The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has granted $6 million to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Through this grant, HUD is increasing its investment in small distressed communities, the agency said in a recent statement.
The grant will provide "critically needed technical assistance to distressed communities with populations under 40,000, including those located in Opportunity Zones and communities struggling to recover from natural disasters," according to HUD.
The agency will partner with LISC to give technical assistance that will:
- Focus on technical assistance that is community-specific and scaled to ensure a measurable impact on the community’s growth and resilience, as well as the efficient use of public funds
- Help communities facing long-term economic challenges adopt effective, efficient, and sustainable financial management practices (including management of disaster recovery and resilience funds)
- Build capacity for financial management, economic revitalization, affordable housing, and disaster recovery and resilience in distressed communities by building partnerships between public agencies, community members, non-profits, and private organizations
- Improve communities’ working knowledge of federal development programs, including sources such as Opportunity Zone investments and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credits
- Develop best practices and recommendations regarding financial management and disaster recovery and resilience that can be shared with other communities facing similar challenges
Speaking about HUD's investment in these small communities, Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary, HUD said that the grant would support distressed communities "struggling against the headwinds of economic decline and natural disasters."
“The technical assistance provided to these communities will help local planners deploy a variety of federal resources to stimulate job growth and economic recovery for the benefit of their citizens, including the leveraging of Opportunity Zone investment,” he said in a statement.
HUD's Distressed Cities Technical Assistance Program focuses on financial management, economic development, and disaster recovery planning in distressed cities. The program aims to adopt effective, efficient, and sustainable financial management practices, build capacity for financial management economic revitalization, and affordable housing, and improve knowledge of federal development programs.