Jul 14

Past Event

From Despair to Hope: Two HUD Secretaries on Urban Revitalization and Opportunity

Event Materials



  • HOPE VI: One of the Best Urban Regeneration Programs

    Bruce Katz: HOPE VI is one of the best urban regenerating programs in the nation''s history; rebuilding public housing is a key element in reforming our most blighted areas.

    Bruce Katz

  • Choice Neighborhoods Builds on HOPE VI

    Sec. Shaun Donovan, HUD: The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative builds on HOPE VI, offering an expanded plan for urban revitalization that can do for communities what HOPE VI did for public housing.

  • Mixed Income Neighborhoods Gives Residents Pride

    Henry Cisneros: Creating mixed income neighborhoods is a means of giving residents a sense of pride in their community, which is an important component for revitalizing urban areas.


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Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan faces challenges on concentrated poverty, as did Henry Cisneros in that same office more than a decade and a half ago. In a new book, former Secretary Cisneros and co-editor Lora Engdahl chronicle the evolution of a major federal effort to replace desolate public housing with mixed-income communities. From Despair to Hope: HOPE VI and the New Promise of Public Housing in America’s Cities (Brookings Institution Press, 2009) discusses the optimism and lessons that can be learned from one of the most ambitious urban development initiatives in the last half-century.

Building on the impact of HOPE VI, the new administration is proposing a $250 million comprehensive program – the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative – that aims to take the current HOPE VI program beyond public housing. Choice Neighborhoods will transform the nation’s poorest neighborhoods in a new way, by linking improved housing with community development and significant funding in key areas including education and transportation.

On July 14, the Metropolitan Policy Program hosted the current and former HUD secretaries for 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.

Brookings Vice President and Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program Bruce Katz moderated a question-and-answer period following the announcement.

Read Secretary Shaun Donovan's remarks » 

Read Bruce Katz's remarks »

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan addresses the crowd.    Henry Cisneros, former HUD Secretary, discusses his new book, From Despair to Hope: HOPE VI and the New Promise of Public Housing in America's Cities (Brookings Institution Press, 2009). HUD Secretary Donovan and Brookings Vice President Bruce Katz look on.

Event Agenda

  • Introduction

  • Opening Remarks

    • Henry G. Cisneros

      Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

      Executive Chairman, CityView companies

  • Keynote

    • Shaun Donovan

      Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


July 14, 2009

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT

National Press Club

Ballroom, 13th Floor

529 14th Street, NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105