-moderate income individuals and/or households within the target community decent, affordable and sustainable rental, homeownership, and home improvement opportunities; increase access to physical activity, fresh fruits and vegetables and healthcare for high-risk children, youth and families.


Cincinnati, Ohio
Round I Finalist
Lead Organization: The Community Builders, Inc.
Located in the heart of Cincinnati, the target area encompasses some of the City’s greatest assets—the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Krohn Conservatory, Cincinnati Art Museum and Friends of Harriet Beecher Stow House—and some of its most challenged neighborhoods. Many of the region’s largest employers, including hospitals, universities and other anchors of anticipated growth industries are located within the community. Yet, the benefits generated by these anchors have not meaningfully accrued to residents in the surrounding neighborhoods, which contain pockets of persistent poverty, joblessness, crime and disinvestment. To address these challenges, the Community Builders, Inc. and its partners have developed a place-based strategy that harnesses and builds upon strengths in the regional and local economy to enhance opportunities for community residents, businesses, investors and institutions. The community revitalization plan focuses on fostering economic growth by expanding anchor institutions and strengthening the healthcare industry cluster, linking residents to jobs and careers through workforce development and career-related educational opportunities, and attracting private investment through overall neighborhood improvements. Cincinnati will also work to improve quality of life in the neighborhood by supporting ongoing Community Problem Oriented Policing efforts and implementing a neighborhood-based mixed-income housing strategy that will attract new residents and workers and provide a stable, affordable housing base for existing residents.

Springfield, Ohio
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Springfield
The target community, located in southwestern Ohio, encompasses 21,096 residents. Within the target area, half of households are cost-burdened renters and nearly 36% of individuals live in poverty. In response to these challenges, the City of Springfield and its partners  have developed a collaborative, place-based effort to eliminate poverty in Springfield’s neediest neighborhoods. The partnership will create living wage jobs and promote economic growth by recruiting new businesses, aligning the transportation and social support infrastructure, and collaborating with urban agriculture leaders. To increase educational attainment, Springfield will support early childhood education and college- and career-readiness programs, and offer extended day and year options, tutoring and mentoring opportunities, and community- based after school programs for students. The partnership will work to reduce violence through data-driven and research-based approaches that align safety, judicial, and social service efforts for targeted impact, and strengthen the capacity of residents, families, and youth to restore pro-social norms of behavior. Additional efforts will include right sizing the housing stock through demolition of blighted and vacant structures and enforcement of property maintenance codes, and expanding access to wellness programs and health food choices.


Reading, Pennsylvania
Round II Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Reading
The target community is home to 67,680 residents, over 42% of whom live in poverty. Encompassing over half of the City of Reading, the community faces rising poverty, stagnant income, low home values, low educational attainment and high crime rates. Nonetheless, the community is home to a variety of assets, including its colleges, healthcare centers, arts and cultural institutions, entertainment venues, hotels, as well as its diverse residents and a wealth of engaged organizations working to address local challenges. Led by the City of Reading, the partnership's community revitalization plan employs a collective impact approach focused on attracting new industry to the area, promoting small business development, increasing educational and job skills attainment for residents of all ages, promoting public safety, and expanding access to quality affordable rental and owner-occupied housing.

South Carolina

North Charleston, South Carolina
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: Metanoia Community Development Corporation
Despite the significant growth of the greater Charleston region over the past several years, the target community continues to be an area of high need and limited opportunity. The area sits adjacent to the former Charleston Naval Base, which was once the largest employer in South Carolina, but was decommissioned in 1996, leading to significant job loss in the area. Today, over 43% of target community residents live in poverty, nearly double the citywide average. A significant proportion of local renters and homeowners are cost-burdened by housing expenses, and more than 14% of the neighborhood’s housing stock is long-term vacant. The Metanoia Community Development Corporation, with strong support from the City of North Charleston, is leading a partnership of 21 partner organizations committed to improving outcomes for the target area’s lowest income residents using a collective impact approach.  Building on the momentum of ongoing investments and initiatives, Metanoia Community Development Corporation and its partners will use a collective impact approach to create jobs, generate economic development, reduce crime, increase educational attainment and establish quality affordable housing. Priorities that will drive overall strategy will be focused on (a) identifying and growing existing local assets, rather than focusing strictly on problems, (b) creative place making within the neighborhood, (c) expanding healthy food access for residents (d) building human capacities through education and job placement, and (e) tracking measurable outcomes for all initiatives undertaken within the community.


Memphis, Tennessee
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Memphis
Located in the heart of Memphis, the target community is an area of high poverty, low education levels, high unemployment and crime rates, inadequate transportation options, and barriers to quality affordable housing.  To address these challenges, the City has assembled a partnership of city and county agencies, non-profits, coalitions, and private developments committed to an array of interlocking, cross-sector revitalization strategies. The revitalization plan represents the intersection of community-driven planning efforts, and aims to spur infill development in the urban core to build the density and tax base necessary to support public services.  Specifically, the partnership will focus on several priority activities for immediate progress: reducing blight through infill housing; incenting employees to become residents of the target area; redeveloping brown fields; increasing rail and water activity through modernization of the International Port of Memphis


Arlington, Texas
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Arlington
The target community of East Arlington is home to more than 51,000 residents, approximately 35% of whom are living in poverty (compared to 15.9% citywide). While the area represents the highest poverty portion of the city, poverty is merely one of many systemic and layered concerns which have historically plagued this neighborhood. East Arlington has traditionally been characterized by some of the lowest literacy rates, highest number of public benefit recipients and lowest household incomes in the county. The City of Arlington and its partners will expand and accelerate comprehensive community revitalization by leveraging the community’s many assets, such as the University of Texas at Arlington, the Center for Continuing Education and Workforce Development, a new Career and Technology Center under development by Arlington Independent School District, and the community’s rich cultural heritage. The community’s plan focuses on addressing the need for living wage job opportunities and financial literacy training, reducing crime through programming for at-risk youth and vulnerable populations, providing rental assistance and homeownership supports, targeting new investment and rebuilding aging infrastructure.

Brownsville, Texas
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Brownsville
Situated along the Rio Grande River, the target community encompasses the southern portion of the city of Brownsville, Texas. The neighborhood continues to be an area of high need, despite progress over the past several years. Approximately 48% of the area’s 36,585 residents live in poverty. Residents face multiple barriers to employment, including insufficient job opportunities and low educational attainment, and over half of residents are not in the labor force.  The community includes significant pockets of housing vacancy, and suffers from a high incidence of severe health issues.  In the past decade, however, the target area has undergone tremendous change led by the City and its partners. Brownsville is engaging public, nonprofit, and institutional partners to build on the momentum of ongoing investments, programs and initiatives geared toward improving outcomes for the target area’s low-income residents. The revitalization plan leverages Brownsville’s unique assets, including its proximity to Mexican markets, multi-modal ports of entry, a sophisticated manufacturing hub, a major university, a municipally-owned electrical utility, and a rich natural resource environment. Leveraging these opportunities, Brownsville’s plan will include efforts to implement a “cradle-to-career” educational strategy, attract new private investment and sustain existing businesses, support efforts to provide art and cultural opportunities, rehabilitate and expand the housing stock, promote homeownership, and increase community connectivity by expanding broadband and investing in alternative transportation routes.

El Paso, Texas
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of El Paso
Located just north of the Mexican border, the target area encompasses some of El Paso’s most distressed neighborhoods. The community faces challenges such as chronic disinvestment, inadequate infrastructure, aging housing stock, high vacancy rates, and limited high-wage job opportunities. Despite these needs, the neighborhood also benefits from significant community assets. The target area is home to a robust set of community institutions: public schools, community college campuses, public universities, and strong social service non-profits directly tuned to the community needs.  The City of El Paso and its partners will work to create a sustainable ladder of opportunity that will enhance neighborhood safety, improve quality of life, and help residents rise out of poverty. The community’s revitalization plan will focus on spurring economic activity by leveraging public investments into private sector jobs, linking residents to targeted skills and job training opportunities, enhancing access to higher degree programs, and investing in public transit throughout the area.

Port Arthur, Texas
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Port Arthur
The City of Port Arthur, located on the Gulf Coast of eastern Texas, faces a number of interrelated community challenges. The local economy has suffered a downturn in recent years, resulting in high unemployment rates and inadequate community infrastructure. The target neighborhood has a lower median income and lower median home value than other areas of the city, and has one of the highest percentages of families living in poverty in Port Arthur. In addition, the City of Port Arthur has suffered significant damage from Hurricanes Rita and Ike, which destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses.  Building on existing restoration efforts and investments, the City of Port Arthur and its partners will to work to revitalize neighborhoods, attract new businesses, and improve the quality of life for residents.  The community’s plan includes targeted strategies for expanding on-the-job training programs, bridging the achievement gap among local students, supporting infrastructure improvement efforts in commercial corridors, increasing the quality and stock of affordable housing, expanding community policing efforts, and making healthcare more accessible for low-income families.


Richmond, Virginia
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Richmond
The target area is beset by interdependent economic, educational, public health, transportation, housing, and public safety challenges which have resulted in a cycle of intergenerational poverty that disproportionately affects minority residents of the City of Richmond. The community reflects one of the densest concentrations of poverty in the nation, with an overall poverty rate of 65% and a child poverty rate exceeding 75%. The City of Richmond made a major commitment to tackling poverty with the creation of the Office of Community Wealth Building in 2014, which is charged with coordinating implementation of a comprehensive approach to redressing poverty. The City’s approach to poverty reduction considers the barriers and assets of the entire community, and entire families and individuals within that community, in order to design programs and interventions which are informed by diverse local stakeholders and community residents. The City and its partners will focus on increasing employment and stimulating economic development by removing barriers for residents through wraparound family support services, creating neighborhood-based employment hubs and Business Service Hubs for emerging and small businesses, and launching a full-service grocery store in the community which prioritizes management training for minority residents. The partnership will continue to build a cradle to career pipeline to support the holistic educational needs of children and their families, and promote public safety through youth diversion programs, community trust-building initiatives, and comprehensive reentry programs. Richmond will also work to improve quality of life for residents through the redevelopment of public housing, homeownership and rental assistance programs, and expansion of medical care and healthy food access.


Spokane, Washington
Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: City of Spokane
The target community, located in the Spokane’s northeast quadrant, has historically been characterized by an intergenerational struggle that has inhibited positive change. The community is home to 23% of Spokane's residents, but accounts for 48% of the city's violent crime and 49% of its property crime. The area faces some of the City's highest educational, social, economic, and health needs, but struggles to connect with existing assets that can set the stage for revitalization, such as the in-progress North Spokane Corridor, a Targeted Investment Pilot area, a 500-acre undeveloped commercial area, and extensive neighborhood-based resources. Spokane’s community revitalization plan will empower its residents with the resources, tools, skills, and network to build a community of opportunity with regards to education, jobs, economy, safety, housing, and health. Activities center on the themes of resilience, resource navigation, restorative practice, and racial equity to achieve short-term wins that set the stage for longer, more sweeping innovations and outcomes. Integrated activities build the quality of the cradle-to-career continuum, implement restorative discipline and justice strategies, transform abandoned properties into homes, decrease food insecurity, address behavioral health needs, develop a workforce prepared to fill ample living-wage jobs, and attract public-private investments. The City of Spokane has a history of successful revitalization, securing over $4 billion in private and public investments that have stimulated growth and transformation. The process of developing the community revitalization strategy sparked cross-sector planning and alignment of resources to support a fundamental shift from intergenerational poverty to intergenerational prosperity.


Racine, Wisconsin
Round II and Round III Finalist
Lead Organization: Racine County
Encompassing neighborhoods in Racine and Mt. Pleasant, the target community is home to some of Racine County's most fragile families, with high rates of poverty and poor educational attainment. Once a thriving manufacturing center, Racine lost numerous employers, resulting in high unemployment and brownfield sites in need of redevelopment. Over 40% of families in the target area live in poverty, with high infant mortality and poor access to mental health care. Pockets within the community are "hot spots" for serious crime. Racine County, in collaboration with local partner organizations, is committed to revitalizing the area by leveraging local assets, which include sites suitable for redevelopment for manufacturing or warehouse/distribution use, strong education institutions, a scenic location on Lake Michigan, and service providers capable of working collaboratively. The County’s revitalization plan includes strategies such as offering full-day pre-K  programs to improve school readiness, promoting  academy-based high schools, expanding access to GED and postsecondary training, redeveloping brownfield sites, revitalizing urban corridors, increasing access to mental health care, and supporting Community Oriented Policing and targeted law enforcement strategies.