November 28, 2011

New web tool encourages partnership, transparency in HUD grant programs

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Our guest blogger today is Stan Buch, Director of Innovation and Open Government, HUD’s Office of the Chief Information Officer

From his first day in office, President Obama committed his Administration to maintaining an unprecedented spirit of openness, transparency, and collaboration.

In his first directive on transparency and open government, President Obama said, “Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.  Government should be collaborative.  Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate among themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector.”

That is why today HUD launched a new web tool that features – for the first time – contact information and proposal details for the highest-scoring applicants to HUD’s flagship community development initiatives. Partner.hud.gov leverages the Department of Education’s technical platform data.ed.gov and is designed to boost public/private partnership and philanthropic support for the most promising plans for turning the nation’s distressed communities into viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods linked to good schools, retail, transportation, and access to jobs. Partner.hud.gov will initially feature Choice Neighborhoods Planning and Implementation grantees, as well as the highest-scoring runners up from each competition. The web feature is intended to provide information funders and other local stakeholders can use to find and support applications that HUD deemed promising, but was unable to fund as well as grantees eager to attract additional resources to their transformation plans. It will also offer communities greater access to work happening around the country and best-practice models that might help shape their efforts.  Over time, partner.hud.gov will grow as more grant programs take advantage of this capability.

In the end, this collaboration between HUD and Education demonstrates the power of cooperation. Not only is working together across government more efficient, in this case it’s helping us attract new partnerships while expanding the resources available to revitalize regions, communities and neighborhoods around the country.

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