Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative

The Obama Administration recognizes that the interconnected challenges in high-poverty neighborhoods require interconnected solutions. Struggling schools, little access to capital, high unemployment, poor housing, persistent crime, and other challenges that feed into and perpetuate each other call for an integrated approach so residents can reach their full potential. 

One piece of the Administration’s strategy for catalyzing change in these communities isthe Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) —a bold new place-based approach to help neighborhoods in distress transform themselves into neighborhoods of opportunity. NRI engages the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC), White House Office of Urban Affairs (WHOUA), and the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Education (ED), Justice (DOJ), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury in support of local solutions to revitalize and transform neighborhoods.The interagency strategy is designed to catalyze and empower local action while busting silos, prioritizing public-private partnerships, and making existing programs more effective and efficient.

In a speech to the nation’s mayors on June 21, 2008, President Obama affirmed this approach, recognizing “in this country, change comes not from the top down, but from the bottom up,” and that “the change we seek…will not come from the government alone.”

In keeping with the elements of the most promising neighborhood revitalization efforts at the grass-roots level, NRI’s approach to Federal engagement is designed to be interdisciplinary, place-based, locally-led, data- and results-driven, and flexible.NRI is focusing on four key opportunities for action:

  1. Integrating Promise Neighborhoods, Choice Neighborhoods, and other centerpiece place-based programs in distressed neighborhoods.
  2. Providing flexible Neighborhood Revitalization Grants.
  3. Building neighborhood capacity through hands-on technical assistance as demonstrated by the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program.
  4. Sharing best practices through the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Report, which showcases examples of communities who have  “braided” Federal and other funds to pursue comprehensive neighborhood revitalization.

Progress has been made in each area since the White House launched NRI in September 2010, and collaboration has begun with several of the NRI agencies’ hallmark place-based programs. For more information on our progress, please see the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Report.