At a forum Wednesday afternoon at Sacramento City Hall, Mayor Kevin Johnson and a large group of housing and economic development leaders got a lay of the land for what's to come in Sacramento.

Parts of the city have been designated by the Obama Administration as a "Promise Zone," which means the areas qualify for federal grants to help with housing development and economic expansion.

"People have to be flexible with where they live and work and in Sacramento, we want to be a leader in terms of doing that." Johnson told the audience. "It's got to be affordable, we've got to make sure we take care of our most vulnerable population."

The city's zone includes downtown from Richards Boulevard to Broadway, Northgate Boulevard to Auburn Boulevard, and Franklin Boulevard to Power Inn Road. Those areas meet the federal requirements, which include a certain percentage related to unemployment and the poverty rate. In the identified areas for Sacramento, there is a 34 percent poverty rate and 19 percent unemployment rate, which exceeds the requirements.

With the downtown arena being built, there were already plans to build housing nearby along K and R streets, and the railyards. Now with the chance to get federal funding, Johnson and other city leaders know it adds extra incentive to build affordable housing.

Johnson has a long-term goal of building 10,000 new homes in Sacramento over the next decade.

The next step in the process is for an official proposal for the "promise zone" to be voted on by the city council, which is expected to take place in August.