RISMedia, June 9, 2011—The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced recently that $3.6 million in Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants will be awarded in fiscal year 2011 to assist in the transformation, rehabilitation and preservation of public housing and privately owned HUD-assisted housing.
“Our Choice Neighborhoods Initiative rewards communities that use innovative tools to tackle concentrated poverty holistically,” says HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “The initiative expands on the bipartisan success of the HOPE VI program by recognizing that we must link affordable housing with quality education, public transportation, good jobs and safe streets. President Obama has said that there is no greater economic policy than one that invests in our children’s future and helps America out-educate the world. But that’s not possible if we leave a whole generation of children behind in our poorest neighborhoods.”
As part of HUD’s overall plan to revitalize areas of concentrated poverty, the Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants are intended to help transform distressed public and assisted housing into sustainable, mixed-income housing that connects to key services, such as education and transportation, and supports positive outcomes for the neighborhood’s families. Eligible applicants are public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit developers that apply jointly with a public entity. Applicants must demonstrate their plan to revitalize the neighborhood through public-private partnerships that seek to develop high-quality public schools and early learning programs, public transportation, and improved access to jobs and well-functioning services.
These grants will enable communities to create a comprehensive “transformation plan,” or road map, to transform public and/or assisted housing within a distressed community to create a choice neighborhood. This Federal support provides a significant incentive and catalyst for the local community to take critical steps toward neighborhood transformation.
Applicants have until August 8, 2011 to apply for the Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants. HUD anticipates awarding approximately 12 grants with a maximum award of $300,000 each.
Choice Neighborhoods is focused on directing resources to address three core goals—housing, people and neighborhoods. It is a centerpiece of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative(NRI). HUD partners with the Departments of Treasury, Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services on the NRI, an interagency effort to align federal housing, education, justice, and health programs to transform distressed, high-poverty neighborhoods into neighborhoods of opportunity.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.