Five Brothers

HUD Press Release No. 14-006: Obama Administration Announces Seven Additional Cities Participating In The Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative

HUD No. 14-006
George Gonzalez
(202) 708-0685

January 16, 2014



WASHINGTON – Today the Obama Administration announced it is expanding the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative to include Brownsville, TX; Flint, MI; Gary, IN; Macon, GA; Rockford, IL; St. Louis, MO; and Rocky Mount, NC. President Obama established SC2 in 2011 as an innovative and flexible program designed to strengthen local capacity, coordinate federal investments, and spark growth in economically distressed communities.  The SC2 Initiative was developed through engagement with mayors, Members of Congress, foundations, nonprofits and other community partners who are committed to addressing the challenges facing local governments as they work to create economic opportunity for all residents.


Federal inter-agency expert teams will be deployed to work alongside city leadership, community organizations, local businesses and philanthropic foundations to support the cities’visions for economic growth and development. The primary goal is to help these cities more effectively invest existing resources, provide advice and expertise in support of local priorities, better align federal programs and investments, and facilitate new partnerships and peer learning opportunities wherever possible. In addition, AmeriCorps VISTA members will aid this effort as on-the-ground liaisons with local leaders and citizens to help implement the solutions that meet these communities’ needs.


“During these tough fiscal times, it is vitally important that the Administration provides support to those cities in need,” stated HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.“The support provided by the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative is helping local leaders maximize every dollar to spur economic growth, create jobs, and build stronger and safer communities.”


“The goal is to help position these communities to be more economically competitive, which ultimately will create better opportunities and improve the lives for their residents,” said DPC Director, Cecilia Muñoz. “The expansion of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative to these seven new cities is based on the success and proven track record that the SC2 Teams have had, and we hope to repeat that success.”


The SC2 Teams will aim to duplicate the record of success established in the original pilot cities: Chester, PA; Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Fresno, CA; Memphis, TN; New Orleans, LA; and Youngstown, OH. SC2 Teams enabled those communities to more effectively use more than $368 million in existing federal funds and investments. They also provided advice and expertise that have helped these communities make significant progress toward their priorities in economic development, housing, transportation, public safety, and public health, among other areas.


“With help from the White House and Strong Cities, the City of St. Louis will be better positioned to create a more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable city,” said Francis Slay, Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri. “Leveraged with our strong support from private and public sectors, SC2 will help us accelerate our economic and community development vision, build strategic partnerships between government and industry, and make more efficient and effective use of taxpayer-funded federal resources.”


"Our selection is a testament to our community's public and private sector commitment to accomplish together what we can't do alone," said Lawrence Morrissey, Mayor of Rockford, Illinois. "As our citizens know, we have tremendous challenges, but we also have tremendous resources. Our partnership with the White House and the Strong Cities program will help us maximize and leverage our resources to address challenges across our community involving crime, housing, education, economic development, and unemployment."


Please click here to view the online Press Release in its entirety