HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 11-05
Rhonda Siciliano
(617) 994-8355
For Release
March 18, 2011

Olneyville is one of 17 to receive first of HUD Choice Neighborhood Grants

BOSTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that Providence is among 17 cities to be awarded the first Planning Grant funding through the Department's new Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Providence will receive $250,000 to transform Manton Heights into a new viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhood (see below project summary).

The communities awarded funding today will share a total of $4 million in Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants while six other communities are selected as finalists to compete for approximately $61 million in Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants (see below lists).

HUD's new Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CN) will promote 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 will link housing improvements with a wider variety of public services including schools, public transit and employment opportunities.

"Today, we turn a new page in the way we tackle intergenerational poverty," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "President Obama has said that there is no greater economic policy than one that invests in our children's future and helps America out-educate the world. But that's not possible if we leave a whole generation of children behind in our poorest neighborhoods. The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative expands on the bipartisan success of the HOPE VI program by recognizing that we must link affordable housing with a mix of incomes and uses with quality education, public transportation, good jobs and safe streets."

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is a centerpiece of the Obama Administration's interagency Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative - a collaboration between the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Education, Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services to support the ability of local leaders from the public and private sectors and attract the private investment needed to transform distressed neighborhoods into sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods with the affordable housing, safe streets and good schools every family needs.

HUD received 119 submissions for CN Planning Grants and 42 submissions from communities seeking CN
Implementation Grants. Successful Planning Grant applicants demonstrated their intent to transform 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, people and neighborhoods.

The 17 communities awarded CN Planning Grants will use the funding to build the capacity they need to get them ready to undertake a successful neighborhood transformation to create a choice neighborhood. These grants will enable these communities to create a comprehensive "Transformation Plan," or road map, to transforming 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.

The six finalists for CN Implementation Grants have already undertaken the comprehensive local planning process and are ready to move forward with their Transformation Plan to redevelop their target neighborhoods. HUD will publish a second Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) shortly to give these finalists the opportunity to assemble and submit a more detailed application for the approximately $61 million in available funding. HUD will award these grants by the
end of September.

Congress approved the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative with the passage of HUD's FY 2010 budget, allowing HUD to use $65 million in funding to provide competitive grants to assist in the transformation, rehabilitation and preservation of public housing and privately owned HUD-assisted housing. CN builds on the successes and lessons of HUD's HOPE
VI program and widened the traditional pool of eligible applicants by allowing, in addition to public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofit organizations and for-profit developers (who apply jointly with a public entity) to apply.


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 @HUDnews, on facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.

Choice Neighborhood Planning Grantees

Providence, Rhode Island
Choice Neighborhoods Grantee: Providence Housing Authority
Target Public Housing Project: Manton Heights
Target Neighborhood: Olneyville
Choice Neighborhoods Award Amount: $250,000
Category Preference: Collaboration among Housing Providers

Key Partners:
Olneyville Housing Corporation (Planning Coordinator)
OMNI Development
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
City of Providence
Providence Economic Development Partnership
Rhode Island Housing

Project Summary:
The Providence Housing Authority (PHA) has partnered with Olneyville Housing Corporation to create a Transformation Plan for Olneyville and the Manton Heights development. Manton Heights is a distressed public housing development with inappropriate site layout, water damage and mold problems. While redevelopment of the Olneyville community is underway, the Manton Heights public housing development remains isolated and houses some of the neighborhood's neediest residents. Redevelopment efforts in Olneyville are much needed, as over 42 percent of the population is classified as extremely low-income, the violent crime rate is high, and the neighborhood schools are low performing. PHA intends to use the Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant to build upon revitalization efforts supported by the
City, LISC, and others that have taken place to-date, including the construction of a new multi-service Family Success Center, a citywide "green jobs" training program and a community garden. Incorporating the core goals of Choice Neighborhoods, PHA and Olneyville Housing Corporation will focus its planning efforts on transforming the Manton public housing development and promoting mixed-income housing, expanding and enhancing the Family Success Center, and developing a comprehensive neighborhood economic development plan. PHA will also partner
with OMNI Development, the owner of Olney Towers, an assisted housing project located in the neighborhood, to
plan for the long-term viability of this development.

Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant Finalists

Finalist Names City Name of the Project Neighborhood
City of Boston Boston Woodledge/Morrant Bay Dorchester Neighborhood
Housing Authority of New Orleans New Orleans Iberville Housing Development Iberville/Treme
Housing Authority of the City of Seattle Seattle Yesler Terrace Yesler Neighborhood
Housing Authority of the City of Tampa Tampa Central Park Village Central Park
McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc. San Francisco Alice Griffith Eastern Bayview
Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc. Chicago Grove Parc Apartments Woodlawn


Content Archived: April 11, 2013