June 6, 2016

Evansville Among Obama Administration's 9 New 'Promise Zones'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has added nine communities to its effort to ease access to federal aid and cut red tape for areas beset by joblessness, crime and poor housing.

The newly selected so-called Promise Zones include parts of Evansville, Indiana; neighborhoods in Nashville, south Los Angeles, the west side of Atlanta, San Diego, eastern Puerto Rico and southwest Florida.

The Spokane Indian Reservation and nearby communities in Washington state and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and their communities around Rolette County, North Dakota, also were selected.

The designation comes with no guaranteed new federal money. But it gives communities an advantage in applying for grants, and special access to federal employees who act as liaisons and guides through federal bureaucracy.

A portion of Indianapolis' east side was designated as a Promise Zone in 2015. City officials recently announced the IndyEast Promise Zone netted $9.6 million in grant committments and helped create 110 job in its first year.

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