HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 12-0110
Gloria Shanahan
(305) 520-5030
For Release
January 10, 2012

Opa-Locka is one of 13 communities nationwide awarded grants to begin grassroots efforts to revitalize housing, communities

MIAMI, FL - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings Jr. and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing Marie Head joined FL Congresswoman Frederica Wilson today to announce that the Opa-Locka CDC will receive a $300,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant. Opa-Locka is one of 13 cities nationwide receiving this funding to begin grassroots efforts to revitalize The Gardens, a distressed multifamily housing development, and transform the Nile Gardens neighborhood. See attached list and project summary for this all of the grantees.

"All across the country, local planners are serious about rolling up their sleeves to transform distressed neighborhoods into choice neighborhoods," said Jennings. "This community can now begin the comprehensive planning needed to turn the distressed housing at The Gardens in Nile Gardens - a long-neglected neighborhood - into a viable and sustainable mixed-income community that supports positive outcome for families."

The Opa-Locka CDC applied for this funding with the City of Opa-Locka, Florida Memorial University, Urban League of Greater Miami, Creative Choice Homes and EJP Consulting Group to develop a transformation plan for the targeted housing and neighborhood using a community-based planning process.

Building on nearly 20 years of success through HUD's HOPE VI Program, Choice Neighborhoods links housing improvements with a wider variety of public services including schools, public transit and employment opportunities. The program is a centerpiece of the Obama Administration's interagency Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, a collaboration between HUD and the Departments of Education, Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services. With support from the White House Domestic Policy Council and White House Office of Urban Affairs, the interagency partnership supports local solutions for sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods with the affordable housing, safe streets and good schools all families need.

As a result of partnerships like these, the Obama Administration is making it easier for local leaders who are working to redevelop neighborhoods to also access support for cradle-to-career educational programs through the Education Department's Promise Neighborhoods initiative, public safety strategies through the Justice Department, and community health center improvements through the Department of Health and Human Services.

HUD received 71 submissions for FY 2011 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants from communities across the U.S.  Successful applicants demonstrated their intent to transform neighborhoods while leveraging outside investments and other federal dollars to plan for high-quality public schools, outstanding education and early learning programs, public assets, public transportation, and improved access to jobs and well-functioning services. HUD is focused on directing resources to address three core goals - housing, people and neighborhoods. 

The communities awarded the planning grants announced today will build the capacity needed to undertake a successful neighborhood transformation and create a choice neighborhood.  These grants enable communities to create a comprehensive Transformation Plan, or road map, to transform 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. 

Recently, HUD announced (, an innovative online platform to spotlight comprehensive information about grantees and top-tier applicants with the hope that others will consider providing resources. This web portal is intended to provide information funders and other local stakeholders can use to support applications that HUD deemed promising, but was unable to fund.  The site also offers communities greater access to similar work happening around the country and provides best-practice models that might help shape their efforts. Today's 2011 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant recipients and the eight competitive runners-up, will be featured on next week.

Congress approved the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative with the passage of HUD's FY 2010 budget, and in FY 2011 authorized HUD to use $65 million to provide competitive grants to assist in the transformation, rehabilitation and preservation of public housing and privately owned HUD-assisted housing.  Congress recently appropriated $120 million for Fiscal Year 2012. Choice Neighborhoods builds on the successes and lessons of HUD's HOPE VI program and widens the traditional pool of eligible applicants beyond public housing authorities to include local governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit developers (who apply jointly with a public entity).

Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority Cincinnati OH English Woods Fairmount $201,844
Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Cleveland OH Cedar Extension Central Choice $300,000
Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority/Ohio State University/City of Columbus/National Church Residences Columbus OH  Poindexter Village Near East Side $300,000
Housing Authority of the City of Little Rock Little Rock AR Sunset Terrace/ Elm Street Southeast of Downtown $300,000
Housing Authority of the City of Meridian Meridian MS George M. Reese Court East End $242,500
Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation Opa-Locka FL The Gardens Nile Garden $300,000
Rockford Housing Authority Rockford IL Fairgrounds Valley Fairgrounds/ Ellis Heights $300,000
Housing Authority of the County of Sacramento Sacramento CA Twin Rivers River District-Railyards $300,000
Housing Authority of Savannah Savannah GA Robert Hitch Village and Fred Wessels Homes East Savannah Gateway $300,000
City of Springfield/ Springfield Housing Authority Springfield MA Marble Street Apartments, Concord Heights, Hollywood Apartments I & II South End $300,000
Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority Suffolk VA Parker Riddick/Cypress Manor East Washington Street $255,656
District of Columbia Housing Authority/ Kenilworth Parkside Resident Management Corporation Washington DC Kenilworth Courts/Kenilworth Parkside Resident Management Corporation Parkside-Kenilworth $300,000
Housing Authority of the City of Wilson/City of Wilson Wilson NC Whitfield Homes Center City $200,000


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Content Archived: April 15, 2014