HUD Issues Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants

Last week, HUD awarded nearly $5 million in Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants to six communities to “help create plans to redevelop severely distressed HUD assisted housing and revitalize neighborhoods.” The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is place-based and focuses on three goals: housing, people, and neighborhoods. Through the Choice Neighborhoods planning process,  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.”

Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant Recipients include:

  • The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (California)
  • The Housing Authority of Cook County/City of Chicago Heights (Illinois)
  • City of Lewiston/Community Concepts, Inc. (Maine)
  • Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (Ohio)
  • Philadelphia Housing Authority (Pennsylvania)
  • City of Huntington/Huntington Housing Authority (West Virginia)

The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, the City of Lewiston, and the Philadelphia Housing Authroity will receive an addition $950,000 each for “action activities.” These 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.

The President’s 2019 budget would not provide funding for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Congress provided $137.5 million for Choice Neighborhoods in 2017. The President’s budget requests cancelling any unobligated funds tied to the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative or the HOPE VI program. NAHRO is strongly advocating for Congress to continue funding this important community development and housing program.

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