HUD Previews Prosperity Playbook at APA's Burnham Forum

The exciting new Prosperity Playbook from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was previewed Sunday in a Daniel Burnham Forum on Big Ideas event at APA's Policy and Advocacy Conference.

HUD Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Community Planning and Development Harriet Tregoning; Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James; and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed addressed planners in Washington, D.C., detailing the work they've done in communities that serve as the foundation to the Prosperity Playbook.

The Prosperity Playbook is a new HUD initiative launched earlier this year to identify places that have had success building communities of opportunity through the expansion of affordable housing and economic mobility. Through half-day forums in five cities across the country, HUD gathered a diverse array of stakeholders, including mayors and other local elected officials, members of Congress and their staff, local planners, housing authorities, transportation officials, private developers, and philanthropists.

Through discussions on how to advance affordable housing and create opportunity, case studies were identified and will be detailed in an online portal that will be available for communities looking to replicate their success. Over time, the portal will be expanded to include case studies from all over the country.

APA is a partner in this effort and participated in all Prosperity Playbook convenings in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Denver, and San Francisco earlier this year. APA staff is currently working with HUD and other stakeholders as the online portal is developed.

At the Burnham Forum, Mayor James discussed the work being done in Kansas City to create economic opportunities within the city. As a part of its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) plan, Kansas City has collaborated as a region to establish a plan to raise up key communities that cross state and county lines, allowing for better economic, housing, and transportation planning to lift up the entire area. This regional collaboration and specific components of it will be detailed in the Prosperity Playbook portal, allowing other communities to benefit.

Mayor Reed discussed Atlanta's history of success in developing inclusive communities, particularly through its BeltLine, a former railway that forms a 22-mile circle around the core of the city. Leveraging $450 million in public funding, the BeltLine has attracted $20 billion in outside investments and links a diverse set of 45 neighborhoods by transit and trails and provides residents with 1,300 acres of greenspace.

Atlanta is in the process of expanding the BeltLine further south and west, increasing the diversity of its reach. Atlanta is also going to the ballot in November to expand its MARTA transit system to reach 94 percent of residents. This focus on inclusivity will be showcased in the online portal, giving other communities tools to replicate Atlanta's success.

"You have to go beyond your traditional training to be an advocate that the best cities in the world will be cities for everyone," Mayor Reed said.

HUD Secretary Julián Castro will also speak at the APA Policy and Advocacy Conference on Monday, providing further insight into the Prosperity Playbook.

About the Author

Tess Hembree is policy manager at Advocacy Associates.

Top image: At the Burnham Forum, from left, HUD Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Community Planning and Development Harriet Tregoning; Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James; and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Photo by Ben Zweig.

September 19, 2016

By Tess Hembree