The city of Evansville is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its federal Promise Zone designation. The city says it has secured more than $16 million in state, local and federal funding with more than $20 million in additional financing pending through various grant applications.
Evansville received the designation in June 2016 and says it continues to work with local, state, and federal partners to address key objectives, including increasing employment opportunities, expanding economic development, improving educational opportunities, reducing violent crime, promoting health and access to healthcare, and providing access to quality affordable housing.
"The Promise Zone will provide the necessary funding and expertise the City of Evansville needs to begin to address many of the long-standing problems that have plagued our community for decades," Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said in a news release. "Thousands of residents will benefit tremendously from programs and services that will result from this concerted effort to rebuild distressed neighborhoods, and the entire city will prosper as more citizens are lifted out of poverty, property values are stabilized and families in need receive better access to affordable housing and health care."
The city says the designation has helped secure three Low Income Housing Tax Credits for three affordable housing developments that provide more than 100 new beds to help the city’s homeless population. The Promise Zone has also directly impacted new developments, such as the recently-completed Doubletree Hotel and the new IU School of Medicine in downtown Evansville.
Earlier this month, the city gathered more than 100 community leaders as well as leaders from nine federal agencies to not only celebrate the designation’s one year anniversary, but to "infuse the Evansville community with resources, technical assistance and subject matter expertise."