Montgomery Housing Authority Awarded Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant to Revitalize Neighborhood

[HUD check presentation was held at Paterson Court as HUD Field Office Director Kenneth Free, Montgomery Housing Authority CEO Damon Duncan, Mayor Steven Reed, and other community members were part of the presentation.]
HUD check presentation was held at Paterson Court as HUD Field Office Director Kenneth Free, Montgomery Housing Authority CEO Damon Duncan, Mayor Steven Reed, and other community members were part of the presentation.

The Montgomery Housing Authority (MHA) was presented on January 7, 2021 a HUD Choice Neighborhood (CN) planning grant ceremonial check of $450,000 by HUD Alabama Field Office Director Kenneth Free. The grant award will help assist the housing authority to plan and promote affordable housing and economic development in the neighborhoods of Paterson Court and the entire Centennial Hill community.

The grant is one of 11 awards recently announced nationwide totaling $4,910,000 funded through HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, which helps local leaders craft comprehensive, homegrown plans to revitalize and transform neighborhoods across the country. HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming neighborhoods struggling to address the interconnected challenges of distressed housing, inadequate schools, poor health, high crime, and lack of capital.

"We are excited to see the transformation coming to the Centennial Hill neighborhood and Paterson Court because of the commitment of HUD and its partners have made to the community with this grant," said Kenneth Free, Alabama Field Office Director.

Centennial Hill has been in decline since the 1960s due in part to the bisecting of the community by Interstate-85 and subsequent disinvestment. Within the Centennial Hill neighborhood is Paterson Court, a 200-unit public housing development constructed more than 70 years ago. Paterson Court has not received any comprehensive rehabilitation or modernization in over 30 years. Today, the poverty rate in Centennial Hill is a staggering 74% and portions of the neighborhood have been designated by the USDA as a food desert.

"The Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant is great news for the residents of Paterson Court and the surrounding community," said MHA Chief Executive Officer Damon E. Duncan. "The award demonstrates the shared commitment of the MHA, Mayor Steven L. Reed, Alabama State University and other community stakeholders."

Choice Neighborhoods is HUD's signature place-based initiative and its vision builds on the work that has been done by the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, an interagency partnership between HUD, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and Treasury, since 2009. 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.

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. The resulting Transformation Plan and locally driven Action Activities lay the foundation for revitalizing the distressed public and/or assisted housing units, transforming the surrounding neighborhood, and promoting opportunities for families.

Additional source of information: Montgomery Housing Authority


Content Archived: January 6, 2023