The Choice Neighborhoods Program is a part of an interagency partnership between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Departments of Education; Health and Human Services; Justice; and Treasury. This program supports comprehensive strategies at the local level designed to positively transform neighborhoods that are currently distressed. The Choice Neighborhoods Program focuses on bringing together a community coalition of stakeholders to come together, create and implement a comprehensive Transformation Plan to bring about positive change in their area.
This comprehensive plan must list the steps and partners necessary to revitalize distressed public and assisted housing units and/or replace them with high-quality mixed-income housing that is responsive to the neighborhood’s needs. The Transformation Plan needs to address more than just the housing itself, though, it needs to have connected strategies to offer supportive services to the residents of that housing, create quality economic and educational opportunities in the neighborhood and work to make sure the neighborhood is safe.
In order to receive funding, a community must put together a Transformation Plan that lays out the strategy for accomplishing these overarching goals. In the HUD planning tool, there are specific questions on:
COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENTS: Conduct comprehensive needs assessments
- Have you identified what indicators to collect; how to collect them; who will provide the information; and when to collect the information?
- How will data be collected from the target residents, neighborhood members, business and civic organizations, and other local community members?
- Are there opportunities to include residents and community members in the assessment process?
- Will your needs assessment catalogue the neighborhood assets (developmental, commercial, recreational, physical, social), challenges and gaps?
- How will data from the resident survey and neighborhood needs assessment inform decision- making and plan development?
DATA SHARING AND MANAGEMENT: Use data to inform decision-making and managing partners.
- How will you use data to inform your decision-making and plan development and make mid-course corrections?
- What are your preliminary plans for planning, building, adapting, or expanding a data system to track the indihocators in your needs assessment and to monitor progress in planning and implementation?
- How are you managing privacy requirements, e.g., HIPAA, in the collection of indicators for your needs assessment?
These questions may be difficult for communities to answer in a comprehensive manner. That’s why Social Solutions has created a turnkey solution for data collection, sharing, and management for those planning or implementing a Choice Neighborhoods program.
Social Solutions Global (SSG) Initiators provide critical assistance to agencies interested in or participating in the Choice Neighborhood program. An initiator is a research-based, Efforts to Outcomes (ETO®) software configuration, designed to support outcomes management for frontline caseworkers and managers. There are a number of ETO initiators for Choice Neighborhoods including Case Management, Neighborhood, Community Engagement, and Housing.
All of the initiators are designed to work seamlessly together to give organizations receiving Choice Neighborhoods funding the data they need to measure program performance and to demonstrate performance to their stakeholders, including HUD. All the initiators have an easy-to-use configuration and require very little in the way of implementation. Agencies can jump right in and use the initiators to conduct the baseline needs assessment for their Transformation Plan and collect necessary program data. An aggregate community engagement report displays the neighborhood’s progress toward meeting the needs defined by that assessment.
SInce the dashboards are user-friendly, caseworkers and community partners can easily record their federally required neighborhood performance measures quarterly and annually. ETO’s Choice Neighborhood initiators also allow you to track community engagement and easily report on it; to show clients’ progress across a wide range of outcomes, to report on self-sufficiency, and to make your service provision more intentional.
From case notes to resident surveys, ETO’s Choice Neighborhood initiators are easy to enter data into and easy to get reports out of. From soup to nuts, ETO has the tools you need to effectively track your progress on a Choice Neighborhood Program grant. Contact one of our Social Solutions specialists to hear more about how ETO data management software can make you competitive and give you the information you need right at your fingertips or download our Initiator Synopses for Choice Neighborhoods.