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HUD Offers Grants to Help Further Transform Communities in Need

Friday, December 4, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Recently, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the availability of new funding to help local communities across the country to redevelop severely distressed public and HUD-assisted housing and transform surrounding neighborhoods. The funding announcement introduces an additional, innovative component to the Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant, called Planning and Action Grants.

Grants of up to $2 million will enable communities to create a locally driven plan to transform struggling neighborhoods, as well as implement early improvements, such as reclaiming vacant property and attracting new businesses.

“HUD’s mission of expanding opportunity extends beyond a family’s front door to the neighborhoods where they live,” says HUD Secretary Julián Castro.   “These grants will let local leaders create homegrown plans to strengthen their neighborhoods and to take those first vital steps to turn their plans into reality.”

Choice Neighborhoods is HUD’s signature place-based initiative in support of the President’s goal to build Ladders of Opportunity to the middle class. Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:
  • 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.
  • People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and supports delivered directly to youth and their families.
  • 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.
Up to now, Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant funds could only be used to create a neighborhood Transformation Plan.  However, experience with the 63 previously awarded Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grantees has shown that tangible, early actions help sustain community energy, attract new resources, and build momentum to turn that plan into reality.

HUD’s FY15/16 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant funds build upon these lessons by introducing Planning and Action Grants. Under these grants, communities with severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing will continue to develop a successful neighborhood transformation plan and build the support necessary for that plan to be successfully implemented. In addition, Planning and Action Grant funds will also enable activities including:

Reclaiming and recycling vacant property into community gardens, pocket parks, farmers markets, or land banking;
  • Beautification, place making, and community arts projects;
  • Homeowner and business façade improvement programs;
  • Neighborhood broadband/Wi-Fi;
  • Fresh food initiatives; and
  • Gap financing for economic development projects.
For more information, visit www.grants.gov. 

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.



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