The project is a collaborative effort to build tools that support increased access to opportunity
Philadelphia, March 7, 2016 — Reinvestment Fund’s PolicyMap announced today that it is one of a selected group of collaborators invited to present at the White House Opportunity Project launch event. The project focuses on facilitating the development of a suite of digital tools that put neighborhood-level information on access to opportunity at the fingertips of families, community organizers, non-profits, local leaders, and the media. The tools are built from a combination of open datasets that are collectively referred to as Open Opportunity Data.
“Since Reinvestment Fund launched PolicyMap eight years ago, we’ve been driven by the singular belief that data has the power to change communities and markets,” shares Maggie McCullough, President of PolicyMap. “We are honored to be part of this effort that allows us to leverage our data-rich platform to model a simple yet sophisticated tool to easily identify places with opportunity.”
PolicyMap will be demonstrating their tool at the White House today at an event that is expected to bring more than 200 attendees including community leaders, senior administration officials, advocates and technologists. The event will stream live at www.whitehouse.gov/live.
Since early January, PolicyMap has been working with the White House and Presidential Innovation Fellows to put together a tool that can help families and organizations make decisions that get them closer to valuable opportunities and thriving communities. PolicyMap used its platform to develop a tool available http://opportunity.policymap.com/ for the project. It is a public facing mapping tool for consumers, community organizations, local development organizations or anyone with a need or interest in finding areas that meet their definition of a place with opportunity.
For example, imagine a single mother with a Housing Choice Voucher who needs not only to find an apartment unit, but to find one in an area she considers to be a place of opportunity for herself and her daughter. To that end, she wants to find a rental unit in a place near a good school, with transit access, a stable housing market and neighborhood amenities such as libraries, museums, health centers, grocery stores and a bank or credit union – all things that comprise a healthy, vital community. She can find those places with PolicyMap’s tool.
The White House Opportunity Project is an initiative of the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows and made possible by the US Census Bureau in partnership with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It is committed to providing developers, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and all passionate change agents the data they need in order to create transformational products and services for those that need them most. The initiative seeks to expose the current, unequal geography of opportunity – the fact that today, opportunity is not evenly distributed—and to change that, so that a young person’s zip code does not determine his or her destiny.
PolicyMap unifies the web’s largest place-based data library with simple mapping and reporting tools. Our products take the legwork out of data collection and processing to make it easier for you to understand and make an impact on the places you value. Born at Reinvestment Fund, a catalyst for change in low-income communities, our background in public policy and community development underlies our mission and guides our products. Learn more at policymap.com.
About The Reinvestment Fund
Reinvestment Fund is a catalyst for change in low-income communities. We integrate data, policy and strategic investments to improve the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods. Using analytical and financial tools, we bring high-quality grocery stores, affordable housing, schools and health centers to the communities that need better access—creating anchors that attract investment over the long term and help families lead healthier, more productive lives. Learn more at reinvestment.com.