On April 28, 2015, the Obama Administration announced eight additional Promise Zones across the country, including six cities, one rural area, and one tribal community.
Promise Zones are high poverty communities where the federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, leverage private investment, reduce violent crime, enhance public health and address other priorities identified by the community. Through the Promise Zone designation, these communities will work directly with federal, state and local agencies to give local leaders proven tools to improve the quality of life in some of the country’s most vulnerable areas.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new Promise Zone designations in the following communities:
- Camden, New Jersey
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Sacramento, California
- St. Louis/St. Louis County, Missouri
- Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, South Dakota
- South Carolina Low Country
All Promise Zones will receive priority access to federal investments that further their strategic plans, federal staff on the ground to help them implement their goals, and five full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to recruit and manage volunteers and strengthen the capacity of the Promise Zone initiatives.
A competition to select a third round of Promise Zones will commence later this year. In the Summer of 2015, HUD will publish a Notice in the Federal Register requesting public comment on the proposed selection process, criteria, and submissions for the final round of the Promise Zones initiative. This notice will provide urban, rural, and tribal communities the opportunity to help shape the third round application guide and efforts to support other communities more effectively in future years.