U.S. Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that nine communities across the U.S. will receive Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants. The $4.37 million awarded provides these communities the resources they need to craft comprehensive, community-driven plans to revitalize and transform public or other HUD-assisted housing and distressed neighborhoods. Read more about these local planning efforts.
“Through this investment, HUD is providing the resources for local leaders to transform neighborhoods into thriving communities where families will choose to live,” said Donovan. “The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative represents the next generation in a movement toward revitalizing entire neighborhoods by providing critically needed funding to support locally-driven economic development solutions in these areas. I look forward to working with these cities and communities as they work to build stronger neighborhoods for all.”
HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming distressed areas of concentrated poverty into viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods. Building on the successes of HUD’s HOPE VI Program, Choice Neighborhoods links housing improvements with necessary services for the people who live there – including schools, public transit and employment opportunities.
The awardees announced were selected from among 52 applications. Successful applicants demonstrated their intent to plan for the transformation of neighborhoods by revitalizing severely distressed public and/or assisted housing while leveraging investments to create high-quality public schools, outstanding education and early learning programs, public assets, public transportation, and improved access to jobs and well-functioning services. HUD focused on directing resources to address three core goals:
►Housing: Transform distressed public and assisted housing into energy efficient, mixed-income housing that is physically and financially viable over the long-term;
►People: Support positive outcomes for families who live in the target development(s) and the surrounding neighborhood, particularly outcomes related to residents’ health, safety, employment, mobility, and education; and
►Neighborhood: Transform neighborhoods of poverty into viable, mixed-income neighborhoods with access to well-functioning services, high quality public schools and education programs, high quality early learning programs and services, public assets, public transportation, and improved access to jobs.
The grantees will use the funding to work with local stakeholders – public and/or assisted housing residents, community members, businesses, institutions and local government officials – to undertake a successful neighborhood transformation to create a “choice neighborhood.” The awardees will use the funding to create a comprehensive Transformation Plan, or road map, to transforming distressed public and/or assisted housing within a distressed community.
Choice Neighborhoods is one of the signature programs of the White House Promise Zones Initiative where the federal government will partner with and invest in communities to create jobs, leverage private investment, increase economic activity, expand educational opportunities, and improve public safety. Working with local leadership—and bringing to bear the resources of a number of the President’s signature revitalization initiatives from the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Agriculture—federal programs and resources will support local efforts to turn around 20 of the highest poverty urban, rural and tribal communities across the country.
Congress approved the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative with the passage of HUD’s FY2010 budget. Funding is provided through two separate programs – Implementation Grants and Planning Grants. With this announcement, HUD has awarded a56 Planning Grants totaling of $16.9 million in cities and counties across the country.