Appraises the efficacy of HUD urban economics and community development programs (Community Development Block Grants, Section 312 rehabilitation loans, and Urban Development Action Grants) to help cities and neighborhoods in distress. The programs are intended to alleviate problems associated with neighborhood blight and decay, substandard housing, and residential segregation. The three programs differ in terms of the kinds of cities, neighborhoods, and population groups they seek to benefit. Data are not yet available for assessing the success with which targeting objectives are met. Estimates of program effectiveness must take into account spillovers to nontargeted groups, indirect costs (e.g., increased local fiscal obligations, displacement of households), and both leverage and substitution effects on local public and private investors. Recommends a new data collection system to facilitate such measurement.