The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Jimmy Carter
National Urban Policy Message to the Congress.
March 27, 1978

To the Congress of the United States:

I submit today my proposals for a comprehensive national urban policy. These proposals set a policy framework for actions my Administration has already taken, for proposed new initiatives, and for our efforts to assist America's communities and their residents in the years to come. The policy represents a comprehensive, long-term commitment to the Nation's urban areas.

The urban policy I am announcing today will build a New Partnership involving all levels of government, the private sector, and neighborhood and voluntary organizations in a major effort to make America's cities better places in which to live and work. It is a comprehensive policy aimed both at making cities more healthy and improving the lives of the people who live in them.
The major proposals will:

• Improve the effectiveness of existing Federal programs by coordinating these programs, simplifying planning requirements, reorienting resources, and reducing paperwork. And the proposals will make Federal actions more supportive of the urban policy effort and develop a process for analyzing the urban and community impact of all major Federal initiatives.

• Provide employment opportunities, primarily in the private sector, to the long-term unemployed and the disadvantaged in cities. This will be done through a labor-intensive public works program and tax and other incentives for business to hire the long-term unemployed.

• Provide fiscal relief to the most hardpressed communities.

• Provide strong incentives to attract private investment to distressed communities, including the creation of a National Development Bank, expanded grant programs and targeted tax incentives.

• Encourage States to become partners in assisting urban areas through a new incentive grant program.

•Stimulate greater involvement by neighborhood organizations and voluntary associations through funding neighborhood development projects and by creating an Urban Volunteer Corps. These efforts will be undertaken with the approval of local elected officials.

• Increase access to opportunity for those disadvantaged by economic circumstance or a history of discrimination.

• Provide additional social and health services to disadvantaged people in cities and communities.

• Improve the urban physical environment and the cultural and aesthetic aspects of urban life by providing additional assistance for housing rehabilitation, mass transit, the arts, culture, parks and recreation facilities.

America's communities are an invaluable national asset. They are the center of our culture, the incubators of new ideas and inventions, the centers of commerce and finance, and the homes of our great museums, libraries and theatres. Cities contain trillions of dollars of public and private investments—investments which we must conserve, rehabilitate and fully use.

The New Partnership I am proposing today will focus the full energies of my Administration on a comprehensive, longterm effort. It will encourage States to redirect their own resources to support their urban areas more effectively. It will encourage local governments to streamline and coordinate their own activities. It will offer incentives to the private sector to make new investments in economically depressed communities. And it will involve citizens and neighborhood and voluntary organizations in meeting the economic and social needs of their communities.

The New Partnership will be guided by these principles:

• Simplifying and improving programs and policy at all levels of government.

• Combining the resources of Federal, State and local government, and using them as a lever to involve the even greater strength of our private economy to conserve and strengthen our cities and communities.

• Being flexible enough to give help where it is most needed and to respond to the particular needs of each community.

• Increasing access to opportunity for those disadvantaged by economic circumstances or history of discrimination.

• And above all, drawing on the sense of community and voluntary effort that I believe is alive in America, and on the loyalty that Americans feel for their neighborhoods.

The need for a New Partnership is clear from the record of the last fifteen years. During the 1960's, the Federal government took a strong leadership role in responding to the problems of the cities. The Federal government attempted to identify the problems, develop the solutions and implement the programs. State and local governments and the private sector were not sufficiently involved. While many of these programs were successful, we learned an important lesson: that the Federal government alone has neither the resources nor the knowledge to solve all urban problems.

An equally important lesson emerged from the experience of the early 1970's. During this period, the Federal government retreated from its responsibilities, leaving States and localities with insufficient resources, interest or leadership to accomplish all that needed to be done. We learned that States and localities cannot solve the problems by themselves.

These experiences taught us that a successful urban policy must build a partnership that involves the leadership of the Federal government and the participation of all levels of government, the private sector, neighborhood and voluntary organizations and individual citizens.


The problems of our Nation's cities are complex and deep-seated. They have developed gradually over a generation as a result of private market and demographic forces and inadvertent government action; and the problems worsened markedly during the early 1970's.

These problems will not be solved immediately. They can be solved only by the long-term commitment which I offer today, and by the efforts of all levels of government, the private sector and neighborhood and voluntary organizations.

For my Administration, this commitment began on the day I took office and it will continue throughout my Presidency. With the cooperation of Congress, my Administration has already provided substantial increases in funding in many of the major urban assistance programs. Total assistance to State and local governments has increased by 25 percent, from $68 billion in FY 1977 to $85 billion in FY 1979. These increases are the direct result of actions we have taken during the past 14 months. They are as much a part of my Administration's urban policy as the initiatives which I am announcing today. Some of the most important programs have already been enacted into law or proposed to the Congress. These include:

• A $2.7 billion increase over three years in the Community Development Block Grant Program, accompanied by a change in the formula to provide more assistance to the older and declining cities.

• A $400 million a year Urban Development Action Grant Program providing assistance primarily to distressed cities.

• An expansion of youth and training programs and an increase in the number of public service employment jobs, from 325,000 to 725,000. Expenditures for employment and training doubled from FY '77 to FY '79 to over $12 billion.

• A $400 million private sector jobs proposal has been included in my proposal to reauthorize the CETA legislation. This initiative will encourage private businesses to hire the long-term unemployed and the disadvantaged.

• A sixty-five percent increase in grants provided by the Economic Development Administration to urban areas.

• A thirty percent increase in overall Federal assistance to education, including a $400 million increase in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, targeted in substantial part to large city school systems with a concentration of children from low-income families.

• An economic stimulus package enacted last year, (Anti-Recession Fiscal Assistance, Local Public Works and CETA) which provided almost $9 billion in additional aid to States and cities.

• A welfare reform proposal which, upon passage, will provide immediate fiscal relief to State and local governments.
• A doubling of outlays for the Section 312 housing rehabilitation loan program.

• Creation of a consumer cooperative bank which would provide financing assistance to consumer cooperatives which have difficulty obtaining conventional financing.


The Administration's Urban and Regional Policy Group (URPG) has examined all of the major urban assistance programs and proposed improvements. It also has worked with agencies traditionally not involved in urban policy, such as the Defense Department, the General Services Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency, and has developed proposals to make their actions more supportive of urban areas. As a result of this massive effort, the Federal government has become more sensitive to urban problems and more committed to their solutions.

The review of existing Federal programs has resulted in more than 150 improvements in existing programs. Most of these improvements can be undertaken immediately through administrative action. Some will require legislation. None will increase the Federal budget.

A few examples of the improvements are:

• All agencies will develop goals and timetables for minority participation in their grants and contracts—five major agencies have already begun.

• The Defense Department will set up a new program to increase procurement in urban areas.

• EPA will modify its water and sewer program to discourage wasteful sprawl.

• HUD has retargeted the Tandem Mortgage Assistance Program to provide greater support for urban housing.

• The existing countercyclical fiscal assistance program will be retargeted to help governments with unemployment rates above the national average.

• HUD and EDA are developing common planning and application requirements.

• The General Services Administration will attempt to locate Federal facilities in cities whenever such a location is not inconsistent with the agency's mission.

• The Department of Transportation has proposed legislation to consolidate many categories of urban highway and transit grants, and to standardize the local matching share. These steps will provide local governments with greater flexibility to develop transportation systems suited to their needs.

• The Environmental Protection Agency will amend its regulations to accommodate new economic development in high pollution areas. Localities will be permitted to "bank" reductions in pollution which result from firms going out of business. These reductions then can be transferred to new firms locating in the community.

The effect of all these changes may be greater than even the substantial new initiatives which I have proposed in this message.


The new initiatives which I am announcing today address five major urban needs:
1) Improving the operation of Federal, State and local governments
2) Employment and Economic Development
3) Fiscal Assistance
4) Community and Human Development
5) Neighborhoods and Voluntary Associations

These initiatives require $4.4 billion in budget authority, $1.7 billion in new tax incentives, and $2.2 billion in guaranteed loan authority in FY 1979. For FY 1980 the budget authority will be $6.1 billion, the tax incentives $1.7 billion and the guaranteed loan authority $3.8 billion.


Federal Programs

Over the long run, reorganization of the economic and community development programs may be necessary. Last June, I directed my reorganization project staff in the Office of Management and Budget to begin exploring the reorganization options. They have completed the first stages of this work. During the next several months, they will consult with the Congress, State and local officials and the public to develop the best solution.

There are several actions I will take immediately.

• Urban and Community Impact Analysis

I am implementing a process through my Domestic Policy Staff (DPS) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure that we do not inadvertently take actions which contradict the goals of the urban policy. Each agency submitting a major domestic initiative must include its own urban and community impact analysis. DPS and OMB will review these submissions and will ensure that any antiurban impacts of proposed Federal policies will be brought to my attention.
• Interagency Coordinating Council To improve program coordination, I will form an Interagency Coordinating Council, composed of the Assistant Secretaries with major program responsibilities in the key urban departments. The Council will have two functions:

It will serve as a catalyst for operational improvements which cut across Departments (for example, instituting uniform grant applications); and it will encourage interagency cooperation on projects which are too large or too complex to be funded by one agency. This Council will, for the first time, provide a coordinated Federal response to communities which develop comprehensive and multi-year projects. It will have direction from the Executive Office of the President.

• Consolidating Planning Requirements and Other Management Improvements

We soon will announce the consolidation of intra-agency planning requirements. I have asked the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to direct an interagency task force to improve the management of Federal grant-in-aid programs and consolidate the numerous planning requirements in the community and economic development grant programs.
• Improved Data and Information

I have asked the Secretary of Commerce, in her capacity as Chair of the Statistical Policy Coordination Committee, to design an improved urban data and information system. At the present time much of this data is inadequate or out of date.

The Role of State Governments

State government policies, even more than Federal policies, are important to the fiscal and economic health of cities. States affect their cities in a number of ways, including setting taxation and annexation powers, determining the placement of major development investments and apportioning the financial responsibility for welfare and education expenditures.

The Federal government has little or no control over these developments, all of which clearly affect the economic and fiscal health of cities and communities.

These State responsibilities underscore the need for an urban policy which includes the States as full and equal partners. The effectiveness of our urban policy will be enhanced if the States can be encouraged to complement 'the Federal effort.

To encourage States to support their urban areas, I will offer a new program of State incentive grants. These grants will be provided, on a discretionary basis, to States which adopt approved plans to help their cities and communities. The plans must be developed with the participation and approval of communities within the State. The grants will be provided to the States to finance a portion of the plan. The State Incentive Grant Program will be administered by HUD and will provide $400 million over two years.

Local Government Role

Many communities and cities can improve management and planning improvements by reforming fiscal management practices, streamlining local regulatory procedures, and coordinating local community and economic development activities.

The Federal government provides planning and technical assistance to communities through HUD and Commerce to help cities improve their management and planning practices. These funds will be used increasingly to build the local government's capacity to undertake the necessary fiscal and management reforms.

The Federal government will offer special consideration in discretionary programs to cities which achieve coordinated action at the local level.


There is a serious shortage of jobs for many residents of our urban areas and a lack of investment to build the tax base of our cities.

The urban policy will address this issue in two ways.

In the short run, it will provide additional employment opportunities through a labor-intensive public works program, a targeted employment tax credit, and a private sector training and jobs initiative to encourage businesses to hire the hardcore unemployed, together with the extension I have already proposed in employment and training opportunities under the CETA Act.

In the long run, the policy attempts to rebuild the private sector economic base of these communities through a National Development Bank, a special tax incentive, an increase in economic development grants and other incentives.

Labor-intensive Public Works

I ask Congress for $1 billion a year for a program of labor-intensive public works, targeted on communities with high unemployment. Half of the estimated 60,000 full-time equivalent jobs created annually by this program will be reserved for the disadvantaged and the long-term unemployed. These workers will be paid at Davis-Bacon trainee wage levels.

This program will enable cities to make needed repairs on buildings, streets, parks, and other public facilities.

In contrast to the Local Public Works program—which involves projects requiring large equipment, material expenditures and a prolonged planning period—more of the funds under this labor-intensive program will go to job creation.

Targeted Employment Tax Credit

I also propose a Targeted Employment Tax Credit to encourage business to hire disadvantaged young workers between the ages of 18 and 24 who suffer the highest unemployment rates in the Nation.

Under my proposal, private employers of young and disadvantaged, or handicapped, workers would be entitled to claim a $2,000 tax credit for each eligible worker during the first year of employment and a $1,500 credit for each eligible worker during the second year.

I am proposing this Targeted Employment Tax Credit as a substitute for the expiring Employment Tax Credit. The current program costs $2.5 billion a year and has had little influence on hiring decisions. The Administration's targeted program will cost approximately $1.5 billion a year, with far greater impact.

Location of Federal Facilities

I will sign a new Executive Order directing the General Services Administration to give first priority to cities in locating new Federal facilities or consolidating or relocating existing facilities. Under my Administration, Federal facilities will be located in cities, unless such a location is inconsistent with the agency's mission.

Federal buildings and facilities can be an important source of jobs and of rental payments and, in many cities, a principal stabilizing force preventing decline.

The Federal government should set an example for the private sector to invest in urban areas.

Federal Government Procurement

To assure that Federal procurement is used to strengthen the economic base of our Nation's cities and communities, I will:

• strengthen the implementation of the existing procurement set-aside program for labor surplus areas, by directing the General Services Administration to work with each agency to develop specific procurement targets and to monitor their implementation. GSA will report to me every six months on the progress of each Agency;

• direct the Defense Department to implement an experimental program to target more of its procurement to high unemployment areas.

National Development Bank

I propose the creation of a National Development Bank, which would encourage businesses to locate or expand in economically distressed urban and rural areas. The Bank would be authorized to guarantee investments totaling $11 billion through 1981.

To lower operating costs in urban areas, the Bank would provide long-term, low-cost financing which, in conjunction with expanded grant programs administered by HUD and EDA, will reduce a firm's financing costs by up to 60 percent.

The Bank uses four major financing tools:

• Grants of up to 15 percent of a firm's total capital cost, to a maximum $3 million, for fixed assets of a project. The grants, which would be made trader expanded EDA and HUD authorities, would cover expenditures for land assembly, site preparation, rehabilitation, and equipment.

• Loan guarantees, provided by the Bank to cover three-quarters of the remaining capital costs up to a maximum of $15 million per project. The Bank could, at its discretion, reduce the interest rate down to two and one-half percent for particularly desirable projects. Bank financing would be conditioned on obtaining 21 percent of the project's total costs from private lenders.

• The ceiling for industrial reserve bonds in economically distressed areas would be increased from $5 to $20 million with the approval of the Bank. A business which used this financing for a project could also receive a grant.

• The Bank also will provide a secondary loan market for private loans in eligible areas to finance capital expenditures. This will be particularly beneficial to small businesses.

Bank projects will require the approval of State .or local government economic development entities, which would be responsible to the elected local leadership. Distressed urban and rural areas would be eligible. Additional employment would be a key test of project eligibility.

The Bank will be an interagency corporation, governed by a Board composed of the Secretaries of HUD, Commerce and the Treasury. This will ensure coordination between the major economic, community development and urban finance agencies of the government.

The Office .of Management and Budget is currently assessing the organization of the Federal economic and community development activities. The Bank will function on an interagency basis pending recommendations in this area.

Economic Development Grants

I propose substantial increases of $275 million each in the UDAG grant program and the EDA Title IX program. These increases will be used in conjunction with the financing incentives available from the National Development Bank.

Taken together these major increases will help leverage substantial new private sector investment in urban areas and address the long-term economic deterioration experienced by certain urban and rural areas.

Differential Investment Tax Credit

I propose that firms that locate or expand in economically distressed areas be eligible for a differential 5 percent investment tax credit, to a total of 15 percent for both structures and equipment. The credit would be available only to firms awarded "Certificates of Necessity" by the Commerce Department based on financing need and employment potential.

Commerce will be authorized to issue up to $200 million in certificates for each of the next two years.

Air Quality Planning Grants

I propose a $25 million planning grant program to help cities and communities comply with the Clean Air Act without limiting severely new, private sector investment within their areas.

I have also asked EPA, HUD and EDA to provide technical assistance to help local governments reconcile potential conflicts between air pollution and economic development goals.

Minority Business

Minority businesses are a critical part of the private sector economic base of many cities, communities and neighborhoods, and provide important employment opportunities to city residents.

I propose today two important initiatives which will increase the role of minority businesses in our economy. First, in comparison with FY 1977 levels, we will triple Federal procurement from minority businesses by the end of FY 1979—an increase over our earlier commitment to double minority procurement.

In addition, I intend to ask all Federal agencies to include goals for minority business participation in their contract and grant-in-aid programs. Five agencies—HUD, Commerce, EPA, Interior and DOT—already have proposed improvements in minority business programs. These programs all build on our successful experience with the Local Public Works Program.

Finally, I intend to facilitate greater interaction between the minority business community and the leaders of our Nation's largest corporations. Community Development Corporations

I propose that an additional $20 million be appropriated to the Community Services Administration as venture capital for the most effective Community Development Corporations. This assistance will help them have a substantial impact on their designated areas.

The funding will be made available for projects that receive support from local elected officials, involve leveraging private sector funds and are coordinated with HUD, EDA or the Small Business Administration.

Role of Private Financial Institutions

An effective urban strategy must involve private financial institutions. I am asking the independent financial regulatory agencies to develop appropriate actions, consistent with safe, sound and prudent lending practices, to encourage financial institutions to play a greater role in meeting the credit needs of their communities.

First, I am requesting that financial regulatory agencies determine what further actions are necessary to halt the practice of redlining—the refusal to extend credit without a sound economic justification. I will encourage those agencies to develop strong, consistent and effective regulations to implement the Community Reinvestment Act.

Second, I propose the creation of an Institute for Community Investment, under the Federal Home Loan Bank Board. The Institute will bring together appraisers, realtors, lenders, building and insurance companies to develop a consistent approach toward urban lending and to train urban lending specialists.

Third, I propose a pilot program to create Neighborhood Commercial Reinvestment Centers under the Comptroller of the Currency. This proposal is an adaptation of the highly successful Urban Reinvestment Task Force housing credit concept to the commercial credit area. Neighborhood Commercial Reinvestment Centers will be local organizations, comprised of merchants and neighborhood residents, local government officials, and commercial banks which will provide business credit in urban neighborhoods. SBA, EDA, and HUD will work with the financial regulatory agencies to revitalize specific commercial areas.

Finally, I have asked the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to chair an interagency task force to evaluate the availability of credit in urban areas and recommend appropriate further action. I have asked the task force to examine and make recommendations with respect to the following areas:

• The availability of mortgage and commercial credit in urban areas, and the impacts of the activities of Federal agencies on such credit;

• Existing mortgage insurance, casualty insurance and business credit insurance programs;

• the full range of urban credit and insurance risk reduction techniques.


While the fiscal condition of many State and local governments has improved dramatically over the last three years, many cities and communities still are experiencing severe problems. These cities and communities require fiscal assistance from the Federal government, if they are to avoid severe service cutbacks or tax increases.

Supplemental Fiscal Assistance

Cities and communities currently receive fiscal assistance through the Anti-Recession Fiscal Assistance Act (ARFA), which expires on September 30, 1978. This program has been an effective tool for helping States and local governments withstand the fiscal impact of high unemployment.

Current unemployment projections, however, suggest that even if the ARFA program were extended in its current form, it would phase out by mid-FY 1979, when unemployment is expected to drop below six percent. If the program is permitted to phase out, many cities and communities will experience severe fiscal strain.

I propose today that ARFA be replaced with a Supplemental Fiscal Assistance Program, which will provide $1 billion of fiscal assistance annually for the next two fiscal years to local governments experiencing significant fiscal strain. Further extension of this program will be considered together with General Revenue Sharing.

Fiscal Relief in Welfare Proposal

In addition, I propose to phase in the fiscal relief component of the Better Jobs and Income Act as soon as Congress passes this legislation, rather than in 1981 as originally planned.


A comprehensive program to revitalize America's cities must provide for community and human needs. This involves both physical facilities, such as parks, recreation facilities, housing and transportation systems, and the provision of health and social services.

Housing Rehabilitation

The conservation and upgrading of our housing stock is important to maintaining the strength of urban areas. Housing rehabilitation improves the quality of community life and provides construction jobs in areas of high unemployment.

I propose an additional $150 million in FY 1979 for the Section 312 rehabilitation loan program, which will more than double the existing program. This expanded effort will permit the rehabilitation of small multi-family housing projects in distressed neighborhoods. Urban Transportation

In many cities, public transportation is inadequately financed. The Federal government has begun to make substantial investments to rehabilitate, revitalize and construct urban transportation systems.

I have already submitted to Congress my proposals to extend and strengthen the highway and mass transit programs.

To supplement these efforts I today propose an additional $200 million for capital investments in intermodal urban transportation projects. These funds will be used to link existing transportation facilities in selected cities.

Resource Recovery Planning

Solid waste disposal is a growing problem in the many urban areas which face a shortage of landfill sites. At the same time, techniques to recover valuable resources and energy from solid waste have emerged.

I will request $15 million for the EPA to provide grants of $300,000 to $400,000 to cities for feasibility studies of solid waste recovery systems.

Arts and Culture

Cities are centers of culture and art, which thrive on the vitality of the urban environment.

To help renew and develop this artistic and cultural spirit, I propose a new Livable Cities program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, with the participation of the National Endowment for the Arts. This program will provide up to $20 million in grants to States and communities for neighborhood- and community-based arts programs, urban design and planning, and the creation and display of art in public spaces. Historic preservation of buildings should also be encouraged.

Urban Parks and Recreation

The quality of life in urban areas is critically affected by the availability of open spaces and recreation facilities. Yet hard pressed communities often lack the resources to maintain and invest adequately in these amenities.

To address this problem, I propose a major new Federal grant program. Urban communities will compete for funds to revive and rebuild parks and recreation facilities. Challenge grants totalling $150 million will be provided for construction and major rehabilitation of urban recreation systems, such as parks, tennis and basketball courts, swimming pools, bicycle paths, and other facilities. Cities will be awarded grants based on the quality of their planning, the degree of need and their ability to match the Federal funds with private and local contributions.

Social Services

Urban revitalization efforts must be accompanied by efforts to help those in need to improve their own lives. A variety of income support and social service programs are designed to do this. Since 1974, however, the support given to State social service programs by the Federal government has declined in real terms.

I propose an additional $150 million of new budget authority for the Title XX program. These funds will be used to improve the delivery of social services in urban areas—ranging from Meals on Wheels for the elderly to day care for children of working mothers—and to develop greater coordination between local, public and private agencies.

Health Services

Nearly 50 million Americans live in areas without adequate health services. These areas, many of which are in inner cities, suffer from higher infant mortality rates, greater poverty and shortages of health care personnel.

In underserved areas, emergency room and outpatient departments of city hospitals are used as the routine source of medical care by the poor, primarily due to the lack of private physicians. As these departments were not designed to provide comprehensive medical care, the hospital resources are strained and the poor often go without adequate care.

To help meet the primary health care needs of the urban poor and reduce the strain on city hospitals, I propose to expand federally-supported Community Health Centers and to fund city-sponsored programs which provide comprehensive, but less costly, primary care services. The city-sponsored programs will enroll the medically indigent in existing health systems, such as HMOs. They also will help expand locally-supported centers, reform hospital outpatient departments and provide comprehensive health services.


Schools are the focus of community activities in many places. Yet they are seldom fully used or linked to other community and social services.

I intend to provide $1.5 million to expand the experimental Cities in Schools program which seeks to bridge the gap by uniting a number of social services within schools to better serve both students and their families. We intend to expand this promising new program to 10 pilot schools.

In addition, I urge the Congress to enact the $600 million increase in the Title I program of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which I recently proposed, including my recommendation that $400 million of these funds be targeted to cities and other areas with high concentrations of low-income families.


No resource of our urban communities is more valuable than the commitment of our citizens.

Volunteer groups, which gain strength from the selfless efforts of many individuals, make an indispensable contribution to their cities.

Urban Volunteer Corps

I propose a $40 million program in ACTION to increase the effectiveness of voluntary activities at the local level. With the agreement of local government, the program will create a corps of volunteers at the local level and match their skills with the needs of local governments and community and neighborhood organizations.

It also will provide small grants averaging $5,000 for voluntary improvement and beautification projects.

ACTION would select, with the concurrence of local government, a lead agency in each city to administer the Urban Volunteer Corps.

Self-Help Development Program

Neighborhood associations are playing a key role in housing and neighborhood revitalization. We must strengthen that role.

I will request $15 million in FY 1979 for a self-help development program to be administered by the Office for Neighborhoods in HUD.

This new program will provide funds for specific housing and revitalization projects in poor and low-income areas. Each project would involve the participation of local residents, the private sector and local government and would require the concurrence of the mayor. Crime Prevention

Street crime is a serious problem in America's cities and communities. Over the last few years a number of promising initiatives have been undertaken by community groups and local law enforcement agencies to combat street crime. Escort services for the elderly, centers to help the victims of crime, and neighborhood watchers are examples of promising developments.

I propose a program which will add $10 million in new resources to existing efforts in the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration for a program operated jointly by ACTION and LEAA. Under this program, mayors and local neighborhood groups will develop community crime prevention programs based on successful pilot models. My reorganization proposals for LEAA and the legislation I will submit to extend the Law Enforcement Assistance Act will strengthen our efforts at crime prevention.

Community Development Credit Unions

Some urban communities are not served by any financial institutions. Community Development Credit Unions address this problem by investing their assets in the communities in which they are established. This type of credit union was first established under the poverty programs in the 1960's. About 225 exist today, and many are the only financial institutions in their communities.

I am proposing a $12 million program to provide $200,000 seed capital for new Community Development Credit Unions, to provide them with an operating subsidy for staff, training and technical assistance.

The job of revitalizing the urban communities of our country will not be done overnight. Problems which have accumulated gradually over generations cannot be solved in a year or even in the term of a President.

But I believe that a New Partnership-bringing together in a common effort all who have a stake in the future of our communities—can bring us closer to our long-term goals. We can make America's cities more attractive places in which to live and work; we can help the people of urban America lead happier and more useful lives. But we can only do it together.

The White House,

March 27, 1978.

Citation: Jimmy Carter: "National Urban Policy Message to the Congress. ", March 27, 1978. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
© 1999-2011 - Gerhard Peters - The American Presidency Project