HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 12-1002
Gloria Shanahan
(305) 520-5030
For Release
October 11, 2012

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

TAMPA, FL - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that Pasco County will receive $300,000 to execute grassroots efforts to revitalize the public housing at Cypress Villas II and transform the Lacoochee-Trilby neighborhood.

Pasco County 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. Please visit website.

"This funding will enable Pasco 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.


[FY2012 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant Award Information]
FY2012 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant Award Information

Choice Neighborhoods Lead Grantee: County of Pasco
Choice Neighborhoods Co-Grantee: Pasco County Housing Authority
Target Public Housing Project: Cypress Villas II
Target Neighborhood: Lacoochee-Trilby
Choice Neighborhoods Grant Amount: $300,000

Key Partners:
Habitat for Humanity of East and Central Pasco, Workforce Housing Ventures, Inc., Pasco County Sheriff's Department, Pasco County Parks and Recreation, Pasco County Public Transportation, Pasco County School Board, Pasco-Hernando Early Learning Coalition, Pasco County Libraries, Pasco County Health Department, Boys and Girls Club, Pasco-Hernando Workforce Board, United Way, Pasco Economic Development Council, Withlacoochee River Electric Company, Lacoochee Area Redevelopment Corporation, Lacoochee-Trilby-Trilacoochee Committee and Lacoochee Community Action Task Force.

Project Summary:
The Lacoochee-Trilby neighborhood is two and a half square miles and consists of three areas - Lacoochee, Trilby and Trilacoochee - with a total population of 2,084 people and an unemployment rate of 14 percent.  This neighborhood has become the focus of public and private partnerships, as it is one of the most distressed areas in the Tampa Bay area.  Many problems and gaps in services have contributed to the neighborhood's distress, highlighted by the absence of hospitals, health care clinics, dentist offices, and brand-name grocery stores.  There is no early learning program and the elementary school is designated as Grade D. 

The Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant will allow the County of Pasco, with the Pasco County Housing Authority and other partners, to develop a comprehensive neighborhood Transformation Plan, including a neighborhood asset and needs assessment; market analyses for commercial, single family and multifamily properties; economic impact studies; utilities master planning; and roadway master planning.  A focus of the planning efforts will relate to improving the schools' "Grade," providing high quality early learning programs and improving health coordination and family support services.  One of the neighborhood's assets, the Lacoochee Elementary School is deeply involved with the community and Stanley Park, a 33-acre park located across the street.  The Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan will build upon current plans to develop a new community center at the park and will include expanded social services, facilities, fields, social events, and the conversion of a former Boy's and Girl's Club to a multi-use neighborhood asset.  Planning activities will also focus on preparing graduating students to be college or career ready.

The Transformation Plan will provide strategies for better access to health care; increased job options; increased job training, certification and placement options; increased public safety; and greater transportation alternatives and access.  Goals of the planning process also include providing medical and dental care facilities and a brand-name grocery store for the community.


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: April 15, 2014