Community Project: Hope IV

This essay seeks to consider how a local community project aligns with the city\’s governance processes and local public administrative organizational strategy needed to successfully implement a new policy. The local community project under consideration is Hope IV.

Hope IV was a plan that was initiated and run by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is aimed at revitalizing the worst public housing projects within the US to make them mixed-income development (Hanlon, 2010). The management philosophy of the project is fundamentally drawn from new urbanism as well as the concept of defensible space.

Hope IV was initiated in 1992 and recognized by the law in 1998. According to stats dated back to 2005, the program had distributed around $5.8 billion via 446 federal block grants that were accorded to cities for use in developments (Hanlon, 2010). The highest amount issued to a city was $67.7 million and it was accorded to Arverne/Edgemere Houses in New York.

Hope IV also has various grant programs such as Revitalization, Demolition, Main Street, and Planning grant programs. As mentioned, its management and operation is based on new urbanism. This implies that the communities that benefit from the program must be pedestrian-friendly, dense, as well as transit-accessible (Hanlon, 2010). Housing is hardly accorded in the form of apartments. Instead, the program prefers duplexes, private houses, and row houses owing to the direct interaction of these buildings with the street. The houses are also characterized by the fact that they have small yards and are located next to the street. Porches are also common in such houses and small apartments have garages built on the ground floor.

The application of defensible space has enabled the program to benefit several communities in which they are specifically designed with private property that emphasized security (Keene & Geronimus, 2011). Revitalization is achieved by ensuring that the buildings are low-rise as well as integrating them directly into various failing urban areas. Another critical element is private custodianship in which individuals are tasked with taking care of a part of the project that has been assigned to them. additionally, residents are provided with high-quality houses and materials and this helps in encouraging pride within the space and enables them to take interest in ensuring that things are well taken care of and remain in good condition. Theoretically, this is a mitigation approach to vandalism within the areas.

Generally, the management and operation of the program is based on the philosophy that apartment buildings are normally not healthy spaces for human beings to habituate (Keene & Geronimus, 2011). It takes substantial wealth to ensure that an apartment building maintains the standard characteristics of social networking, security, and urban integration for a healthy community. However, this need is satisfied by the fact that the built environment gives users a lower-rise, urban feel with a sense of security. 

It is also notable that most of the elements of Hope IV do not have anything to do with the construction of buildings. Much of the funding is issued to housing assistance vouchers as compared to other programs (Goetz, 2013). This element is important to residents as it helps them producing certain cohesion within the neighborhoods. In most aspects of the implementation of the program, non-profit organizations and housing authorities ensure that information programs are provided on resident-assistance, especially to new house owners, teaching them of ways of ensuring that they keep and maintain their house appropriately.

The significance of Hope IV is that it has introduced transformation in the context and practice of local community development owing to its approach to management and consideration of community needs (Goetz, 2013). Its management has led to changes in the built environment and ownership structure of previous public housing blocks. Agency-owned land and structures have been replaced with management and ownership structures which are more diverse.

The efficiency of the management of the Hope IV projects have also led to the creation of new streets, reinstating of smaller blocks that had been combined into superblocks in an effort to ensure the provision of open space during the building of the projects during the 1940s and 1970s. The program has also promoted development within the nearby residential neighborhoods (Goetz, 2013). Additionally, on top of its various reforms that it has introduced in the public housing sector in the U.S, Hope IV has also promoted and enabled several public housing agencies to improve their performance and become more adept in their engagement with the residents living in and around their public housing development programs. It has also helped agencies to improve their performance in terms of building their own capacity, as well as building capacity in local non-profit programs for supportive and case management services (Goetz, 2013). Some of the projects initiated and operated by Hope IV involve community-based organizations who help as development partners. However, the efficiency and performance of the Hope IV program is due to its approach to management; new urbanism and the concept of defensible space have enabled it to identify public housing needs in the society and establishing ways of solving the challenge. 


Goetz, E. G. (2013). The audacity of HOPE VI: Discourse and the dismantling of public housing. Cities35, 342-348.

Hanlon, J. (2010). Success by design: HOPE VI, new urbanism, and the neoliberal transformation of public housing in the United States. Environment and Planning A42(1), 80-98.

Keene, D. E., & Geronimus, A. T. (2011). “Weathering” HOPE VI: the importance of evaluating the population health impact of public housing demolition and displacement. Journal of Urban Health88(3), 417-435.

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