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U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced today that four communities will receive a combined $108.9 million to redevelop distressed housing and bring comprehensive neighborhood revitalization to blighted areas.

HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (Choice) will help transform distressed communities in Cincinnati, Ohio; San Antonio, Tex.; Seattle, Wash.; and Tampa, Fla. This landmark initiative promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming areas of concentrated poverty into viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods. The $108.9 million federal investment of Choice Neighborhoods has generated $393 million in private investments and commitments from local jurisdictions and partners, a more than 300 percent leveraging.

“HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative supports local visions for how to transform high-poverty, distressed communities into neighborhoods of opportunity,” says Donovan. “We’re emphasizing a comprehensive approach to revitalizing neighborhoods by considering the totality of a community with regard to health, safety, education, jobs and quality housing in mixed-income neighborhoods.”

The communities announced today were selected from nine finalists HUD announced in August. Each of the finalists completed a comprehensive local planning process and ready to move forward with their plan to revitalize the housing and redevelop their target neighborhoods. Building on the successes of HUD’s HOPE VI Program, Choice links housing improvements with a wide variety of public services and neighborhood improvements to create neighborhoods of opportunity.

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is one of the signature programs of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which supports innovative and inclusive strategies that bring public and private partners together to help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. It encourages collaboration between HUD and the Departments of Education, Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services to support local solutions for sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods with the affordable housing, safe streets and good schools all families need.

Congress approved the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative with the passage of HUD’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget. Funding is provided through two separate programs – Implementation Grants and Planning Grants. In 2011, HUD awarded its first Choice Implementation grants for Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle, a combined $122.27 million investment to bring comprehensive neighborhood revitalization to blighted areas in these cities. With this announcement, HUD has awarded a total of $231,250,000 in Choice Implementation Grants in eight cities. See past Implementation grantees list here.

For more information, visit www.hud.gov.

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