Last week, EveryoneOn, in partnership with HUD, announced the expansion of the ConnectHome pilot. First unveiled in 2015 by the Obama Administration, ConnectHome was a White House initiative aimed at narrowing the digital divide within 28 pilot communities (which included participation from 23 NAHRO member agencies). ConnectHome tested the impact of cross-sector collaborators using non-government resources in order to accelerate the adoption and utilization of broadband technology by families living in HUD-assisted housing
Beginning this summer, the expansion of ConnectHome – which has been rebranded as “ConnectHOME Nation” – will launch a new cohort of communities with the goal of reaching over 100 communities and connecting 350,000 people living in public housing by 2020.
New communities that take part in this expansion will have access to:
- Access to stakeholder commitments (organizations such as GitHub, American Library Association, AT&T, Comcast, KANO, CollegeBoard, NHC, etc.)
- Continued assistance with stakeholder negotiation by EveryoneOn
- Monthly webinars to help with local efforts and best practices
- Access to a mentorship community to help guide progress
- Access to the Digital ConnectHome Nation Platform, which will include resources and collateral where communities can connect, ask questions and collect data
Communities that are admitted will be committing to the following:
- Assigning dedicated staff from the PHA to serve as ConnectHome Nation lead
- Joint letter of participation from the PHA and the city
- Working towards yearly internet adoption, device, and training goals
- Quarterly internal progress reports
- Annual public progress updates
- Regional/National summit attendance
- Semi-annual success stories
The online platform and application for ConnectHome Nation will go live on July 17, 2017 and close on July 30, 2017.
Applications will be available on connecthomenation.org, a new website that will be launching. Interested communities who wish to be notified when the application is live can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested communities will be admitted in cohorts of 30, 35 and 35 in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Interested communities should note that any resident in any type of HUD-assisted housing (public housing, multifamily, Section 8) is eligible to be served by the stakeholder commitments that are part of ConnectHome Nation.