SUPPORT FOR THE CHOICE NEIGHBORHOODS INITIATIVE
WHEREAS, geographic concentrations of poverty represent a significant obstacle for lower-income families to access quality education and jobs;
WHEREAS, the concentration of poverty particularly impacts lower-income Latinos and African-Americans as 19 percent of lower-income African-Americans and 14 percent of lower-income Latinos lived in high-poverty neighborhoods in 2000, compared with 6 percent of lower-income whites;
WHEREAS, there is a concentration of public and assisted housing in extremely high poverty neighborhoods that may contribute to the lack of access to quality education and jobs, as evidenced by the fact that 30 percent of the 1.2 million public housing units were in extremely high poverty neighborhoods as of December 2008;
WHEREAS, the HOPE VI program has made significant progress in addressing the problems associated with large public housing developments in communities of concentrated poverty by investing $6.1 billion of federal funding in the mixed-income rebuilding of 240 public housing communities;
WHEREAS, the problems of concentrated poverty are not unique to communities with distressed public housing, but extends to other neighborhoods with distressed housing stock; and NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the U.S. Conference of Mayors applauds and supports the creation of the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative by the Administration to support a range of transformative interventions in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, which would challenge public, private and nonprofit partners to identify neighborhood interventions that would have the largest return on Federal investments.