Office of Urban Affairs Blog

  • 5/28/10 Urban Affairs Weekly Newsletter

    Top News

    Remarks by President Barack Obama After Briefing on BP Oil Spill: Today, President Obama traveled to Louisiana to review the efforts underway to respond to the BP Oil Spill and to lend support to the region. He delivered the following remarks: “Now, our mission remains the same as it has since this disaster began, since the day I visited Louisiana nearly four weeks ago:  We want to stop the leak; we want to contain and clean up the oil; and we want to help the people of this region return to their lives and their livelihoods as soon as possible.”

    President Obama on the Economy and Innovation in Fremont, CA: This week, President Obama traveled to Fremont California where he toured the Solyndra facility-- solar panel manufacturer that received funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The President stressed the importance reviving our economy by spurring innovation and creating new manufacturing jobs.  “We’ve got to go back to basics.  We’ve got to go back to making things.” President Obama explained.

    President Obama Calls for Small Business Jobs Package: In recognition of Small Business Week, President Obama honored Small Business Owners of the Year and called on Congress to pass a small business jobs package that will increase access to capital and encourage new hiring. “It’s about unleashing the great power of our economy and the ingenuity of our people,” President Obama explained.

    Vice President Biden on Employment and the Recovery Act: This week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a report on the employment impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and found that ARRA was responsible for as many as 2.8 million jobs.  Vice President Joe Biden issued the following statement on the implications of report for job creating investments.

    The First Lady’s Tells Detroit “I’m looking at our future right now”: First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to Detroit, Michigan this week as part of an ongoing effort to foster mentorship opportunities for young people.  “I am here because I know something that I want everyone in America to know -- that there is a brighter, better future ahead for Detroit, for Michigan, for America,” Mrs. Obama said, “I know this -- because I’m looking at our future right now.”

    Driving Solutions and Rewarding Results Through the Social Innovation Fund Program: Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service announced the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) program in a recent blog post on Whitehouse.gov.  Managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the SIF fund “represents an extraordinary opportunity to drive results-oriented responses to critical social challenges, stimulate innovation in the non-profit sector, and support community-led approaches.”

    Secretary Duncan on Education Scores in our Nation’s Largest Cities: U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued a statement on the release of the 2009 Trial Urban District Assessment, also known as the Nation’s Report Card.  “Today’s report shows that the reading achievement of students in our largest cities has increased over time. At the same time, the results also show that cities have significant work to do. The increases since 2007 weren’t statistically significant in 4th grade. The overall scores of cities are lower than the nation, and the achievement gap in the urban districts is larger than in a nation.”

    Historic High-Speed And Inter-City Passenger Rail Is On The Way: The U.S. Department of Transportation announced this week that nearly $80 million in grants have been delivered to states as part of President Obama's historic high-speed and intercity passenger rail program.  The President's vision for high-speed rail will forever change the way Americans travel by offering new transportation options,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “The grants released today are merely the very beginning of many more to follow.”

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    Washington Post Op-ed: “How to prevent huge teacher layoffs”: Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors Christina Romer penned an op-ed addressing the importance of pending legislation that would enable communities to keep teachers in classrooms and avoid drastic lay-offs.  “The emergency spending bill before the House would address the education crisis facing communities across America — and the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers are at stake.”

    Community Foundations Applaud and Support the Social Innovation Fund: The Council on Foundations released a letter signed by more than 130 heads of community foundations from across the country in support of the Social Innovation Fund (SIF).  The letter commends President Obama for recognizing “the key role community foundations play in creating innovation and impact for a better tomorrow in our hometowns.”

    Funding Opportunities

    New: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Choice Neighborhood Pre-Notice: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development posted the Choice Neighborhood FY 2010 Notice of Funding Availability Pre-Notice to give potential applicants guidance prior to the actual Choice Neighborhoods funding notice, to be published this summer. The guidance offers advance details regarding the application process to compete for funds through this pilot program.

    Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program, Deadline June 1st: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot program through which 20 pilot projects will receive funding and direct assistance (through Agency contract support) to facilitate community involvement in area-wide planning approaches to brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse. More here.

    CDFI Fund 2010 New Markets Tax Credits for Investments to Help Low-Income Communities, Deadline June 2nd: The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the opening of the 2010 round of competition for tax credits under the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program.  According to CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell, “these credits will help finance small businesses, grocery stores, healthcare centers, charter schools and job-training sites and will help create, save or support local jobs where they are needed most.” 2010 NMTC Electronic Allocation Application Now Available.

    Commerce Announces New Innovation Competition - the i6 Challenge, Deadline June 15th: The Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and the Economic Development Administration (EDA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a new $12 million innovation competition - the i6 Challenge. The program, administered in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), seeks the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. EDA expects to award up to $1 million in each of its six regions, while NSF and NIH will award up to $6 million in additional funds for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grantees that are associated with winning teams.Department of

    Education Promise Neighborhood Planning Grants, Deadline June 25th: The U.S. Department of Education has launched the Promise Neighborhood program, the first federal initiative to put education at the center of comprehensive efforts to fight poverty in urban and rural areas.  The $10 million available in fiscal 2010 will support up to 20 organizations with one year of funding to plan for the implementation of cradle-to-career services designed to improve educational outcomes for students in distressed neighborhoods.  Planning grants will range between $400,000 and $500,000.

    Tiger II Discretionary Grants Program, Deadline August 23 (Pre-Application July July 16th): The Department of Transportation is soliciting application for the "TIGER II" discretionary grant program, a $600 million competitive transportation grant program for surface transportation projects.

     

    Upcoming Events

    June 1st
    Special Assistant to the President for Urban Policy Derek Douglas will speak at the White House Conference on Economic Opportunity and Security for Vulnerable Communities: Building Partnerships to Fight Poverty on Tuesday, June 1st from 1-5pm.

    First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to Las Vegas, Nevada where she will help launch Let’s Move Outside! – an Administration effort to promote outdoor physical activity for children and families in America’s great outdoors.  Further details about this trip will be released in the coming days.

  • 5/21/10 Urban Affairs Weekly Newsletter

    Top News

    Senate Passes Historic Financial Regulatory Reform Bill: The Washington Post reports: “The Senate approved far-reaching new financial rules on Thursday aimed at preventing the risky behavior and regulatory failures that brought the economy to the brink of collapse two years ago and cost millions of Americans their jobs and savings. [. . .] In providing for the most profound remaking of financial regulations since the Great Depression, the legislation would create a new consumer-protection watchdog housed at the Federal Reserve to prevent abuse in mortgage, auto and credit card lending. [. . .] Passage of the measure marks a milestone in President Obama's efforts to tackle the financial abuse and excess that contributed to the crisis and prevent another meltdown.”

    Preparing Communities for New Industries, New Jobs, and New Opportunities: This week the President visited Youngstown, Ohio to tour V&M Star Steel, a company that’s adding hundreds of jobs in part due to investments form the Recovery Act. Speaking to Youngstown workers, the President took a moment to look back at a tough year and the actions that had to be taken to turn the economy around from losing 750,000 jobs the month he came into office to gaining 250,000 last month. The president announced “a landmark agreement to help dozens of communities like Youngstown revitalize and redevelop old, shuttered GM facilities, preparing them for new industries, new jobs, and new opportunity.”

    Obama Administration Supports Additional Funding To Stabilize Neighborhoods Hard-Hit By Foreclosure: U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced Tuesday that the Obama Administration will work with Congress to find ways to help state and local governments more effectively combat the ongoing effects of the housing crisis and home foreclosures through additional funding for the Department’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) and foreclosure prevention counseling. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program was created to address the housing crisis, create jobs, and grow local economies by providing communities with the resources to purchase and rehabilitate vacant homes.

    Council on Auto Communities and Workers Announces Landmark Framework to Speed Redevelopment of Shuttered Auto Facilities, First Annual Report Released: The White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers announced a landmark federal framework to speed the cleanup of and redevelopment of shuttered auto facilities resulting from the GM bankruptcy. The framework will invest more than $800 million to put facilities back into productive use, creating jobs and economic growth in communities across the country. When fully implemented, it will represent the largest environmental and economic development effort for former manufacturing sites in our nation’s history. With a federal framework in hand, the United States plans on discussing the framework with the states and the debtor to work to finalize a plan for the use of these funds.

    U.S. Treasury Awards $2 Million to Five Organizations for Financial Education and Counseling Initiatives: The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) released this week the names of five organizations which will receive federal grants under the first round of the Financial Education and Counseling (FEC) Pilot Program. The grants, totaling $2 million in award funding made possible through fiscal year (FY) 2009 Congressional appropriations, will provide organizations financial assistance to establish and expand financial education and counseling services for prospective homebuyers.

    Federal Transportation Officials Seek Public Input on First Ever National Rail Plan: Dates and locations of public outreach meetings to solicit input toward the development of the nation’s first National Rail Plan were announced on Monday by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).  The National Rail Plan will lay out a coordinated vision for future development of our nation’s freight and passenger rail networks.  A final version of the plan will be released by September 15, 2010.  “The development of the National Rail Plan must be a collaborative effort,” said FRA Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “We want to work with states, communities, businesses, transportation experts and the public to make sure our future transportation needs are met.”

    EPA Recognizes Students From Across the Country for Contributions Toward a Healthier Environment: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson recognized young people from across the country at the 2009 President’s Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) ceremony on Wednesday. These students have made outstanding contributions to environmental protection through projects that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and protect America’s waters. Some of the projects include collecting the town’s cooking oil for recycling into biofuel and distributing it to charities; designing and building an environmental education center made entirely out of green, earth friendly materials; and starting a recycling program and class on recycling. "The President's Environmental Youth Award recognizes young people from across the United States who have stepped up to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the communities where we live," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

    Small Business Week: A proclamation signed this week by President Obama notes that “small business owners embody the spirit of entrepreneurship and strong work ethic that lie at the heart of the American dream. They are the backbone of our Nation's economy, they employ tens of millions of workers, and, in the past 15 years, they have created the majority of new private sector jobs. During Small Business Week, May 23rd to 29th, [the administration] reaffirm[s] [its] support for America's small businesses and celebrate[s] the proud tradition of private enterprise they represent.

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    Ford Foundation Forging A New Path to Metropolitan Prosperity: The Ford Foundation this week announced a five-year, $200 million effort to help transform the way cities, suburbs and surrounding communities grow and plan for the future, promoting a new metropolitan approach that interweaves housing, transportation and land-use policy to foster greater economic growth. The initiative was announced by Ford Foundation President Luis A. Ubiñas to some 300 local, state, and federal leaders gathered to discuss the revitalization of American communities that once relied almost solely on the auto industry for jobs and growth.

    Funding Opportunities

    a href="http://www.esaphaseone.com/wp-filez/10-05.pdf">Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program, Deadline June 1st:
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot program through which 20 pilot projects will receive funding and direct assistance (through Agency contract support) to facilitate community involvement in area-wide planning approaches to brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse. More here.

    CDFI Fund 2010 New Markets Tax Credits for Investments to Help Low-Income Communities, Deadline June 2nd: The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the opening of the 2010 round of competition for tax credits under the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program.  According to CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell, “these credits will help finance small businesses, grocery stores, healthcare centers, charter schools and job-training sites and will help create, save or support local jobs where they are needed most.” 2010 NMTC Electronic Allocation Application Now Available.

    Commerce Announces New Innovation Competition - the i6 Challenge, Deadline June 15th: The Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and the Economic Development Administration (EDA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a new $12 million innovation competition - the i6 Challenge. The program, administered in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), seeks the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. EDA expects to award up to $1 million in each of its six regions, while NSF and NIH will award up to $6 million in additional funds for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grantees that are associated with winning teams.Department of

    Education Promise Neighborhood Planning Grants, Deadline June 25th: The U.S. Department of Education has launched the Promise Neighborhood program, the first federal initiative to put education at the center of comprehensive efforts to fight poverty in urban and rural areas.  The $10 million available in fiscal 2010 will support up to 20 organizations with one year of funding to plan for the implementation of cradle-to-career services designed to improve educational outcomes for students in distressed neighborhoods.  Planning grants will range between $400,000 and $500,000.

    Tiger II Discretionary Grants Program, Deadline July 16th: The Department of Transportation is soliciting application for the "TIGER II" discretionary grant program, a $600 million competitive transportation grant program for surface transportation projects.

     

    Upcoming Events

    May 25th
    Elizabeth Wilkins of the Domestic Policy Council will speak at the Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural and Engineering Services’ (COFPAES’s) Federal Architect-Engineer Forum at the American Institute of Architects in D.C.

    May 26th
    The First Lady will take the White House youth leadership and mentoring program on the road to Detroit, Michigan, next week.  Mrs. Obama will be joined by leaders in business, entertainment, news, sports and government for a luncheon with students and a larger afternoon event focused on Detroit’s young people, all designed to engage, encourage, and inspire.  Further details about this trip will be released in the coming days.

  • 5/14/2010 Urban Affairs Newsletter

    Top News

    President Obama Speaks to the Role of Small Business in Buffalo, NY: This week, President Obama travelled to Buffalo, New York where he visited Industrial Support Inc. and discussed the important role of small businesses as the “backbone of America’s economy.”

    President Obama Releases National Drug Control Strategy To Reduce Drug Use and Its Consequences: President Obama released the Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy, which establishes five-year goals for reducing drug use and its consequences through a balanced policy of prevention, treatment, enforcement, and international cooperation.  The Strategy was developed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) with input from a variety of Federal, State, and local partners.

    First Lady Michelle Obama Releases Action Plan to Solve Childhood Obesity: This week the Childhood Obesity Task Force released an action plan to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation.  In a recent blog post, Melody Barnes, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council, encourages readers to review the Task Force’s report and its recommendations.  Barnes explains, “[This plan] will serve as a roadmap for the work we need to do together to make sure that our kids grow up healthy and have the opportunity to live active lives.”

    The Ongoing Administration-Wide Response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster which can seriously damage the economy and environment of our Gulf states and could jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Americans who live throughout the Gulf region. From the beginning, President Obama has been clear that the Administration will not rest until this leak is contained and cleaned up and that the government will aggressively pursue full compensation for damages from BP and other responsible parties. That is why President Obama this week sent Congress a legislative package that will: enable the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill response to continue expeditiously, speed assistance to people affected by this spill, and strengthen and update the oil spill liability system to better address catastrophic events.

    New Federal Strategy for Chesapeake Launches Major Initiatives, Holds Government Accountable: The new federal strategy for the Chesapeake region, released on Wednesday,  focuses on protecting and restoring the environment in communities throughout the 64,000-square-mile watershed and in its thousands of streams, creeks and rivers. The strategy includes using rigorous regulations to restore clean water, implementing new conservation practices on 4 million acres of farms, conserving 2 million acres of undeveloped land and rebuilding oysters in 20 tributaries of the bay. To increase accountability, federal agencies will establish milestones every two years for actions to make progress toward measurable environmental goals. The “Strategy for Protecting and Restoring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed” was developed under an Executive Order issued by President Obama in May 2009.

    HUD Secretary Donovan Announces New Direction For HUD Through Agency’s Strategic Plan: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled the agency's Strategic Plan, which will serve as the agency's roadmap toward accomplishing its mission to "create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and affordable homes for all." "This Strategic Plan isn't just a paper exercise to produce a set of marching orders, but a real attempt to express what we want our agency, our homes and our neighborhoods to look like in the years to come," said Donovan during his address to all HUD staff nationwide. "The plan sets out clear goals and defines success as we take HUD to its fiftieth anniversary in 2015."

    HUD Awards Nearly $28 Million To Public Housing Agencies To Promote Jobs, Self-Sufficiency: This week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $27,947,749 in grants to public housing and non-profit agencies across the U.S. to help public housing residents find employment and foster economic independence. The funding will also link elderly residents with supportive services that will allow them to age-in-place. "This is money well spent in these economic times," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "This funding allows our partner local housing agencies to provide families with more than just affordable housing, but also resources that will help them obtain jobs and achieve personal and career goals."

    Wanted: Peer Reviewers for Promise Neighborhoods: The Promise Neighborhoods planning grant competition seeks peer reviewers.  The Program is intended to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children in our most distressed communities. Because the challenges faced by communities with high concentrations of poverty are interrelated, Promise Neighborhoods is taking a comprehensive approach designed to ensure that children have access to a continuum of cradle-through-college-to-career solutions, with strong schools at the center that will support academic achievement, healthy development, and college and career success. Reviewers are sought from various backgrounds and professions and will independently read, score, and provide written comments for grant applications.

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    The New Metro Map and Implications for Policymakers: The Huffington Post reviews the Brookings Institution analysis of 2000-2008 census data in the article “Suburbs Losing Young Whites To Cities, Brookings Institution Finds.” “Calling 2010 the ‘decade of reckoning,’ the report urges policymakers to shed outdated notions of America's cities and suburbs and work quickly to address the coming problems caused by the dramatic shifts in population.”

    CEO’s for Cities Fosters New Ideas for Improving America’s Cities At “2010 Strategy Session”: CEO’s for Cities, “a national cross-sector network of urban leaders from the civic, business, academic and philanthropic sectors dedicated to building and sustaining the next generation of great American cities,” recently released a summary of observations and session insights from their April 20th-21st National Strategy Session.  The Strategy Session covered a range of provocative topics, from best practices for catalyzing innovation to increasing college attainment, from strategies to reduce poverty to methods of reinventing public participation.

    The Arizona Republic Asks “Can you afford to live in your house?”: An article in The Arizona Republic highlights the Sustainable Communities Partnership and efforts to consider combined housing and transportation costs in the formula to determine ‘affordability.’ “For years, renters and homebuyers were told they couldn't afford a home if it cost more than 30 percent of their income. Now, an influential research center has come up with another yardstick that it says more accurately measures whether your choice of housing is beyond your means: The combined cost of housing and transportation shouldn't exceed 45 percent of your income.”

    Funding Opportunities

    2010 Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program, Deadline May 15th: If your organization is interested in applying for the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program, please call the HUD NOFA Information Center as soon as possible. The NOFA Information Center will ask for your organization name and address, contact name, email, and telephone number, including area code. HUD's NOFA Information Center at 1-800-HUD-8929.

    Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program, Deadline June 1st:
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot program through which 20 pilot projects will receive funding and direct assistance (through Agency contract support) to facilitate community involvement in area-wide planning approaches to brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse. More here.

    UPDATE: CDFI Fund 2010 New Markets Tax Credits for Investments to Help Low-Income Communities, Deadline June 2nd: The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the opening of the 2010 round of competition for tax credits under the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program.  According to CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell, “these credits will help finance small businesses, grocery stores, healthcare centers, charter schools and job-training sites and will help create, save or support local jobs where they are needed most.” 2010 NMTC Electronic Allocation Application Now Available.

    Commerce Announces New Innovation Competition - the i6 Challenge, Deadline June 15th: The Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and the Economic Development Administration (EDA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a new $12 million innovation competition - the i6 Challenge. The program, administered in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), seeks the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. EDA expects to award up to $1 million in each of its six regions, while NSF and NIH will award up to $6 million in additional funds for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grantees that are associated with winning teams.

    Department of Education Promise Neighborhood Planning Grants, Deadline June 25th: The U.S. Department of Education has launched the Promise Neighborhood program, the first federal initiative to put education at the center of comprehensive efforts to fight poverty in urban and rural areas.  The $10 million available in fiscal 2010 will support up to 20 organizations with one year of funding to plan for the implementation of cradle-to-career services designed to improve educational outcomes for students in distressed neighborhoods.  Planning grants will range between $400,000 and $500,000.

    Tiger II Discretionary Grants Program, Deadline July 16th: The Department of Transportation is soliciting application for the "TIGER II" discretionary grant program, a $600 million competitive transportation grant program for surface transportation projects.

    Upcoming Events

    May 17th
    The Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) invite entrepreneurs, investors, universities, foundations, and non-profits to join in on the i6 Challenge conference call at 2 p.m. EDT on May 17th.  The i6 Challenge is an excellent opportunity for teams drawn from state or local government agencies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, or Indian tribes  to work together to accelerate technology commercialization and new venture formation across the United States, for the ultimate purpose of helping to drive economic growth and job creation.

    May 18th
    President Barack Obama will visit the Youngstown, Ohio area to discuss jobs and the economy.

    The White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, and the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities will host a conference entitled Auto Communities and the Next Economy: Partnerships in Innovation. The conference – to be held Tuesday, May 18th, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in D.C., will begin at 8:30 a.m.

    May 20th
    Special Assistant to the President for Urban Policy Derek Douglas to speak at George Washington University at the 4th Annual Conference on Urban and Regional Policy.  The goal of the conference is to inform scholars, policy makers, and practitioners about the kinds of public policies and regional characteristics that can make metropolitan areas more resilient. The event is sponsored by George Washington University, the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute.

  • 5/7/2010 Urban Affairs Newsletter

    Top News

    Director of White House Office of Urban Affairs to be Director of HUD Region II, NY & NJ: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan named Adolfo Carrión to serve as the Regional Director for New York and New Jersey. Currently Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs, Carrión has worked to advance President Obama's agenda for urban America to make our cities and metropolitan areas more economically competitive, environmentally sustainable, and socially inclusive. His work establishing the Office of Urban Affairs has been credited with breaking down the silos that exist in the federal government to get the Federal Agencies better coordinated to deliver innovative results for America's communities, something strongly reflected in the President's FY2011 budget. In his new position, Carrión will also serve as HUD's liaison to mayors, city managers, elected representatives, state and local officials, congressional delegations, stakeholders and customers and will be responsible for overseeing the delivery of HUD programs and services to communities, and evaluate their efficiency and effectiveness.

    Statement by President Obama on Consumer Protection and Financial Reform: “Nearly two years after the collapse on Wall Street that cost over 8 million jobs on Main Street, the American people deserve strong, tough reform that will help prevent another financial crisis.  The bill before the Senate demands accountability from Wall Street and includes the strongest consumer protections ever.”

    White House Announces Grants for Health Information Program: This week, Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the selection of 15 communities across the country to serve as pilot communities for eventual wide-scale use of health information technology through the Beacon Community program.  The $220 million in Recovery Act awards will not only help achieve meaningful and measurable improvements in health care quality, safety and efficiency in the selected communities, but also help lay the groundwork for an emerging health IT industry that is expected to support tens of thousands of jobs.

    Romer on April Employment Numbers: “[The April] employment report shows the strongest signs yet of healing in the labor market, as private nonfarm payrolls expanded substantially. At the same time, the rise in the unemployment rate reminds us of how far we still have to go before the economy is fully recovered. Payroll employment increased by 290,000 in April--the largest one month employment gain since March 2006.

    SBA Administrator Offers Economic Injury Assistance to Louisiana Small Businesses Affected by Deepwater BP Oil Spill: SBA Administrator Karen Mills announced today the agency is making low-interest loans available to Louisiana Gulf Coast small businesses suffering financial losses following the April 20th Deepwater BP oil spill that shut down commercial and recreational fishing along the state’s southeast coast.  “With the region still recovering from previous devastation and the national recession of the last couple years, it’s critical that we take every step we can to provide small businesses with resources to make it through this latest crisis so they can continue to drive local economic growth and provide good-paying jobs,” Mills said.

    Transportation for a New Generation: “The U.S. Department of Transportation is seeking public comment to help finalize a new strategic plan that returns the focus of transportation decisions to the people who use the transportation systems and their communities.” said Secretary Ray LaHood. The plan, Transportation for a New Generation, helps set the priorities of the department and offers a blueprint for providing the traveling public with safe, convenient, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation choices for the 21st century. “In opening our strategic plan for the public comment, we are giving citizens the opportunity to directly influence the shape of upcoming transportation decisions,” said Secretary LaHood.  The draft plan was developed through a deliberative interagency process and will be available for several weeks to receive comments and critiques from the public.

    Citi Announces $200 Million Fund for CDFI’s to Spur Small Business Lending in Low Income U.S. Communities: Citi announced yesterday the launch of the Communities at Work Fund, a $200 million fund that will help fuel small business lending in low-wealth and low-income U.S. communities. The Communities at Work Fund will provide financing to both nonprofit and for profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Loan Funds that will then lend to local businesses in low-income communities.  The Fund will help sustain and grow U.S. businesses, drive job creation and contribute to the economic recovery of communities that are underserved by traditional financial institutions.

    DOT Announces $775 Million In Federal Funds to Upgrade Nation’s Bus Systems: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that $775 million in federal funds is being made available to the nation’s transit providers to upgrade their bus systems. “The FTA is addressing the challenge of bringing our nation’s transit systems into a state of good repair head-on,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “These funds will get us started, but we still have a long way to go.”

    Proposed Rule Broadens DBE Program Inclusions, Requires Greater Accountability from Administering Agencies: Small businesses would benefit from a proposed rule that would help more economically and socially disadvantaged businesses owners participate in federal highway, transit and airport construction projects, while making the states and agencies that run the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program more accountable, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today.

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    “New EPA Water Infrastructure Policy Seeks to Encourage Smart Growth”: If you build it, they will come. And, if you don't, they won't. Such is the thinking behind a policy released late last month by the Environmental Protection Agency that instructs states to adopt smart-growth principles in allocating the $3.3 billion in water infrastructure funding that the federal government doles out each year. States, it asserts, should prioritize projects that upgrade the drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in cities over projects intended to serve new developments on the suburban fringe.

    New Report by Brookings Institution Analyzes Demographic Changes in the US Over the Past Decade: On Tuesday, May 11th, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings will unveil its State of Metropolitan America. The report documents a decade of dynamic economic and social change, and five key trends—population growth and outward expansion, growing racial and ethnic diversity, a large aging population, wide disparities in educational attainment, and polarizing incomes,—that demand a renewed national public policy focus.

    Funding Opportunities

    Department of Labor Announces Grants Serving Young Adult Offenders and High School Dropouts, Deadline May 10th: The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced the availability of approximately $20 million for two grants to provide employment services to young adult offenders and high school dropouts ages 18 to 24 in high-poverty, high-crime communities.

    Investing in Innovation (i3) Program, Deadline May 11th: The Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) Program will support local districts and nonprofit organizations—working in partnership with several districts and/or several schools—as they seek to implement educational innovations with promising or demonstrated effective outcomes for students.

    2010 Opportunity to Register and Other Important Information for Electronic Application Submission for the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program, Deadline May 15th: Organizations interested in applying for the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant program are asked to call the HUD NOFA Information Center as soon as possible to register and receive important application information. HUD's NOFA Information Center can be reached at 1-800-HUD-8929.

    Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program, Deadline June 1st: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot program through which 20 pilot projects will receive funding and direct assistance (through Agency contract support) to facilitate community involvement in area-wide planning approaches to brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse.

    CDFI Fund Announces 2010 New Markets Tax Credits Available for Investments to Help Low-Income Communities, Deadline June 2nd: The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the opening of the 2010 round of competition for tax credits under the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program.  According to CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell, “these credits will help finance small businesses, grocery stores, healthcare centers, charter schools and job-training sites and will help create, save or support local jobs where they are needed most.”

    Commerce Announces New Innovation Competition - the i6 Challenge, Deadline June 15th: The Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and the Economic Development Administration (EDA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a new $12 million innovation competition - the i6 Challenge. The program, administered in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), seeks the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. EDA expects to award up to $1 million in each of its six regions, while NSF and NIH will award up to $6 million in additional funds for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grantees that are associated with winning teams.

    Department of Education Promise Neighborhood Planning Grants, Deadline June 25th: The U.S. Department of Education has launched the Promise Neighborhood program, the first federal initiative to put education at the center of comprehensive efforts to fight poverty in urban and rural areas. The $10 million available in fiscal 2010 will support up to 20 organizations with one year of funding to plan for the implementation of cradle-to-career services designed to improve educational outcomes for students in distressed neighborhoods. Planning grants will range between $400,000 and $500,000.

    Tiger II Discretionary Grants Program, Deadline July 16th: The Department of Transportation is soliciting application for the "TIGER II" discretionary grant program, a $600 million competitive transportation grant program for surface transportation projects.

    Upcoming Events

    May 13th
    President Obama will travel to the Buffalo, New York area on Thursday, May 13th to discuss the economy.

    May 17th
    The Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) invite entrepreneurs, investors, universities, foundations, and non-profits to join in on the i6 Challenge conference call at 2pm EDT on May 17th.  The i6 Challenge is a competitive grant awarded to individuals with innovative ideas that drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship.

    May 20th
    Special Assistant to the President for Urban Policy Derek Douglas, to speak at George Washington University, at the 4th Annual Conference on Urban and Regional Policy.  The goal of the conference is to inform scholars, policy makers, and practitioners about regional resilience and the kinds of public policies and regional characteristics that can make metropolitan areas more resilient. The event is sponsored by George Washington University, the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute.

  • 4/30/10 Urban Affairs Newsletter

    Top News

    The Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship: The Summit was held this week in Washington, D.C. Co-hosted by the Departments of State and Commerce, the Summit brought together more than 275 participants from over 50 countries around the world – from Morocco to Indonesia, Uganda to Kazakhstan, France to India. President Obama delivered the closing address Monday night.
     
    The First Meeting of the Fiscal Commission: President Obama spoke to an audience in the Rose Garden this week about restoring the “pay as you go” rule and bringing down the nation’s debt. The President appointed a National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform – based on a proposal originally presented by a bipartisan group of senators – to review government spending and find ways to reduce the growing deficit. 

    Clean Energy Leadership from the White House to Main Street: This week President Obama traveled to Iowa, Missouri and Illinois as part of his Main Street tour. He witnessed the hardships that Americans are facing from the economic crisis that plagues our nation. He also witnessed the possibilities and opportunities for growth that are happening all over the country, through investment in our clean energy economy.

    Why Wall Street Reform Matters for the Middle Class: Vice President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Tuesday for a Middle Class Task Force meeting about the need for Wall Street reform. Speaking at the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin’s Sheldon B. Lubar School of Business, the Vice President stressed why this issue matters so much to middle class Americans.

    Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers on GDP for the First Quarter of 2010: CEA Chair Christina Romer issued the following statement on the First Quarter GDP Report : “Today’s GDP report shows important signs of continued recovery. Real GDP grew at a solid 3.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2010. This is the third consecutive quarter of positive growth. To put the rate of growth into perspective, real GDP fell at a 6.4 percent rate in the first quarter of 2009. There is no question that the economy has improved dramatically over the past year.”

    Buildings Compete to Work Off the Waste: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is sponsoring the first national energy efficiency contest of its kind, featuring 14 commercial buildings from across the country. The building that sheds the most energy waste on a percentage basis will be declared the winner at EPA’s final weigh-in on Oct. 26, 2010. “It’s time for buildings to tighten their belts and we’re happy to help them go on an energy diet,” said Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for air and radiation. “Cutting energy use will reduce their monthly expenses and their carbon footprint, showing that environmental protection and economic growth can go hand in hand.”

    EPA Awards More Than $1 Million to College Teams for Environmental Innovation: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week awarded more than $1 million to 14 college teams who participated in the 6th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. The People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) award competition rewarded sustainable design projects and ideas that protect the environment, encourage economic growth and use natural resources more efficiently. "Innovations like these keep our country competitive and healthy,” said Paul T. Anastas, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development.

    U.S. Transportation Secretary Showcases “Safe Routes to School” and “Let’s Move!”: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, and U.S. Representative Andre Carson joined elementary students in north Indianapolis last week to showcase the federal “Safe Routes to School” program and to highlight First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative. “By ensuring children have a safe place to walk or bike to school,” said Secretary LaHood, “the Safe Routes to Schools program is helping America’s young people stay safe, healthy and active.”

    Featured

    Emerging Regional Innovation Cluster Strategies: The Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution recently published an article emphasizing the “crucial role that regional industry or ‘innovation’ clusters can play in enhancing economic performance.”

    Urban Affairs Associate Director Alaina Beverly Carries the Message of Bottom-Up Innovation and Federal Collaboration to Buffalo: The Buffalo News covered the recent visit of WH Office of Urban Affairs Associate Director Alaina Beverly to SUNY Buffalo where she amplified the work of the White House in coordinating government agencies to more efficiently and effectively address the issues facing America’s cities.

    Transportation Website Covers Administration’s Efforts to Merge Transportation and Land Use Planning: A recent article published by The Transport Politic applauds the collaborative efforts of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Transportation to align housing and transportation policies.

    Funding Opportunities

    Energy Efficient Building Systems Regional Innovation Cluster Initiative, Deadline May 6th: This is the first pilot project of the Interagency Regional Innovation Clusters Taskforce (Taskforce). The Taskforce has been charged with developing a model for coordinated federal and regional efforts that foster and use regional innovation clusters to develop sustainable and efficient models for attaining national strategic objectives including creating good jobs, increasing regional gross domestic product and promoting innovation in science and technology.

    Department of Labor Announces Grants Serving Young Adult Offenders and High School Dropouts, Deadline May 10th: The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced the availability of approximately $20 million for two grants to provide employment services to young adult offenders and high school dropouts ages 18 to 24 in high-poverty, high-crime communities.

    Investing in Innovation (i3) Program, Deadline May 11th: The Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) Program will support local districts and nonprofit organizations—working in partnership with several districts and/or several schools—as they seek to implement educational innovations with promising or demonstrated effective outcomes for students.

    2010 Opportunity to Register and Other Important Information for Electronic Application Submission for the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program, Deadline May 15th: Organizations interested in applying for the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant program are asked to call the HUD NOFA Information Center as soon as possible to register and receive important application information. HUD's NOFA Information Center can be reached at 1-800-HUD-8929.

    Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program, Deadline June 1st: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot program through which 20 pilot projects will receive funding and direct assistance (through Agency contract support) to facilitate community involvement in area-wide planning approaches to brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse.

    CDFI Fund Announces 2010 New Markets Tax Credits Available for Investments to Help Low-Income Communities, Deadline June 2nd: The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the opening of the 2010 round of competition for tax credits under the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program.  According to CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell, “these credits will help finance small businesses, grocery stores, healthcare centers, charter schools and job-training sites and will help create, save or support local jobs where they are needed most.”

    Department of Education Promise Neighborhood Planning Grants, Deadline June 25th: The U.S. Department of Education has launched the Promise Neighborhood program, the first federal initiative to put education at the center of comprehensive efforts to fight poverty in urban and rural areas. The $10 million available in fiscal 2010 will support up to 20 organizations with one year of funding to plan for the implementation of cradle-to-career services designed to improve educational outcomes for students in distressed neighborhoods. Planning grants will range between $400,000 and $500,000.

    Tiger II Discretionary Grants Program, Deadline July 16th: The Department of Transportation is soliciting application for the "TIGER II" discretionary grant program, a $600 million competitive transportation grant program for surface transportation projects. 

    Upcoming Events

    May1st
    President Barack Obama will deliver the spring 2010 commencement address at the University of Michigan, where he will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. in Michigan Stadium.

    May 3rd
    The Department of Education will host a series of Promise Neighborhood Webinars designed to provide technical assistance to interested applicants for Promise Neighborhood grants. The May 3rd webinar will be an overview that will provide a brief introduction to the program. Pre-Application webinars will follow on May 5th and 10th and will go into detail about major sections of the Promise Neighborhoods Notice Inviting Applications. Registration required. 

    May 8th
    Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett will deliver the spring 2010 commencement address at the University of Michigan Law School, her alma matter. The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m.

  • 4/23/10 Urban Affairs Newsletter

    Top News

    Holding Wall Street Accountable: President Barack Obama spoke to an audience at The Cooper Union in New York on Thursday about the urgent need to reform Wall Street. This comes as the administration urges passage of a plan that will end bailouts, hold Wall Street accountable, and protect consumers, taxpayers and the economy from the kind of abuses that helped bring about the economic crisis.

    A New Foundation for Energy and the Environment: In honor of the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, President Obama reinforces the Administration’s commitment to making  communities greener and healthier.

    Vice President Biden Announces Major New Energy Efficiency Effort: Vice President Joe Biden kicked off five days of Administration events around the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with the announcement of the selection of 25 communities for up to $452 million in Recovery Act funding to “ramp-up” energy efficiency building retrofits.

    Vice President Biden Announces Strengthening of Title IX: Vice President Biden announced Tuesday that the Administration has issued a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter that withdraws a 2005 interpretation of Title IX policy. Enacted in 1972, Title IX mandates that any educational institution receiving federal funding for programs and activities cannot discriminate on the basis of sex.  The 2005 policy issued compliance standards that were widely criticized for being inadequate and inconsistent with Title IX's nondiscrimination goals. Tuesday’s announcement reverses this interpretation, and returns to a more thorough test for assessing compliance with Title IX.

    National Campaign Launches to Protect Children and Families from Lead Poisoning: In an effort to raise awareness of the consequences of lead poisoning among parents and pregnant women who live in homes built before 1978, the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) joined the Ad Council to launch a national multimedia public service advertising (PSA) campaign. "Lead poisoning is a costly, tragic and irreversible environmental disease that robs children of their ability to reach their full potential - yet it is entirely preventable," said Ruth Ann Norton, Executive Director of the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning. "That is why we teamed with our partners at the EPA, HUD and the Ad Council to launch this national lead poisoning prevention and awareness campaign. Together, we can make lead history."

    EPA Awards Nearly $80 Million to Cleanup and Revitalize Our Communities: Neighborhoods to Gain Health, Environmental and Economic Benefits: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected communities in 40 states, four tribes, and one U.S. Territory for awards of $78.9 million in brownfields.  This funding will be used for the assessment, cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields properties, including abandoned gas stations, old textile mills, closed smelters, and other abandoned industrial and commercial properties. "To strengthen our economy, we must first strengthen our communities," said Administrator Jackson. "Cleaning up and revitalizing these contaminated sites opens doors to new businesses, new homes and new jobs for American workers while making our environment cleaner and the community healthier. This shows that what is right for the environment is right for the economy."

    New DOT Program to Help Small Businesses Compete for Government Contracts: U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood yesterday announced a new bonding education program aimed at helping qualified small and disadvantaged businesses compete for government contracting opportunities. In collaboration with the Surety and Fidelity Association of America (SFAA), the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) will host a series of pilot education workshops to get small businesses bond ready.   The start dates and city locations for the pilots are Chicago, May 27; Dallas, June 10; and Atlanta, June 24. “President Obama, Vice President Biden and I want to ensure that as the economy recovers, small businesses have every opportunity to compete successfully for contracts in the transportation and construction industries,” said Secretary LaHood.

    Cardin, Kerry, Durbin Introduce Legislation to Address the Challenges of Urban Development: U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), along with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) recently introduced legislation that will meet the challenges of urbanization in developing countries and expand existing U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) efforts to craft better strategies for sustainable urban development. The Sustainable Urban Development Act of 2010 (S. 3229) will target the challenges of urbanization in the developing world, whose cities face unprecedented growth from enlarging slums, increasing levels of pollution, overburdened transport systems, and the lack of affordable housing.

    Featured

    The Drive to Make Cities Greener: Cities and the regions surrounding them occupy only about 3% of the Earth's surface, but their residents consume more than 75% of the world's natural resources. In the U.S., over-reliance on the automobile contributed to urban sprawl, pollution and crippling congestion. Cities and their suburbs began taking in vast amounts of nonrenewable resources and putting out large quantities of waste. But many cities, including Atlanta, are beginning to adopt sustainable practices in their development plans that will shape the way the cities grow over the next 25 years and beyond.

    Remarks by the Vice President at the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project Forum: In an address to The Brooking Institution, Vice President Biden explained that the next economic expansion will not be successful if it “fails to lift the middle class, if it bubbles and bursts, if it gives a high five to Wall Street while stiff-arming Main Street…it will be an expansion that we will not be proud of and it will not be the expansion that the President and I believe this nation so badly needs.”

    Lawrence H. Summers on “The Auto Industry a Year Later”: Just about a year ago, the American auto industry was on the brink of collapse. General Motors recently announced that it has repaid its $6.7 billion loan to the U.S. government in full five years ahead of schedule, and Chrysler announced that, after taking one-time charges last year associated with its restructuring, it produced an operating profit in the first quarter of 2010 for the first time since the economic crisis began. This turnaround wasn’t an accident of history. It was the result of considered and politically difficult decisions made by President Obama to provide GM and Chrysler – and indeed the auto industry – a lifeline, if they could demonstrate the will to reshape their businesses and chart a path toward long-term viability without ongoing government assistance.

    Infrastructure USA Conversation with WH Office of Urban Affairs Director Adolfo Carrion: Recently Infrastructure USA highlighted their conversation with Director Carrion on the future of America’s infrastructure and more.

    Community Development Voices Form A Chorus for Change: WH Office of Urban Affairs Associate Director Alaina Beverly comments on the launch of the Institute for Comprehensive Community Development, a venture of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).  She notes, “the Institute will provide evidence that will help to operationalize the philosophy that strong neighborhoods are central to strong regions.”

    Funding Opportunities

    Drug Free Communities Support Mentoring Program Grants, Deadline Today: An estimated 15 new mentoring grants will be awarded (up to $75,000 per grant, per year) to drug and alcohol prevention community coalitions from across the nation.

    U.S. Labor Department Announces Grant Competition to Serve Homeless Veterans, Deadline April 26th: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service has announced an $8.3 million grant competition to provide job training, counseling and placement services (including job readiness, and literacy and skills training) to expedite the reintegration of homeless veterans into the labor force through its Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.

    Community-Based Job Training Grants, Deadline April 29th: The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration announced the availability of approximately $125 million in funds for Community-Based Job Training Grants. Community-Based Job Training Grants will be awarded through a competitive process to support workforce training for high-growth/high-demand industries through the national system of community, technical and tribal colleges.

    Energy Efficient Building Systems Regional Innovation Cluster Initiative, Deadline May 6th: This is the first pilot project of the Interagency Regional Innovation Clusters Taskforce (Taskforce). The Taskforce has been charged with developing a model for coordinated federal and regional efforts that foster and use regional innovation clusters to develop sustainable and efficient models for attaining national strategic objectives including creating good jobs, increasing regional gross domestic product and promoting innovation in science and technology.

    Department of Labor Announces Grants Serving Young Adult Offenders and High School Dropouts, Deadline May 10th: The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced the availability of approximately $20 million for two grants to provide employment services to young adult offenders and high school dropouts ages 18 to 24 in high-poverty, high-crime communities.

    Investing in Innovation (i3) Program, Deadline May 11th: The Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) Program will support local districts and nonprofit organizations—working in partnership with several districts and/or several schools—as they seek to implement educational innovations with promising or demonstrated effective outcomes for students.

    New: 2010 Opportunity to Register and Other Important Information for Electronic Application Submission for the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program, Deadline May 15th: Organizations interested in applying for the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant program are asked to call the HUD NOFA Information Center as soon as possible to register and receive important application information. HUD's NOFA Information Center can be reached at 1-800-HUD-8929.

    Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program, Deadline June 1st: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot program through which 20 pilot projects will receive funding and direct assistance (through Agency contract support) to facilitate community involvement in area-wide planning approaches to brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse.

    New: CDFI Fund Announces 2010 New Markets Tax Credits Available for Investments to Help Low-Income Communities, Deadline June 2nd: The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the opening of the 2010 round of competition for tax credits under the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program.  According to CDFI Fund Director Donna J. Gambrell, “these credits will help finance small businesses, grocery stores, healthcare centers, charter schools and job-training sites and will help create, save or support local jobs where they are needed most.”

    Upcoming Events

    April 26th-27th
    The Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship will be held on April 26th-27th, 2010 at the Ronald Regan Building in Washington, D.C.