HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 01-10-12
Joseph J. Phillips
(404) 331-5001
For Release
January 10, 2012

Savannah is one of 13 communities nationwide awarded grants to begin grassroots efforts to revitalize housing, communities

[Photo: Left to Right: Ada Holloway, HUD GA Director, Office Public Housing, HUD SE Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr and Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson]
Left to Right: Ada Holloway, HUD GA Director, Office Public Housing, HUD SE Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr and Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson

ATLANTA - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. joined Congressman John Barrow, Mayor Edna Branch Jackson and local leaders today to announce that the Housing Authority of Savannah will receive a $300,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant. Savannah is one of 13 cities nationwide receiving this funding to begin grassroots efforts to revitalize Robert Hitch Village and Fred Wessels Homes, a distressed public housing development, and transform the East Savannah Gateway neighborhood.

"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 Robert Hitch Village and Fred Wessels Homes in- the East Savannah Gateway neighborhood a long-neglected neighborhood - into a viable and sustainable mixed-income community that supports positive outcome for families."

The Housing Authority of Savannah applied for this funding 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, 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 Neighborhoodsbuilds 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).


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


FY 2011 Choice Neighborhood Planning Grantees

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


Content Archived: January 24, 2014