In January 2010, Living Cities launched The Integration Initiative (TII) to support “bold, promising approaches that have the potential to transform the lives of low-income people and the communities in which they live.”
Living Cities offered applicants a blend of three types of financing to implement their local strategies: direct grants of $2.77 million for three years; program-related investments of up to $4 million and up to $15 million of commercial debt. Living Cities required that each community applying to be part of TII incorporate the following in its approach: a focus on systems, a cross-sector “table” to lead the work, the use of both grants and debt financing through a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), involvement of philanthropy and engagement of the public sector.
This report is a culmination of the first three years of the work of TII’s partner sites: the Baltimore Integration Partnership, Cleveland’s Greater University Circle Community Wealth Building Initiative, Detroit’s Woodward Corridor Initiative, Minneapolis/St. Paul’s Corridors of Opportunity and Newark’s Strong Healthy Communities Initiative. The report outlines the successes and challenges of each site and provides lessons learned for funders and practitioners on how to dramatically improve outcomes for low-income people in America’s cities.
Living Cities decided to use a developmental approach to its evaluation of TII. Many of the findings from this report were used to improve the administration and design for the second round of TII, which began in 2014.
In addition to the full report, Living Cities has created an executive summary of the report that provides a high-level overview of the main findings.