HousingWire – Trey Garrison
The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development joined the education and agriculture secretaries Thursday in a press conference to elaborate on what will be involved in President Obama’s new "promise zone" initiative. President Barack Obama announced that he is starting a new government program designed to help economically challenged communities.
The promise zone initiative, Obama said, will focus on attracting private investment to replace distressed housing with what they call "mixed-income" housing, reducing crime, providing tax incentives to stimulate economic growth, and promoting programs to help high schools retain and graduate students. The first five locations will be San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
The White House plans to announce 15 more promise zones over the next two years in blighted rural and urban areas. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said the effort will integrate housing, education and crime relief efforts, and bring together local community leaders with businesses through tax credits, coordinated by federal oversight.