HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 12-95
Adam Glantz (212) 264-1100
Olga Alvarez (212) 542-7142
For Release
October 11, 2012

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

CAMDEN - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that the City of Camden will receive $300,000 to execute grassroots efforts to revitalize the public housing at Clement T. Branch Village and transform the Mt. Ephraim neighborhood. (See below for additional Camden information.) In New Jersey, Newark was also a grant recipient.

Camden 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.

"This funding will enable NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley 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 Nancy Smith Greer, HUD Rhode Island Field Office Director. "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."

"These funds are vital in the effort to revitalize the City of Camden," said Congressman Rob Andrews. "Not only does this grant provide the funds to begin to rebuild the community and provide stability for families, but the new construction will transform our neighborhoods by attracting new businesses and investment in Camden's future."

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.

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.


[Graphic: Map of Camden, NJ]

Camden, NJ

Choice Neighborhoods Lead Grantee: Housing Authority of the City of Camden (HACC)
Target Public Housing Project: Clement T. Branch Village
Target Project-based Section 8: J. Allen Nimmo Court
Target Neighborhood: Mt. Ephraim
Choice Neighborhoods Grant Amount: $300,000

Key Partners:
Wallace Roberts & Todd (Planning Coordinator), The Michaels Organization, Nationwide Housing Management, Grapevine Development (GVD), Interstate Realty Management (IRM), Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, NJ Department of Education - Office of the Commissioner, the City of Camden, Camden Redevelopment Authority, Coopers Ferry Partnership, Delaware Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) and Camden SMART (Stormwater Management and Resource Training).

Project Summary:
The Mt. Ephraim Corridor is a gateway neighborhood for Camden with regional highway and rapid transit access, but the neighborhood has many challenges. In the Mt. Ephraim Corridor, poverty is above 51 percent, vacancy is more than three times the County rate, public schools are underperforming, and childhood obesity is more than twice the national average. The target sites, Clement T. Branch Village and J. Allen Nimmo Court, are statistically the most dangerous areas in Camden. HACC and its team, including residents and other partners, will craft a comprehensive, community-based, measurable neighborhood Transformation Plan that addresses economic redevelopment, energy and cost-efficient housing, transportation, employment, education, and healthy living.

The Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant will enable the creation of a Transformation Plan that builds on key institutional presence and strategic growth opportunities and that uses the revitalization of housing and mixed-use development as a catalyst for neighborhood rejuvenation. The plan will involve meaningful resident and community engagement and facilitate partnerships in the areas of education and health. The New Jersey Department of Education Office of the Commissioner will lead the education planning under the legislature's Urban HOPE ACT, working closely with the Mayor's Office, the Board of Education and school principals of successful local models. With support of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers and the successful healthcare delivery model they developed, the planning team will design a neighborhood health and wellness plan that creates a comprehensive approach to wellness and coordinates supportive services for healthier lifestyles. The Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant will leverage the individual efforts of the planning team's partners, unite several strategies already underway, and provide the needed planning services to coalesce a community vision.


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.


Content Archived: March 21, 2014