Hope VI: Community Building Makes a Difference (February 2000, 96 p.)
Representing the most dramatic change in public housing in the last 60 years, the Hope VI program is transforming the Nation's most distressed public housing projects. A report released by HUD, Hope VI: Community Building Makes a Difference, examines the best practices that have emerged from the community-building and supportive services side of Hope VI. The book is filled with many useful--and sometimes sobering--lessons learned, detailed examples, and practical tips on making such programs work.
Hope VI: Community Building Makes a Difference primarily addresses the people side of the program--the supportive services and community--building efforts taking place in cities across the country. The report describes how housing authorities, residents, and community partners are working together to build community and highlights seven Hope VI sites where the community-building approach-fighting poverty by building social and human capital-is succeeding. Profiles of these seven sites incorporate material from onsite interviews with housing authority executives, staff, residents, and community partners. The profiles demonstrate varied and individualized approaches.
The book is not simply a brief analysis of the seven profiles but cuts across all of the experiences and examples to understand their broader implications for policy development. The report summarizes the general lessons learned and discusses a number of important lessons that also emerge in four specific areas of activity:
- Providing opportunity for employment.
- Providing opportunity for education.
- Meeting the needs of families.
- Engaging residents in the life and prospects of the community.
The most valuable lesson in the book is that there is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach to achieving success. As made clear by the profiles, many different approaches are possible and desirable.