HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD IX No. 12-64
Gene Gibson
(415) 489-6414
For Release
October 11, 2012

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

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that Michaels Development Company will receive $300,000 to promote grassroots efforts to revitalize the public housing and transform the Kuhio Park Neighborhood in Honolulu.

The Michaels Development Company is of the 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 Honolulu to further its discussions with local partners to plan strategies that will build a stronger, more sustainable community and address distressed housing, struggling schools and crime," said HUD Deputy Regional Administrator Wayne Sauseda. "HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative represents the next generation in a movement toward revitalizing entire neighborhoods to improve the quality of the lives of the residents who live there."

"I am pleased that the Administration, through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is investing in improvements to the diverse Kuhio Park neighborhood," said Senator Daniel Akaka. "This project will help to improve quality of life for the residents of Kuhio Homes and KPT Low Rises, as well as for the entire Kuhio Park community, by repairing aging buildings and increasing transportation and access to jobs."

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 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.


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.


[Graphic: Hawaii Choice Neighborhoods map]

Honolulu, HI

Choice Neighborhoods Lead Grantee: The Michaels Development Company I, LP
Choice Neighborhoods Co-Grantee: Hawaii Public Housing Authority
Target Public Housing Project: Kuhio Homes and KPT Low Rises
Target Neighborhood: Kuhio Park Neighborhood
Choice Neighborhoods Grant Amount: $300,000

Key Partners:

EJP Consulting Group (Planning Coordinator), Governor's Office, Hawaii State Legislature, Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation, City and County of Honolulu, Kalihi Palama Neighborhood Board No. 15, Department of Human Services, Department of Education, Department of Transportation, Honolulu Police Department, Parents & Children Together, Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services, Hawaii Literacy, Faith Action for Community Equity, and Pioneering Communities.

Project Summary:

The reality of life for residents at Kuhio Homes and KPT Low Rises, two severely distressed public housing developments in the Kuhio Park neighborhood of Honolulu, is drastically different from what many people envision when they dream of Hawaii. In the high cost housing market of Hawaii, the need for affordable housing is significant. The median annual income in Hawaii is roughly $50,000 while housing costs average $500,000. The Kuhio Park neighborhood contains the largest remaining number of public housing units in the state of Hawaii and is suffering from old age and blight. The neighborhood also suffers from high crime rates around Kuhio Homes and KPT Low Rises, low performing schools, and a long-term vacancy rate more than nine times that of the surrounding county of Honolulu.

Michaels Development Company and its team envision a plan that provides the community and public housing residents access to the resources needed to live a healthy, safe, and sustainable life in the 21st Century. The planning activities will include detailed resident needs and community asset assessments; specialized Task Forces with key thought leaders for each Plan element; meaningful engagement of the multi-lingual and culturally rich resident population and community groups in results-oriented workshops; and preparation of a Transformation Plan that identifies specific activities, partners, funding sources, timeline, and measurable outcomes.

Ultimately the Choice Neighborhoods planning process will result in a plan to provide residents with more transportation choices; enhance economic competitiveness for residents and businesses; and value the community by investing in healthy, safe and walkable neighborhoods.


Content Archived: March 12, 2014