The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding seven Choice Neighborhoods Planning grants worth $3.2 million in six cities, HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced while speaking to grant recipient Louisville Metro Housing Authority in Kentucky on Friday.
HUD's signature place-based initiative, Choice Neighborhoods' goal is to transform those neighborhoods that are struggling to address the challenges of distressed housing, inadequate schools, poor health, high crime, and lack of capital, which are all interconnected. Choice Neighborhoods builds on the work of the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, a partnership formed in 2009 between HUD, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and Treasury.
"These Choice Neighborhood grants will spark the creation of community plans for progress," Castro said. "We look forward to working with local leaders to breathe new life into struggling neighborhoods, transforming them into places where residents can flourish and dreams can thrive."
The grant recipients are:
- City of Flint/Flint Housing Commission in Flint, Michigan, South Saginaw neighborhood, $500,000
- City of Gary/Legacy Foundation and the City of Gary Economic Development Corporation, Gary, Indiana, University Park East neighborhood, $500,000
- Louisville Metro Housing Authority, Louisville, Kentucky, Russell neighborhood, $425,000
- Mobile Housing Board, Mobile, Alabama, Three Mile Trace neighborhood, $375,000
- Mobile Housing Board, Mobile, Alabama, Thomas James Place neighborhood, $457,500
- City of North Las Vegas/Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority, North Las Vegas, Nevada, Urban Core neighborhood, $485,000
- Urban Strategies, Inc., St. Louis, Missouri, Near North Side Neighborhood, $500,000
Choice Neighborhoods supports the Ladders of Opportunity plan, which aims to improve the middle class by helping community partners rebuild neighborhoods, expanding early learning opportunities, creating pathways to jobs, and strengthening families. The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative focuses on three core goals: housing, where the focus is on replacing distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality, well-managed, mixed-income housing; people, where the focus is on improving educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth by providing services and supports directly to the youth and their families; and neighborhoods, where the focus is to create conditions that allow for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer amenities and assets that are important to families' choices about their community.
Broad civic engagement is needed in each area in order to develop a plan that meets the core goals of the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Community and civic leaders and local residents are leading the effort to revitalize communities, joining with stakeholders such as public housing authorities, police, cities, schools, business owners, non-profits, and private developers to work together to create a plan that addresses community challenges and transforms distressed HUD housing.