Frequently Asked Questions
Promise Zones are high poverty communities where the federal government will work with local leaders to increase efforts to achieve neighborhood created goals and priorities. Promise Zones are selected through a competitive grant application process. For the second round of applications, there were a total of 123 applications and eight of those were selected to receive the Promise Zone designation (six urban, one rural and one tribal). There will be a total of 22 Promise Zones nationwide. In 2014, the first five were announced. In 2015, eight more, including the near Eastside of Indianapolis, were announced. In 2016, the final nine were announced.
Our Promise Zone application had five goals. They are:
- Live IndyEast: We promise to create an economically diverse community by promoting housing redevelopment that embraces existing and new residents. We aim to accomplish this by recapturing vacant housing and developing new and affordable options.
- Work IndyEast: We promise to develop vibrant neighborhood zones of business activity, industries, and commerce in which residents are employed in living wage jobs. We aim to accomplish this through entrepreneurship, industrial reuse, and job training.
- Buy IndyEast: We promise to create healthy commercial corridors that provide desirable neighborhood goods, services and amenities that serve our residents and become a regional destination for shopping, dining, and recreation.
- Safe IndyEast: We promise to create a welcoming environment in which all families and visitors feel safe and secure. We aim to accomplish this by focused efforts on crime prevention, youth intervention programming, and supportive reentry services.
- Learn IndyEast: We promise all children will receive exceptional education from birth to adulthood including developmentally appropriate early childhood services, high quality and innovative schools and access to post-secondary education and training.
A Promise Zone designation lasts for 10 years.
The Promise Zones will not receive direct funding but will benefit from technical assistance, federal staff support, and access to preference points for other federal grant programs. Should Congress enact proposed Promise Zone tax credits, private businesses would receive tax incentives for hiring and investing in Promise Zones.
When a Promise Zone is designated, the federal government helps designees access the resources needed to carry out the strategic plan for which they were competitively selected.
This doesn’t mean that the Promise Zone will be offered all the funding they request, but they will be provided preferred access, as permissible under program rules, to the federal resources required to carry out their competitively selected strategic plan.
Promise Zone designations come with these benefits:
- Five AmeriCorps VISTA members located in our neighborhood to help with the work
- A federal liaison to help us navigate participating federal programs and opportunities
- Technical assistance from participating federal agencies
- Preference points for certain competitive federal grant programs
While there are no guarantees of funding, these benefits and this designation provide our neighborhood a competitive advantage when applying for funding for specific projects and programs.
The Role of the John Boner Neighborhood Centers is to serve as the lead Agency for grant certification. The City of Indianapolis is the Co-Applicant for the IndyEast Promise Zone designation.
Preference Points serve as “extra credit” for a grant proposal to improve the applicant’s competitiveness in the grant process. The federal agencies determine how many preference points are awarded for Promise Zone communities and the John Boner Neighborhood Centers in conjunction with the City of Indianapolis is responsible for certifying that the application for funding is from a Promise Zone partner organization and is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Promise Zone. Please see the Preference Points page for more information.
Please see the Preference Points page for more information.