HUD Unveils EnVision Center Demonstration

HUD provided an advanced notice of its proposed EnVision Center Demonstration on December 7. When eventually published in the Federal Register, the notice will solicit comments on a demonstration to test the effectiveness of collaborative efforts by government, industry, and nonprofit organizations to accelerate economic mobility for low income households living in HUD-assisted housing. The intention is to help people become more self-sufficient so that they leave HUD-assisted housing and allow HUD resources to become available to others. To accomplish this purpose, HUD proposes the creation of ten EnVision Centers, centralized hubs for supportive services focusing on economic empowerment, educational advancement, health and wellness, and character and leadership. EnVision Centers would co-locate federal, state, and local government services, along with the services of community-based, nonprofit organizations.

HUD’s website identifies goals in several areas. Under economic empowerment, HUD’s goals are to increase the number of people who are employed, start businesses, and enroll in the Family Self Sufficiency program. The educational advancement goals are to increase the number of people earning GEDs and enrolling in two- and four-year colleges, and the number of third graders reading at grade-level. For health and wellness, HUD hopes to achieve increases in the number of pre-natal wellness visits, annual physicals, and vision and hearing screenings among pre-school age children. Concerning character and leadership, HUD’s goals are to increase civic engagement, participation in mentoring programs, and two-parent households.

The advance notice describes criteria HUD will use to select the ten demonstration communities and welcomes responses to eight questions about the initiative.