17 entities nationwide receive grants to execute grassroots efforts to revitalize housing, communities
DURHAM – October 12, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that the Housing Authority of the City of Durham will receive $300,000 to execute grassroots efforts to revitalize the public housing at McDougald Terrace and transform the Southeast Central neighborhood of Durham.
The Housing Authority of the City of Columbia is one of 17 entities from across the U.S. receiving a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant today. The funding provides these communities the resources they need to craft comprehensive, community-driven plans to revitalize public or other HUD-assisted housing and transform distressed neighborhoods.
“This funding will enable the Housing Authority of the City of Columbia to take its initial discussions with local partners further to plan out strategies to build a stronger, more sustainable community that will address distressed housing, failing schools, rampant crime in this housing and community,” said Ed Jennings, Jr., HUD Southeast Regional Administrator, “HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative represents the next generation in a movement toward revitalizing entire neighborhoods to improve the lives of the residents who live there.”
HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming distressed areas of concentrated poverty into viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods. Building on the successes of HUD’s HOPE VI Program, Choice Neighborhoods links housing improvements with necessary services for the people who live there – including schools, public transit and employment opportunities.
The awardees announced today were selected from among 72 applications. Successful applicants demonstrated their intent to plan for the transformation of neighborhoods by revitalizing severely distressed public and/or assisted housing while leveraging investments to create high-quality public schools, outstanding education and early learning programs, public assets, public transportation, and improved access to jobs and well-functioning services. HUD focused on directing resources to address three core goals:
- Housing: Transform distressed public and assisted housing into energy efficient, mixed-income housing that is physically and financially viable over the long-term;
- People: Support positive outcomes for families who live in the target development(s) and the surrounding neighborhood, particularly outcomes related to residents’ health, safety, employment, mobility, and education; and
- Neighborhood: Transform neighborhoods of poverty into viable, mixed-income neighborhoods with access to well-functioning services, high quality public schools and education programs, high quality early learning programs and services, public assets, public transportation, and improved access to jobs.
The grantees will use the funding to work with local stakeholders – public and/or assisted housing residents, community members, businesses, institutions and local government officials – to undertake a successful neighborhood transformation to create a “choice neighborhood.” The awardees will use the funding to create a comprehensive Transformation Plan, or road map, to transforming distressed public and/or assisted housing within a distressed community.
Choice Neighborhoods is one of the signature programs of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which supports innovative, holistic strategies that bring public and private partners together to help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Choice Neighborhoods 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 FY2010 budget. Funding is provided through two separate programs – Implementation Grants and Planning Grants. With this announcement, HUD has awarded a total of $12.55 million in Planning Grants to 46 cities or counties. See past Planning grantees list here.
Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants are awarded to entities that have completed a comprehensive local planning process and are ready to move forward with their Transformation Plan to redevelop their target housing and neighborhoods. In August, HUD announced the nine finalists that will compete for approximately $110 million in 2012 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants to transform public and other HUD-assisted housing in targeted neighborhoods. Teams recently completed site visits as part of the application review process to determine which of the finalists will receive Implementation grants.
Last year, HUD awarded its first CN 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.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD. or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s News Listserv.
FY2012 CHOICE NEIGHBORHOODS PLANNING GRANT AWARD INFORMATION
Choice Neighborhoods Lead Grantee: Housing Authority of the City of Durham
Target Public Housing Project: McDougald Terrace
Target Neighborhood: Southeast Central
Choice Neighborhoods Grant Amount: $300,000
TCG International, LLC (Planning Coordinator), City of Durham, Development Ventures Inc., Durham Public Schools, Lincoln Community Health Center, Durham P.R.O.U.D., North Carolina Central University, City of Durham Police and Fire Departments, North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, Durham Center for Senior Life, Triangle Transit, Center for Employment Training, Durham Economic Resource Center, Triangle J, Durham Regional Financial Center, Natural Environment and Ecological Management.
The Southeast Central neighborhood of Durham, once a flourishing center of economic and historical significance for African-Americans in the South, began a long period of economic decline and social disinvestment in the 1960s. Today there are pockets of vacant, abandoned and demolished houses and businesses. The long-term vacancy rate is 30.30 percent. The poverty rate is 47.14 percent and Part 1 violent crime is 2.62 times the city rate. Students attend persistently low-performing schools. McDougald Terrace’s 360 public housing units represent some of the most concentrated and distressed housing in the city of Durham.
The neighborhood, however, has existing assets and planned investments that will help reverse this pattern of decline. The Southeast Central neighborhood is located two miles from Duke University and one mile from downtown Durham, which has undergone a transformation by converting historic tobacco and textile structures into vibrant mixed-used residential and commercial buildings. Through the Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant, the Housing Authority of Durham and its planning coordinator, TCG International, LLC, will conduct an intensive planning and outreach effort that will build on existing momentum in the neighborhood. The planning process will buttress implementation efforts of the Livability Initiative, Gateway Plan, Trails and Greenways Plan, and the Fayetteville St. Historic Preservation Plan, bringing quality improvements to an underserved neighborhood. It will also foster increased community involvement in the local schools, improving performance and graduation rates, and adding early learning programs for young children. Shortfalls in community amenities such as parks, sidewalks and transportation will be identified and addressed. Further, the process will create a steering committee that fosters the collaboration that is needed to achieve a vision that serves everyone in the community.