Next American City takes a look at the new program.
"A new White House Office of Urban Affairs initiative-perhaps its first?-was launched last week that seeks to tackle the problems of concentrated urban poverty. It's called the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, and it combines the efforts of the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Education, Justice, Health and Human Services, and even the Treasury. The Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative brings with it a lot of institutional memories, and because of this, it shouldn't have the unintended consequences so many late 20th century federal programs had: the flee to suburbia subsidized by the FHA and the Highway Act; the vertical concentration of poverty and isolation caused by HUD's urban renewal projects.
The press release tells us that the Initiative is designed to be interdisciplinary, coordinated, place-based, data- and results-driven, and flexible. Compare that with the heavy-handed destruction that passed for urban revitalization just a few decades ago. It's clear that the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative comes from a group of people who have learned about their institutions' past failures."