HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 11-05
Rhonda Siciliano
(617) 994-8355
For Release
March 18, 2011

South Norwalk is one of 17 to receive first of HUD Choice Neighborhood Grants

BOSTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that Norwalk is among 17 cities to be awarded the first Planning Grant funding through the Department's new Choice Neighborhoods Initiative.
Norwalk will receive $250,000 to transform Washington Village into a new viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhood (see below project summary).

The communities awarded funding today will share a total of $4 million in Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants while six other communities are selected as finalists to compete for approximately $61 million in Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants (see below lists).

HUD's new Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CN) will promote 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 will link housing improvements with a wider variety of public services including schools, public transit and employment opportunities.

"Today, we turn a new page in the way we tackle intergenerational poverty," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "President Obama has said that there is no greater economic policy than one that invests in our children's future and helps America out-educate the world. But that's not possible if we leave a whole generation of children behind in our poorest neighborhoods. The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative expands on the bipartisan success of the HOPE VI program by recognizing that we must link affordable housing with a mix of incomes and uses with quality education, public transportation, good jobs and safe streets."

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is a centerpiece of the Obama Administration's interagency Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative - a collaboration between the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Education, Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services to support the ability of local leaders from the public and private sectors and attract the private investment needed to transform distressed neighborhoods into sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods with the affordable housing, safe streets and good schools every family needs.

HUD received 119 submissions for CN Planning Grants and 42 submissions from communities seeking CN
Implementation Grants. Successful Planning Grant applicants demonstrated their intent to transform 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, people and neighborhoods.

The 17 communities awarded CN Planning Grants will use the funding to build the capacity they need to get them ready to undertake a successful neighborhood transformation to create a choice neighborhood. These grants will enable these communities to create a comprehensive "Transformation Plan," or road map, to transforming distressed public and/or assisted housing within a distressed community. This Federal support provides a significant incentive for the local community to take critical steps to create viable neighborhood transformation.

The six finalists for CN Implementation Grants have already undertaken the comprehensive local planning process and are ready to move forward with their Transformation Plan to redevelop their target neighborhoods. HUD will publish a second Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) shortly to give these finalists the opportunity to assemble and submit a more detailed application for the approximately $61 million in available funding. HUD will award these grants by the
end of September.

Congress approved the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative with the passage of HUD's FY 2010 budget, allowing HUD to use $65 million in funding to provide competitive grants to assist in the transformation, rehabilitation and preservation of public housing and privately owned HUD-assisted housing. CN builds on the successes and lessons of HUD's HOPE
VI program and widened the traditional pool of eligible applicants by allowing, in addition to public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofit organizations and for-profit developers (who apply jointly with a public entity) to apply.


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 and

Choice Neighborhood Planning Grantees

Norwalk, Connecticut
Choice Neighborhoods Grantee: Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk
Target Public Housing Project: Washington Village
Target Neighborhood: South Norwalk
Choice Neighborhoods Award Amount: $250,000

Key Partners:
EJP Consulting Group, LLC (Planning Coordinator)
Norwalk Redevelopment Agency
Family and Children's Agency

Project Summary:
The Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk has partnered with EJP Consulting Group, LLC (Planning Coordinator) to create a Transformation Plan targeting South Norwalk, Connecticut and the Washington Village Housing Development. Washington Village was constructed in 1941 and is the oldest public housing site in the state. Its obsolete buildings, units, and site design have deterred public investment in South Norwalk. Currently, there several planning activities taking place in the neighborhood, including the development of a Transit-Oriented Development Master Plan for the South Norwalk Rail Station, the development of a two-mile pedestrian and bicycle path in the downtown corridor,
and investment in housing, office and retail buildings. The Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan will knit these efforts into a cohesive and impactful plan and bring together residents, social service providers, city agencies and community and faith-based organizations. Additional planning activities will include a comprehensive neighborhood needs assessment focusing on housing needs and resident services and the creation of task forces to focus on improving neighborhood housing and educational activities.

Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant Finalists

Finalist Names City Name of the Project Neighborhood
City of Boston Boston Woodledge/Morrant Bay Dorchester Neighborhood
Housing Authority of New Orleans New Orleans Iberville Housing Development Iberville/Treme
Housing Authority of the City of Seattle Seattle Yesler Terrace Yesler Neighborhood
Housing Authority of the City of Tampa Tampa Central Park Village Central Park
McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc. San Francisco Alice Griffith Eastern Bayview
Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc. Chicago Grove Parc Apartments Woodlawn


Content Archived: April 26, 2013