HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 04-01-2011
Joseph J. Phillips
(678) 732-2943
For Release
April 1, 2011


ATLANTA - U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings Jr., today announced that Atlanta is among 17 cities to be awarded the first Planning Grant funding through the Department's new Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Atlanta was awarded $250,000 to transform the Atlanta University Center Neighborhood into new viable and sustainable mixed-income and mixed-use neighborhood (see attached 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 attached 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, mixed-use 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 Jennings. "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. Atlanta and the Atlanta Housing Authority are to be congratulated for their efforts in that regard and for the recently announced Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant award."

"The City of Atlanta is grateful for the continued support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development," said Mayor Kasim Reed. "This grant will provide the necessary resources to improve the conditions of this neighborhood and help our residents out of poverty and onto a path of hope for the future. The proposed work will be transformational for the areas surrounding the Atlanta University Center and will serve as a model for other cities around the country."

The Atlanta University Center neighborhood is home to the country's largest concentration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs). However, the surrounding neighborhood is characterized by poverty, lack of jobs, troubled public schools, and poor quality housing, which included, until its demolition in 2009, the University Homes public housing development.

The Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA), the Choice Neighborhoods grantee and its partners have a vision of transforming the area into a "wonderful College Town area, which will rival the great college towns across the country." The Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan, in conjunction with Morehouse School of Medicine's Promise Neighborhoods planning effort, will provide the organizational structure to implement holistic community development in the Atlanta University Center neighborhood, including a master plan for redevelopment of the former University Homes public housing development and a "community service model" to create a stable foundation for cradle-to-college educational opportunities.

AHA has been waging a strategic attack on concentrated poverty for more than 16 years, pioneering the use of HOPE VI grants to demolish deteriorated housing projects and replace them with healthy mixed-income, mixed-use communities. So far, 16 such communities have been built, and more are planned. The communities emphasize such things as replacing the low-achievement elementary schools that were embedded in the projects with high-achieving schools such as Centennial Place Elementary near Georgia Tech. AHA has led the nation in eradicating the failed housing projects - a strategy that is called "the Atlanta Model."

"It has long been evident that the only way to end the generational human failure caused by public housing was to replace the projects with healthy neighborhoods complete with successful schools and vibrant retail and recreational amenities," said AHA CEO Renee Lewis Glover. "We're proud to be part of the Obama Administration's efforts. This planning grant is a step in revitalizing one of the most historic neighborhoods in Atlanta and the nation, the cradle of African-American higher education. The Atlanta University Center, as a result of this work, soon will be surrounded with a model community."

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

Choice Neighborhood Planning Grantees

Awardee City State Existing Public and/or Assisted Housing Site Neighborhood/Area of Town Amount Funded
Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Buffalo NY Commodore Perry Homes & Woodson Gardens Commodore Perry Homes $250,000
Community Action Project of Tulsa County, Inc. Tulsa OK Brightwater Apartment Complex Eugene Field Neighborhood $250,000
Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri Kansas City MO Chouteau Courts Paseo Gateway $250,000
Housing Authority of the City of Albany Albany GA McIntosh Homes West Central Albany $250,000
Housing Authority of the City of Atlanta Atlanta GA University Homes Atlanta University Center/Westside of Atlanta $250,000
Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk Norwalk CT Washington Village South Norwalk $250,000
Housing Authority of the City of Salisbury, NC Salisbury NC Civic Park Apartments Westend $170,000
Housing Authority of the City of Wilmington, NC Wilmington NC Hillcrest Southside $200,000
Jackson Housing Authority Jackson TN Allenton Heights Allenton Heights Redevelopment District $167,000
Jersey City Housing Authority Jersey City NJ Montgomery Gardens McGinley Square - Montgomery Corridor $250,000
Jubilee Baltimore, Inc. Baltimore MD Pedestal Gardens Central West Baltimore $213,000
Memphis Housing Authority Memphis TN Foote Homes Vance Avenue Neighborhood $250,000
Mt. Vernon Manor, Inc. Philadelphia PA Mt. Vernon Manor Apartments Mantua $250,000
Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority Norfolk VA Tidewater Park Gardens Expanded St. Paul's Area $250,000
Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments Shreveport LA Galilee Majestic Arms; Naomi D. Jackson Height Allendale; Ledbetter Heights $250,000
Providence Housing Authority Providence RI Manton Heights Olneyville $250,000
San Antonio Housing Authority San Antonio TX Wheatley Courts Eastside $250,000
TOTAL $4,000,000

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: October 9, 2013