I would like to see a specific applied research roadmap laid out for application to all of the PZs and future place-based efforts.To me it would contain several steps for each year of a designation, as well as a consolidated approach for a realistic, sustainable data analysis and best practices implementation plan for all of the PZs over the course of the designation. The audience would be Feds and the local designees. It might look something like this:
- Year 1 startup checklist
- Governance and structure recommendations
- Templates for activities, e.g. reporting, program/project management, communication and public relations planning, etc.
- Quarterly and annual data reporting sources, process, structure common to all PZs and place-based efforts
- Prioritized list, based on community needs and assets, of HUD programs and best practices to be implemented for all place-based efforts, updated annually
- List of Federal programs and best practices to be implemented for all place-based efforts, updated annually
- Outreach to Universities, NSF, National Academies for a concerted effort to help with data, analysis, applied research with the sales pitch of a geographically and time-bound (10 year PZ designation) sandbox to do research in and apply research to
- External innovative contracting and funding models best practices: how can municipalities, counties, states work together to more easily support economic development, employment, housing improvements in disadvantaged communities, e.g. paths to implement contract incentives and bonuses vs. punitive measures for proactively implementing and exceeding place-based community and DBE hiring
- Internal innovative funding and contracting models: Brainstorming and justification for how and why to add some budgets to these efforts in the future, e.g. a non-FPM program chargeback ala IT centralized funding models to support these place-based efforts that, by proxy, cover areas ranging from CPD to PIH to MF to Housing Counseling
In addition, I'd like to see some R&D funds used for planning and implementation of a branch of HUDUSER to support PZ and place-based data and communication needs for HUD, partners, and stakeholders, and researchers. This would be a much more sustainable platform to utilize because FPM and the Field Offices, who are tasked with leading the PZs, have no direct funding to procure and implement web solutions.
Thanks for listening,
Jake Akervik, Minneapolis Promise Zone Mgmt Analyst and Community Liaison