WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), together with its partners, the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Education, Health and Human Services and Treasury, today announced the selection of the Center for the Study of Social Policy as the Building Neighborhood Capacity Program (BNCP) Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator.
The BNCP is a core component of the administration’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI). Led by the White House Domestic Policy Council, the NRI brings together federal partners to assist local communities in developing and obtaining the tools they need to revitalize distressed neighborhoods that struggle with issues such as crime, poor health, struggling schools, inadequate housing and access to employment.
“Focusing on capacity building in communities across our nation is critical to ensuring neighborhoods of concentrated poverty are revitalized,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Through BNCP, we will provide communities with tools to overcome obstacles to revitalization and to achieve sustainable and measurable goals that increase public safety, improve economic growth and enhance resident well-being.”
The NRI’s goal is to help distressed neighborhoods transform themselves into neighborhoods of opportunity – safe places that provide the environments and resources children, youth and adults need to maximize their life outcomes.
“The BNCP is the result of unprecedented collaboration among five agencies,” said U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan. “It acknowledges that the challenges communities face are interconnected, and we therefore must respond with comprehensive solutions.”
“All communities must have access to the kind of information, guidance and resources that can empower them to make lasting change,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “This important partnership will assist community organizations in furthering their work by building strong partnerships, leveraging public and private resources and using data to address community needs and drive decision making that will dramatically improve educational and economic opportunities.”
Working with BJA, the Center for the Study of Social Policy was chosen to assist to-be-selected neighborhoods in generating the capacity to undertake development of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans. The Center also will establish a web-based resource center to provide guidance and resource materials that any community can access. The resource center will be the repository for a collection of tools, literature and experience regarding neighborhood capacity building. This project is being funded through the Departments of Justice, HUD and Education.
“We are very pleased that our five federal agencies have forged this strategic partnership with the Center for the Study of Social Policy to provide assistance to neighborhoods to build community capacity,” said Denise E. O’Donnell, Director of BJA. “Through this partnership, we are developing a capacity-building framework that will serve as a valuable tool for engaging residents and creating partnerships, pooling resources and ensuring strategies are targeted based on what works.”
More information on the BNCP is available at www.bja.gov/grant/nri.html . Information about the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative is available at www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/oua/initiatives/neighborhood-revitalization.