In 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded Nashville with a Promise Zone designation. This designation provides 10 years of support including priority access to federal investments in six subzones that further communities’ strategic plans, a federal liaison to help local leaders navigate federal resources and several full-time AmericCorps VISTA members to strengthen the capacity of the Promise Zone initiatives.
The NPZ is a federally designated area that comprises 46-square miles, including the neighborhoods just south, east and north of Nashville’s central business district.
The NPZ operates with the combined efforts of more than 150 supporting partners, and are broken into six subzones, each with its own captain.
Subzone 1 Captain: Martha O’Bryan Center
Subzone 2 Captain: Edgehill Neighborhood Partnership
Subzone 3 Captain: Woodbine Community Organization
Subzone 4 Captain: Conexión Américas
Subzone 5 Captain: Urban League of Middle Tennessee
Subzone 6 Captain: St. Luke’s Community House
These subzone captains and the more than 150 supporting partners from government, local institutions, nonprofits and community organizations work together, with the help of federal resources, to provide needed resources in each subzone.
The NPZ partners address six primary goals:
The NPZ represents a quarter of the county’s overall violent crimes, including nearly half of its homicides and a third of its robberies. And overall, the NPZ reports a poverty rate of 37.61%. NPZ residents face low post-secondary education levels, as well as infrastructure and safety concerns that make upward mobility, affordable housing and employment more difficult to obtain.
Through the Promise Zone and the AmeriCorps VISTA programming, local organizations have received $7 million in grant funding and have formed workgroups to collaborate on areas such as education, employment and housing.
Affordable Housing Workgroup Goal: Preserve and increase access to affordable housing for families and residents within the NPZ
Crime and Education Workgroup Goal: Track and share reports on crime hotspots, test scores, graduation rates and student attendance within the NPZ
Infrastructure Workgroup Goal: Increase access and awareness of transportation and infrastructure related inequities affecting residents within the NPZ
Jobs and Economic Development Workgroup Goal: Support NPZ residents age 16 and older as they pursue degrees or certifications above a high school diploma that enable them to obtain middle-skill jobs and increase economic activity in the community
If you would like more information regarding the workgroups, or how your company organization can join and get involved with the NPZ, email MDHA Special Project Manager Brian Sexton at bsexton@Nashville-MDHA.org.