Ben van der Meer | Sacramento Business Journal

Passengers disembark from a southbound Metra commuter train in Homewood, where village officials are pitching the Metra/Amtrak station there as a prime asset for businesses that locate nearby.Housing projects and other developments in Sacramento’s more challenged neighborhoods should get a boost from the announcement Tuesday of a federal “Promise Zone” in the city.

According to city of Sacramento officials, the designation allows the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency to get “priority points” when applying for federal grants, as well as tap into other resources.

“With the elimination of redevelopment, we lost more than $20 million annually in reinvestment dollars,” said LaShelle Dozier, SHRA’s executive director. Under the promise zone designation, SHRA will pursue five goals: job creation, increased economic activity, improved educational opportunities, improved health and wellness, and neighborhood revitalization.

Dozier said that could mean a greater chance of getting federal dollars for redeveloping the Alder Grove/Marina Vista and Twin Rivers public housing projects, all of which are within the designated zone. Dozier and other SHRA officials said there’s a long-term goal to convert those sites, possibly into mixed-use, mixed-income developments. Read more