On June 28, HUD awarded $8 million in Choice Neighborhoods Planning grants to 10 communities across the nation. The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) helps struggling neighborhoods with severely distressed public housing or HUD-assisted housing by comprehensively investing in the community’s housing, residents and neighbors. Planning Grants, which assist communities in developing their comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plan or “Transformation Plan,” is one of two types of grants offered through the Initiative. Implementation Grants, which support communities that are ready to implement their Transformation Plan, are also funded through this program.
HUD is awarding Choice Neighborhood Planning funds to the following grantees:
- Asbury Park Housing Authority, New Jersey
- Housing Authority of the City of Brownsville, Texas
- Greater Dayton Premier Management, Ohio
- Louisville Metro Housing Authority, Kentucky
- Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority (Nashville, Tennessee)
- City of Newport News, Virginia
- City of Phoenix, Arizona
- Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Sanford Housing Authority, Florida
- City of Shreveport, Louisiana
Prior to the funding announcement for the FY 2015/FY 2016 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant last November, Planning Grant funds could only be used for the creation of a Transformation Plan. HUD has now introduced a new component called Planning and Action Grants that will allow communities to use grants of up to $2 million over three years to demonstrate a commitment to “doing while planning.”
During the planning process, communities will identify Action Activities to be carried out during the latter portion of the grant period that must build upon the planning for the target housing and neighborhood. Eligible Action Activities may include reclaiming and recycling vacant property into community gardens, pocket parks, farmers’ markets, or land banking; beautification, placemaking, and community arts projects; homeowner and business façade improvement programs; neighborhood broadband/Wi-Fi; fresh food initiatives; and gap financing for economic development projects. The inspiration for this new component comes from the 63 previously awarded Planning Grantees that showed “tangible, early actions help sustain community energy, attract new resources, and build momentum to turn that plan into reality.”
Read comprehensive summaries of the 10 Choice Neighborhoods Planning grants here.