Book launch hosted by current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and former secretary Henry Cisneros
Among lessons learned, HOPE VI has taught us that replacing public housing with vouchers isn't always the best option for displaced families. “Many of them ended up in new ghettos of Section 8 because they took the path of least resistance and because landlords were unscrupulous and piled people on top of each other to get the money,” said Henry Cisneros, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Bill Clinton. “In some cases we didn’t improve people’s lives as we could have done,” he added. Today, current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan faces many of the same challenges.
On July 14, the current and former HUD secretaries teamed together to host a discussion on the next steps for urban revitalization and opportunity. Secretary Donovan announced new funding for the current HOPE VI program and outlined the future of Choice Neighborhoods.
In the new book From Despair to Hope: Hope VI and the New Promise of Public Housing in America’s Cities, Cisneros and co-editor Lora Engdahl document the evolution of HOPE VI, one of the most ambitious urban redevelopment initiatives yet. The authors also chronicle the major federal effort to replace desolate public housing with mixed-income communities, and discuss the lessons learned.