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George I. Gonzalez (HUD)
Cleve Mesidor (EDA)
Thursday, June 14, 2012
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - Today, during the Annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, Erika Poethig, and Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, Matt Erskine, announced that the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative (SC2) will be allocating $11 million in grants to assist economically challenged municipalities in creating long term economic development plans, as well as fund the establishment of the SC2 National Resource Network (the SC2 Network); which will provide a single portal for short term technical assistance on a variety of operational and programmatic issues.
"In March, President Obama announced the creation of the White House Council on SC2, which is all about furthering the initiative's charge to develop creative ways to improve the way the Federal government engages locally and we are seeing results being delivered," said Mark Zuckerman, Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council. "These new features of SC2 provide local governments with flexible tools and resources to build upon their foundation for a brighter economic future. We look forward to continuing our place-based work to revitalize communities and drive innovation in America's cities."
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) will launch a groundbreaking $6 million SC2 Challenge to help economically challenged cities leverage innovative strategies to spur local economic and job growth. This economic development challenge, the first of its kind sponsored by a federal agency, will start with the competitive selection of six cities, one in each of EDA's regions. These winning cities will then conduct a challenge in which teams will compete to provide the city with a comprehensive innovative economic development plan. The cities will each receive investments of up to $1 million to award as prizes to the winning teams.
"The SC2 Challenge is a critical pillar of the Obama Administration's SC2 initiative, which is working to connect government resources directly with communities to create jobs, improve the business climate, and address local and regional challenges," said Erskine. "This competition is an important intergovernmental collaboration and will empower local leaders to identify and leverage bottom up strategies to strengthen their local economic ecosystems."
In addition, HUD is releasing an advance notice of funding availability (NOFA) for public input from stakeholders and municipalities on the SC2 National Resource Network (SC2 Network), which will aggregate public and private resources to provide a broader set of cities, towns and regions access to a single portal for national experts and federal resources. These experts will provide holistic policy and implementation support, particularly on fundamental issues like operational efficiency, a key element to helping communities achieve their visions for economic development and job creation. The Network will work with each government to document their needs and deliver timely assistance to qualifying communities. HUD will use the input to finalize the components included in the final NOFA, which will allocate $5 million to an intermediary organization that will be responsible for administering the services of the SC2 Network.
"HUD and EDA's goal is to maximize the impact that SC2 can have in economically distressed communities, and we are achieving that through the leveraging of our investments in SC2. The six economic development plans that will emerge from the EDA's challenge will create a long term vision of economic prosperity in these places, and the SC2 National Resource Network will be able to not only help cities achieve these visions, but also provide tailored assistance to other cities on demand," said Erika Poethig, HUD Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research.
Winning cities will receive technical support and technology to conduct their own two-phase competitions, to identify and fund economic development plans that meet their specific needs. In the first phase, selected cities will encourage teams of experts in such fields as transportation planning, economic and community development, business incubation, engineering, and others to submit economic development proposals for their city and/or region. In the second phase the finalists from the first round will compete by developing comprehensive strategic economic development plans. The cities-using an expert panel of local and federal officials, academics and policymakers, private-sector and non-profit stakeholders, and community representatives-will award the financial prize to the team with the strongest plan.
The application deadline is July 23. Information about the competition is available at: www.eda.gov/SC2Challenge/.
As part of HUD's commitment to obtaining and implementing feedback from SC2 stakeholders, HUD has published the advanced NOFA for the National Resource Network and requesting public feedback and input. The Advance Notice can be viewed via the Federal Register and comments submitted until July 14, 2012. The final NOFA will be published in Fall 2012.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at http://www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov/. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.