Obama administration making more big promises on housing

More plans coming to fix struggling communities

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will join Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Congressman Gary Peters of Michigan for a press call Friday at 11 a.m. ET to discuss the next round of Promise Zone applications.

Promise Zones are part of the Obama administration’s plan to create a new pathway to the middle class by partnering with local communities and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, improve educational opportunities, and reduce violent crime.

In January of this year, the White House announced the first five Promise Zones located in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

When the first five Promise Zones were announced, then-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.

"This is a sharp departure from the way the government provided aid in the past," Donovan said at the time. "Washington would swoop in and impose solutions without working with local leaders to support their visions and strengthen all assets needed for communities to thrive.

"We want to bring together a wide variety of stake holders to better communities. Home is the foundation of all of our lives. Now we are going to connect housing with other efforts to expand opportunity."

During the Friday call, Administration officials will discuss the progress being made in these areas and discuss the next steps for bringing similar success to high-poverty communities across the country.

HousingWire will have the coverage and will live tweet the event.

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