By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Obama administration has chosen the Mantua section of West Philadelphia as one of five so-called “Promise Zones” across the country.READ MORE: Enhanced Risk For Severe Weather Across Philadelphia Region Monday Afternoon
Maari Porter, chief grants officer for the Nutter administration (at left in photo), says the selection of Mantua as a Promise Zone means that neighborhood will be given preference when applying for a host of other federal grants.
“It means you get preferential points, and you get technical assistance from the federal government to apply,” she said today. “And so you stand a very, very good chance — a better chance that other jurisdictions. In a sense you’re in the game, and you’re ahead of the game of other localities in other cities.”
The area selected has a 50-percent poverty rate and an unemployment rate topping 13 percent.READ MORE: Partial Home Collapse Jolts Neighbors Awake In Brewerytown
Michael Thorpe (right), chairman of Mt. Vernon Manor Apartments in Mantua, said he is thrilled with the Promise Zone designation.
“Its just a wonderful opportunity to really develop a community that needs so much attention,” he said.
And Porter says one grant the city now intends to seek for Mantua is a $30-million Department of Education program with a similar title, “Promise Neighborhoods,” which she describes as a cradle-to-career program.MORE NEWS: Woman Hit By Lyft Driver While Crossing Street In Mayfair