HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 15-041
Joseph Phillips
(678) 732-2943
For Release
September 28, 2015


MEMPHIS, TN - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. announced today that Memphis Housing Authority and the City of Memphis will receive a $29,750,000 grant to revitalize the South City neighborhood of Memphis. The award is part of HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Implementation Grants announced today by HUD Secretary Julián Castro to five city and housing authority partnerships in the country for a combined $150 million. Other cities selected are Atlanta, Georgia; Kansas City, Missouri; Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Sacramento, California.

As part of the Administration's overall drive to reinvest in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, President Obama's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is intended to transform distressed public and assisted housing into sustainable, mixed-income housing with access to community assets and services and to support positive outcomes for families living in the development and in the community. The five awardees have proposed to replace more than 1,650 distressed public housing units with more than 2,800 new mixed-income, mixed-use housing units as part of an overall effort to revitalize neighborhoods. For every $1 in Choice Neighborhoods funding they receive, the awardees and their partners will leverage an additional $9 in public and private funding for their project proposals.

"The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is responsible for transforming what were once vacant lots, crumbling parks and storefronts and distressed housing into vibrant communities," said Castro. "It has become one of our nation's most important tools in the fight to ensure that every family - no matter where they live - has the resources and strong foundation to succeed."

"We're emphasizing a comprehensive approach to revitalizing neighborhoods by considering the totality of a community with regard to health, safety, education, jobs and quality housing in mixed-income neighborhoods," said Jennings. "South City, with its rich history and iconic landmarks, its proximity to the downtown and the Medical District job centers is uniquely positioned to have a catalytic impact on its immediate surroundings and along the major thoroughfare of Danny Thomas Boulevard."

Within South City is Foote Homes - the last remaining traditional public housing development in Memphis. Through Choice Neighborhoods, the deteriorating, 420-unit Foote Homes development will be revitalized with 700 new market rate and affordable housing units created to attract a range of incomes. These housing investments will be complemented with much needed community assets, such as retail, grocery stores, and an early education center, as well as a small business micro loan fund, improved transit, historic preservation initiatives, and education and job opportunities for families.

Memphis received Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant in FY2010, which accelerated the process of bringing together the Memphis Housing Authority, the City, the University of Memphis, the Metropolitan Interfaith Association, the police, schools, and neighbors to create a plan.

Building on the successes of HUD's HOPE VI Program, Choice Neighborhoods links housing improvements with a wide variety of public services and neighborhood improvements to create neighborhoods of opportunity. With today's announcement, HUD has awarded more than $500 million in Choice Implementation Grants since 2011. Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:

  1. Housing: Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood;
  2. People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and supports delivered directly to youth and their families; and
  3. Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families' choices about their community.

HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is one of the signature programs of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (, which supports innovative and inclusive strategies that bring public and private partners together to help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. It 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.


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and

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Content Archived: February 21, 2017