Strong Cities, Strong Communities Allocates $11 Million to Foster Economic Growth in American Cities; HUD and EDA Efforts Targeted at Job Creation and Resource Assistance
Jun 15, 2012
During the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors on June 14, 2012, 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.
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.
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.
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.
EDA Solicitation (Application Deadline is July 23)
Frequently Asked Questions for the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Visioning Challenge
HUD Advanced NOFA for the National Resource Network Requests Public Input and Feedback (Comments Due by July 14)