On February 17, 2016, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro launched the “Prosperity Playbook” community tour in Kansas City, MO. The “Prosperity Playbook” will be a compilation of online resources written for and by state and local decision makers.
This online toolkit will inform community planning and help local leaders think regionally about how to expand affordable housing opportunity and forge greater economic mobility in communities across the nation. Through the “Prosperity Playbook” engagement sessions Secretary Castro and HUD are engaging in the pressing conversation about how to create economic opportunity for everyone to have the chance to succeed.
“In too many communities across our great nation a child’s zip code determines how far they can go in life and what they will achieve,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “Creating inclusive communities is not always popular and forces us to have difficult conversations about our nation’s most challenging unresolved issues of class, race and discrimination. Through these engagement sessions we hope to extract the best ideas from communities already doing great work, share these findings and lift up other communities in their efforts to increase mobility for our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.”
The “Prosperity Playbook” will not be a federal mandate or plan. It will be a collection of the best ideas from a cross section of local leaders who are committed to working regionally to solve some of the most difficult issues facing communities across the country. In the coming weeks, Secretary Castro will travel to the initial five contributing communities of Kansas City, MO, Denver, CO, San Francisco, CA, Atlanta, GA and Minneapolis, MN.
During the sessions, Secretary Castro will be highlighting the work of local leaders in leading regional efforts to expand access to opportunity.
A recent Harvard study showed that a low-income boy growing up in Baltimore will earn roughly 25 percent less than a similar child growing up in higher-opportunity community. One of the most striking findings was the 18-year gap in life expectancy in Missouri between the Clayton zip code of 63105 (85 years) and the Jeff-Vander-Lou neighborhood zip code of 63106 in North St. Louis (67 years). Findings from the study support a balanced approach of empowering economic mobility while also reinvesting in and developing access to opportunity in neighborhoods.
Following the engagement tour, each contributing community will create a regional blueprint outlining best practices and ideas to tackle the specific challenges facing their local communities in creating more inclusive communities. In the fall, HUD will use the regional blueprints to inform the “Prosperity Playbook” toolkit, which will be made available online. This will be a new online resource for state and local leaders and other stakeholders to use for community planning and development.
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