HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 12-01
Rhonda Siciliano
(617) 994-8355
For Release
January 10, 2012

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

BOSTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) New England Regional Administrator joined Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno today to announce that the City of Springfield will receive a $300,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant. Springfield is one of 13 cities nationwide receiving this funding to begin grassroots efforts to revitalize Marble Street Apartments, a distressed public housing complex, in addition to two HUD-assisted multifamily projects, Concord Heights and Hollywood Apartments to transform the city's South End neighborhood. (See below for additional information on Springfield grant and complete list of grantees).

"All across the country, local planners are serious about rolling up their sleeves to transform distressed neighborhoods into choice neighborhoods," said Barbara Fields, HUD New England Regional Administrator. "Springfield can now begin the comprehensive planning needed to turn the distressed housing in the city's South End - a long-neglected neighborhood - into a viable and sustainable mixed-income community that supports positive outcome for families."

The City of Springfield applied for this funding with the Springfield Housing Authority to develop a transformation plan for the targeted housing and neighborhood using a community-based planning process.

"Springfield's receipt of this highly competitive grant demonstrates that we are on the right track in our work to revitalize the South End neighborhood," said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. "These funds will support our continued transformation of the South End into a neighborhood of choice."

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).


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 asa 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.


City of Springfield Planning Grant Award Information

Choice Neighborhoods Lead Grantee: City of Springfield
Choice Neighborhoods Co-Grantee: Springfield Housing Authority
Target Public and Assisted Housing Projects: Marble Street Apartments, Concord Heights, and Hollywood Apartments I & II
Target Neighborhood: South End
Category Preference: Collaboration among Housing Providers
Choice Neighborhoods Grant Amount: $300,000

Key Partners:
EJP Consulting Group, LLC (Planning Coordinator), First Resource Development Company, South End Revitalization Coalition, DevelopSpringfield, Square One, Veritas Charter School, Irene and George S. Davis Foundation, United Way of Pioneer Valley

Project Summary:
The City of Springfield has partnered with the Springfield Housing Authority to develop a Transformation Plan for the South End of Springfield, MA. Coordinated by EJP Consulting Group LLC, as Planning Coordinator, the neighborhood plan will focus on a public housing complex in the neighborhood, Marble Street Apartments, and two HUD-assisted multifamily projects, Concord Heights and Hollywood Apartments. The South End has high rates of poverty and violent crime: 42 percent of residents are below the poverty line and four times as many violent crimes occur in the neighborhood as compared to the City of Springfield. In addition, key neighborhood assets, including the South End Community Center and the South End's only high-quality early childhood education center, were destroyed by a tornado in June 2011. The transformation planning will capitalize and expand on community visioning and planning work that has already been undertaken by the broad-based South End Revitalization Coalition and the City of Springfield.

Key elements of the transformation will include the introduction of new market-rate housing, demolition and substantial rehabilitation of existing housing stock, and construction of a new community center and a new early childhood education center. The new development will build on neighborhood initiatives recently completed or in progress including expansion of the community health center; introduction of a new neighborhood-based charter school; extensive road and streetscape improvements; transformation and expansion of the neighborhood's 7.6 acre park; a Main Street Corridor Storefront Improvement Program; and clearance and greening of a neighborhood factory site.

FY 2011 Choice Neighborhood Planning Grantees

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


Content Archived: April 8, 2014