HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD R3 No.12-17
Niki Edwards
(215) 430-6622
For Release
October 11, 2012

17 entities nationwide receive grants to execute grassroots efforts to revitalize housing, communities

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that the District of Columbia will receive $300,000 to execute grassroots efforts to revitalize public housing at Barry Farm and Wade Apartments and to transform the neighborhood.

The District of Columbia Housing Authority 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 District of Columbia to heighten discussions with local partners on strategies that will build a stronger, more sustainable community and address distressed housing, failing schools and rampant crime," said Jane Vincent, Regional Administrator of the mid-Atlantic region.

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 FY 2010 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 on HUD's website.

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.


Washington, DC

Choice Neighborhoods Lead Grantee: District of Columbia Housing Authority
Target Public Housing Project: Barry Farm and Wade Apartments
Target Neighborhood: Barry Farm Neighborhood
Choice Neighborhoods Grant Amount: $300,000

Key Partners:
District of Columbia (DC) Office of Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, DC Department of Housing and Community Development, DC Office of Planning, DC Public Schools, the Barry Farm Resident Council Executive Board, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, Matthews Memorial Baptist Church, Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, Howard University Center for Urban Progress, and the Region Forward Coalition of the Metropolitan Washington Regional Council of Governments.

Project Summary:
Barry Farm is located within Ward 8 of Washington, D.C., east of the Anacostia River. The neighborhood contains two severely distressed public housing developments: Barry Farm Dwellings, a 432-unit public housing development, and Wade Apartments, a 12-unit public housing development. Within the community, there are severe socioeconomic challenges such as high unemployment, poor educational attainment and a high violent crime rate. The neighborhood has a poverty rate of 66.63 percent. Violent crimes averaged 21.1 reported occurrences per 1000 persons for 2008-2010. The housing vacancy rate is 18.7 percent. Savoy Elementary is one of the lowest performing schools in the District of Columbia. Further, the current design of the developments creates isolation from the rest of the city and surrounding neighborhood. There is only one two-way entrance into the Barry Farm superblock, which contributes to poor connectivity to the surrounding neighborhood and inadequate vehicular and pedestrian circulation.

The vision is to create a cohesive, sustainable, and well-functioning community using housing as a platform for improved quality of life by redeveloping severely distressed public housing, tying together community assets, and providing the resources so children and families can succeed and achieve their life goals. The planning process will consist of several key activities including resident and community meetings; conducting a comprehensive community needs assessment; developing partnerships with the property owners, District of Columbia, DC Public Schools, local churches, and others; holding design charettes; and performing market and economic feasibility analyses. The District of Columbia Housing Authority will utilize a team of experts, called the Data Evaluation/Documentation Team, to develop a data collection, documentation, and evaluation system to assure that the ability to measure progress made toward closing gaps in service is in place from the start of the planning process through implementation.


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 and You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.


Content Archived: February 26, 2014