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New White House Initiative Launched to Assist Urban Areas

Shaun Donovan, HUD

The Obama administration is launching Strong Cities, Strong Communities, a new initiative aimed at strengthening communities and sparking economic growth in urban areas. Experienced staff will be sent to cities across the country to help implement the program and to ensure taxpayer dollars are used efficiently.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the initiative Monday and said the criteria for the cities selected were based on economic need, strong local leadership and potential for economic growth and geographic diversity.

The cities selected include Chester, Pa., Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Mich., Fresno, Calif., Memphis, Tenn., and New Orleans, La. Communities nationwide will be able to compete for economic planning assistance through a grant competition.

The city of Detroit, one of the most financially devastated cities in the U.S., will have a team that includes representatives from HUD, the Transportation Department, the Commerce Department, the Small Business Administration as well as from the Labor Department.

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