Built on the back of the HOPE VI revitalization initiative, Choice Neighborhoods (CN) takes the work of HOPE VI – revitalizing public housing – and envelopes it with the improved programs and supportive services (crime prevention, public transportation, job training, healthcare, etc.) that children and families need to flourish. BCT Partners and its partners, the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), Frontline Solutions, and A Special Gathering, are charged with offering program-wide and individual grantee technical assistance to no less than 35 planning and implementation CN grantees. Over the course of three years, we will deliver ongoing training, guidance, information, tools, and best practices to grantees and HUD staff by way of a community of practice, national conferences, regional convenings, site visit, and the like.
Through a joint venture with New Brunswick-based firm, The Brunswick Group (The Brunswick-BCT Group), BCT Partners is providing TA to project rental assistance demonstration (PRAD) grantees. The PRAD Program seeks to identify, stimulate and support sustainable, innovative state approaches that will transform the provision of housing for persons with disabilities while providing access to appropriate support and services. TA will be provided through various delivery methods, including but not limited to: developing and distributing hard copy and electronic educational materials; providing meeting planning support as well as conference and webinar logistical assistance; individualized technical assistance; and developing, supporting and fostering a Community of Practice (CoP). The TA is intended to improve the number and quality of approvable applications to the PRAD program for future competitions, as well as to shorten the time for the currently funded projects to get from award to occupancy.
Through an SBA-authorized 8(a) joint venture with The Brunswick Group of New Brunswick, NJ, BCT Partners continues to supplement and enhance government programmatic and financial reviews of Community Economic Development (CED) grantees for HHS’ Division of Community Discretionary Programs (DCDP). The CED program encourages public-private partnerships that promote the development of employment and business opportunities for low-income people and revitalize distressed communities. For up to three years, the Brunswick-BCT Group will annually visit 31 CED grantees to assess whether or not they are meeting the grant requirements, and will make recommendations for corrective actions.
The Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) initiative is a White House Domestic Policy Council-led partnership between 13 federal agencies that was launched in July 2011. SC2 represents a new interagency approach to working with local communities – especially those facing the challenges of long-term declining industrial base and population. The pilot aims to build the capacity of local governments, encourage partnerships across local sectors, and help leverage federal investments and increase their impact. Under the auspices of this pilot, BCT Partners will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the federal and state barriers to the efficient use of resources used for Youngstown, Ohio’s residential demolition activities. The assessment will also provide recommendations for streamlining and prioritizing the City’s residential demolition activities.