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American Planning Association - Opportunity and Empowerment

The HUD Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment Award honors excellence in community planning that has led to measurable benefits in terms of increased economic development, employment, education, or housing choice and mobility for low- and moderate-income residents. The award stresses tangible results and recognizes the planning discipline as an important community resource. It emphasizes how creative housing, economic development, and private investments are used in, or in tandem with, a comprehensive community development plan.

American Planning Association - Opportunity and Empowerment


City of Richmond Neighborhoods in Bloom

Since it began five years ago, Neighborhoods in Bloom in Richmond, Virginia, has helped restore and revitalize six deteriorating neighborhoods in the city. Using $15 million in public funds, the program focuses on bringing back one neighborhood at a time. The strategy is working. A 2005 study of the targeted areas shows a 19 percent decline in crime compared with 6 percent citywide, while housing values have appreciated nearly 10 percent faster than the city's average.