HUD Region VI: 13-6
Patricia Campbell/Scott Hudman
(817) 978-5974/(713) 718-3107
October 11, 2012
HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN RECEIVES $300,000 GRANT TO SPUR NEXT GENERATION OF HOUSING, NEIGHBORHOOD TRANSFORMATION IN EAST ROSEWOOD AREA
17 entities nationwide receive grants to execute grassroots efforts to revitalize housing, communities
FORT WORTH - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today that the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) will receive $300,000 to execute grassroots efforts to revitalize public housing at Rosewood Courts and transform the East Rosewood neighborhood.
HACA is one of 17 entities 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 HACA to take its initial discussions with local partners further in order to map out strategies to build a stronger, more sustainable community. The resulting plan will address distressed housing, failing schools and rampant crime in Rosewood Courts and the neighborhood," said HUD Acting Regional Administrator Mark Brezina. "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."
"This important award will enable the Housing Authority of the City of Austin to begin further revitalizing key parts of our community," said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett.
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 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/oua/initiatives/neighborhood-revitalization), 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.
FY2012 CHOICE NEIGHBORHOODS PLANNING GRANT AWARD SUMMARY
Choice Neighborhoods Lead Grantee: Housing Authority of the City of Austin
Choice Neighborhoods Co-Grantees: Austin Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC)
Target Public Housing Project: Rosewood Courts
Target Neighborhood: East Austin Rosewood Neighborhood
Choice Neighborhoods Grant Amount: $300,000
Camiros, Ltd. (Planning Coordinator), the City of Austin, Austin Police Department, Capital Metro Transit Authority, Austin Independent School District, University of Texas, Austin Community College, Huston Tillotson University, CommUnity Care Clinic, and Summit Housing Partners.
The Rosewood neighborhood of East Austin has historically been known as an African-American enclave with growing industrial use and a concentration of subsidized housing. Over half the adults have no high school diploma or GED, the majority of high school-age children drop out, and 60 percent of those under five are not enrolled in an early childhood education program. More than one-third of the neighborhood's population lives below the poverty line. The Part I violent crime rate is three times higher than that of the City of Austin and the neighborhood public school had been rated "Academically Unacceptable" by the Texas Education Agency for four consecutive years. However, the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA), AHFC, Camiros, and other partners will engage the community to create a plan for Rosewood Courts, along with its 8.9 acres of land and other neighborhood assets, that can be harnessed to provide the boost of housing opportunities, amenities, and services this community needs.
The Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant will allow HACA and its team to develop a comprehensive neighborhood Transformation Plan that will be sustainable for years to come. HACA and Camiros will lead a nine-stage planning process to build a stronger community by developing a shared vision for the future of the Rosewood neighborhood. Community engagement will play a pivotal role by informing the community and partners of the plan's progress, soliciting input through one-on-one stakeholder involvement, community meetings, and most importantly, by including residents of the six other affordable housing sites within the boundaries of the neighborhood. The resulting Transformation Plan will address the need for quality education, resident safety, access to quality affordable housing, commercial development and employment.
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 and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.