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Beyond Shelter: Building Communities of Opportunity: The United States Report for Habitat II, 1996


Report Acceptance Date: April 2003 (55)

Posted Date: April 13, 2003

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Beyond Shelter: Building Communities of Opportunity addresses the status and future of cities in America. This readable 50-page publication served as the official document on urban policy that the HUD-led U.S. delegation brought to the Istanbul conference. While affirming a Federal commitment to blighted urban areas, the report emphasizes that "the private sector is the key to the economic success of our cities," discussing ways to link cities with their regional economies through new partnerships.

"The days of national solutions from top-heavy bureaucracies are over," declares the report. The Federal Government, it argues, "best serves as a catalyst and enabler of change, not as its planner and implementor." The Federal role should be to "support local actors in their efforts to design and implement locally crafted solutions that reflect local circumstances and needs, but that are consistent with national ideals such as fairness and equity."

Communities at Work: Addressing the Urban Challenge describes some of the most innovative and successful examples of community-based initiatives that put ideals into action. This casebook features the winners and finalists of the National Excellence Awards for the City Summit. The Awards honored projects from across the country -- ranging from a venerable but abandoned Brooklyn factory turned into space for crafts businesses, to a yard waste recycling campaign in a small town in Kansas; from a "homelessness to homeownership" program in Denver to development of a new supermarket in a distressed neighborhood in Newark.

These award winners tend to view challenges such as homelessness, unemployment, and urban decay as growing from a complex set of needs and problems, which they tackle on a variety of fronts through integrated service delivery. These projects also illustrate the new reliance on local partnerships -- involving businesses, nonprofits, religious institutions, universities, and government -- to make change happen from the bottom up. In addition, the awards honored several intermediary organizations, which strengthen local initiatives by providing specialized training and technical assistance.

Publication Categories: Affordable Housing    


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