HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 12-93
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

NEW YORK - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that the City of New York will receive $300,000 to execute grassroots efforts to revitalize the public housing at Betances Houses and transform the Mott Haven neighborhood in the South Bronx. (See below for additional information.) In New York State, Yonkers was also a grant recipient.

New York City 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 the New York City 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 Mirza Orriols, Deputy Regional Administrator. "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."

"Investing in the redevelopment of Betances Houses will help ensure that the Mott Haven in South Bronx neighborhood are strong and ready for continued revitalization in the future," said Senator Schumer. "With this federal investment, New York city will be empowered to transform distressed neighborhoods so that the community is safe and secure for local residents."

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.


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.


[Map of New York City, NY]

New York City, NY

Choice Neighborhoods Lead Grantee: New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
Target Public Housing Project: Betances Houses
Target Neighborhood: Mott Haven in South Bronx
Choice Neighborhoods Grant Amount: $300,000


Key Partners:
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) (Planning Coordinator), Youth and Community Development, Small Business Services, the Mayor's Office of Adult Education, Center for Economic Opportunity, the Mayor's Office and its Young Men's Initiative, Hostos Community College, BronxWorks, the Hub Third Avenue Business Improvement District, East Side Settlement House, Per Scholas, Sustainable South Bronx, Mothers on the Move, Nose Quedamos, Regional Plan Association, and 6 Community Based Opportunities.

Project Summary:
The Mott Haven neighborhood is located in the South Bronx of New York City and is home to over 46,000 people. Of these residents, more than 17,000 live in developments owned by the NYCHA, and more than half of the households live in poverty. Mott Haven residents are confronted with high crime rates, few retail options, and have identified the poor quality of housing as the highest need. To change these circumstances, the housing authority has partnered with LISC to develop a plan for the rehabilitation of the deteriorated Betances Homes public housing development, while strategically aligning education, economic, and healthy initiatives in the Mott Haven neighborhood.

To accomplish these goals, NYCHA and LISC will create a management and leadership team that will be responsible for driving these efforts forward. Once formed, various parties will be charged with gathering and analyzing information on resident and community demographics, housing conditions, the local educational system, public infrastructure needs, commercial market data, and community assets. These data points will be combined with qualitative input received from stakeholder interviews, forums, and questionnaires. All this information will be used to develop a Transformation Plan that engages stakeholders, leverages multiple sources of financing, builds quality educational opportunities, strengthens public safety through community-police partnerships, promotes effective transportation options and improves access to neighborhood services and assets.


Content Archived: April 7, 2014