Working paper / University of California, Institute of Urban and Regional Development 2003,07
By recommendation of Congress, the Department of Housing and Urban Development chartered the HOPE VI program in 1993 to put a new face to America's public housing. With HOPE VI grants, public housing authorities either demolish and rebuild or refurbish their most "physically distressed" housing over a 3-5 year period. HOPE VI grants are designed to improve the quality of life for public housing residents through physical revitalization, a decrease in the concentration of low-income families, and the building of sustainable communities. All HOPE VI programs are required to institute a "Community Supportive Services Plan" to ensure that residents at HOPE VI sites receive comprehensive social services. HUD did not require evaluations of HOPE VI programs until 2000, and in-depth information about residents' experiences with the program is lacking. This report proposes a participatory evaluation approach for filling in such information gaps. Based upon literature reviews and interviews with key stakeholders in a local HOPE VI program at Easter Hill Village in Richmond, California, this report introduces the practice of participatory evaluation and presents the strengths and challenges that participatory evaluation (PE) might bring to HOPE VI. This report suggests direction, methods, and strategies for current and future HOPE VI evaluations.