Communities in Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and Wisconsin awarded Planning Grants
WASHINGTON – Expanding on its commitment to help local communities redevelop severely distressed HUD assisted housing and revitalize neighborhoods, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded nearly $5 million to six communities.
Funded through HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program, these grants will help local leaders to craft comprehensive, homegrown plans to revitalize and transform these neighborhoods.
HUD is awarding Choice Neighborhood Planning grants to the following communities:
- Alabama – Housing Authority of the City of Phenix City – $250,000
- Arizona – City of Tucson – $1,300,000
- Illinois – Urban Strategies, Inc. (Housing Authority of the City of East St. Louis) – $350,000
- Maryland – Housing Authority of Baltimore City – $1,300,000
- New Jersey – Housing Authority of the City of Camden – $350,000
- Wisconsin – Marquette University (Near West Side Partners) – $1,300,000
HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming neighborhoods struggling to address the interconnected challenges of distressed housing, inadequate schools, poor health, high crime, and historic disinvestment. Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:
- Housing: Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.
- People: Improve outcomes of households living in the target housing related to employment and income, health, and children’s education; and
- Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families’ choices about their community.
Through Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants, local governments, housing authorities, residents, nonprofits, tribal authorities, private developers, school districts, police departments, and other civic organizations create a common vision and develop effective strategies to revitalize their neighborhood. The resulting Transformation Plan lays the foundation for revitalizing the distressed public and/or assisted housing units, transforming the surrounding neighborhood, and promoting opportunities for families.
Three of the awardees will receive an additional $950,000 for “Action Activities.” The City of Tucson, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City and Marquette University will use these additional funds to build momentum and attract additional investment. Eligible uses of these funds include recycling vacant property into community gardens, pocket parks, or farmers markets; beautification, place-making and community arts projects; homeowner and business façade improvement programs; neighborhood broadband or wi-fi; fresh food initiatives; and gap financing for economic development projects.