HUD makes $189 million available to revitalize communities
The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) have announced that it is making $189 million in grants available to transform public and assisted housing and to revitalize communities. Appearing in today’s Federal Register are the Notices of Funding Availability, the federal application, for two revitalization initiatives: The Choice Neighborhoods FY 2010 and the HOPE VI FY 2010. While the nearly 20-year-old HOPE VI Revitalization Program has been successful at transforming neighborhoods with distressed public housing into revitalized mixed-income communities, Choice Neighborhoods aims to use a more comprehensive approach to community development with housing transformation as its center. “We have seen remarkable success under our HOPE VI program over the last 17 years. This funding will help continue that work to transform public housing projects and improve outcomes for tens of thousands of public housing tenants,” said HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Sandra Henriquez. “But even some of the best HOPE VI projects are islands of hope surrounded by a sea of need. By coupling this round of HOPE VI funding with the first awards in our Choice Neighborhoods initiative, we’re transitioning toward investing in strategies to address interconnected challenges—housing decay, crime, lack of educational prospects and economic connections—that keep families and communities in severe distress.” The pilot year Choice Neighborhoods competitive program will award up to $65 million to public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and for profit developers that apply jointly with a public entity to extend neighborhood transformation efforts beyond public and/or assisted housing, to link housing revitalization with education reform and early childhood education. “We are proud to work with HUD to ensure that there are great schools at the center of every Choice Neighborhood,” said Assistant Deputy Secretary Jim Shelton of the Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement. “Our partnership is an important step to breaking down Federal agency silos and providing comprehensive tools to revitalize neighborhoods of concentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity.” ►Choice Neighborhoods Planning and Implementation Grants: The $65 million Choice Neighborhoods demonstration expands HOPE VI's redevelopment toolkit to allow for redevelopment of both public and other HUD-assisted housing properties. This means that the disinvested assisted housing that frustrated cities and housing authorities and fostered crime and blight can now be included in comprehensive neighborhood revitalization efforts. The program also widens the traditional pool of eligible applicants by allowing local governments, nonprofits and for-profit developers that submit joint applications with a public entity. Applicants have until Oct. 26, 2010 to apply for Choice Neighborhoods Planning or Implementation grants. It is anticipated that 12-15 Planning Grants will be made with a maximum award of $250,000 each. Decisions on Implementation grant applications will be made through a two-round application process. Upon conclusion of its review in Round 1, HUD will select approximately 10 finalists and publish a Round 2 NOFA. Finalists will have the opportunity to submit a more detailed plan for community transformation. Approximately 2-4 implementation grants will then be awarded, at a maximum of $31 million each. “This dual-round process was designed to better serve applicants,” said HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing Programs Carol Galante. “By making our initial decisions on summaries, we hope to minimize applicants’ financial investments to develop deeper, more comprehensive transformation plans and concentrate on those proposals most poised to make substantive change in our nation’s most distressed communities.” ►HOPE VI Revitalization Award: There have been 254 HOPE VI Revitalization grants awarded to 132 housing authorities since 1993—totaling more than $6.1 billion. These grants have transformed severely distressed public housing developments to mixed-income communities. Revitalization grant funds are used for an array of activities, including: Demolition of severely distressed public housing; acquisition of sites for off-site construction; capital costs of major rehabilitation, new construction and other physical improvements; and community and supportive service programs for residents, including those relocated as a result of revitalization efforts. HOPE VI Revitalization grant applicants will have until Nov. 22, 2010 to submit applications. It is anticipated that five to six grant awards will be made, with a maximum award of $22 million each. Applicants must refer to the FY 2010 General Section for important application information and requirements, including submission requirements, which are different from the 2009 application. In FY2010, HUD is continuing its requirement that applicants submit their applications electronically through www.grants.gov. For more information, visit www.hud.gov.