The Choice Neighborhoods program leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public and/or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Local leaders, residents, and stakeholders, such as public housing authorities, cities, schools, police, business owners, nonprofits, and private developers, come together to create and implement a plan that revitalizes distressed HUD housing and addresses the challenges in the surrounding neighborhood. The program helps communities transform neighborhoods by redeveloping severely distressed public and/or HUD-assisted housing and catalyzing critical improvements in the neighborhood, including vacant property, housing, businesses, services and schools. To this end, Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:
1. 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;
2.People: Improve outcomes of households living in the target housing related to employment and income, health, and children’s education; and
3.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.
To achieve these core goals, successful applicants must develop and implement a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy, or “Transformation Plan.” This Transformation Plan becomes the guiding document for the revitalization of the public and/or assisted housing units, while simultaneously directing the transformation of the surrounding neighborhood. Experience shows that to successfully develop and implement the Transformation Plan, broad engagement is needed. Successful applicants will need to work with public and private agencies, organizations (including philanthropic and civic organizations), and individuals to gather and leverage the financial and human capital resources needed to support the sustainability of the plan. These efforts should build community support for and involvement in the development and implementation of the plan.
This program will support approximately 6 awards total: 3 Planning and Action Grants not to exceed $1.3 million each and 3 Planning Grants not to exceed $350,000 each.