HUD Archives: News Releases

John Hall
(804) 822-4807

For Release
March 25, 2011

Saint Paul's area is one of 17 to receive first of HUD Choice Neighborhood Grants

NORFOLK - U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Richmond Field Office Director John Hall joined U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott today to announce that Norfolk is among 17 cities to be awarded the first Planning Grant funding through the Department's new Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Norfolk [city] will receive $250,000 to transform St. Paul's into new viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhood (see attached project summary).

"This grant will go a long way to revitalizing three neighborhoods in the greater St. Paul's Boulevard area. Because of the input of citizens, local stakeholders, and other collaborative partners, this grant will help us create a more sustainable community and a stronger Norfolk," said Scott.

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 attached 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 Regional Administrator Jane C. W. Vincent. "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 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.

"Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority appreciates this vote of confidence from the Obama Administration
and HUD to carry out this important planning work," said Shurl Montgomery, Chief Executive Officer.

"We will work diligently with the City of Norfolk and community partners to finalize a plan our citizens will embrace
with pride," Montgomery stated.

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

Choice Neighborhood Planning Grantees

Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Buffalo   NY Commodore Perry Homes & Woodson Gardens Commodore Perry Homes $250,000
Community Action Project of Tulsa County, Inc. Tulsa OK Brightwater Apartment Complex Eugene Field Neighborhood $250,000
Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri Kansas City MO Chouteau Courts Paseo Gateway $250,000
Housing Authority of the City of Albany Albany GA McIntosh Homes West Central Albany $250,000
Housing Authority of the City of Atlanta Atlanta GA University Homes Atlanta University Center/Westside of Atlanta $250,000
Housing Authority of the City of Norwalk Norwalk CT Washington Village South Norwalk $250,000
Housing Authority of the City of Salisbury, NC Salisbury NC Civic Park Apartments Westend $170,000
Housing Authority of the City of Wilmington, NC Wilmington NC Hillcrest Southside $200,000
Jackson Housing Authority Jackson TN Allenton Heights Allenton Heights Redevelopment District $167,000
Jersey City Housing Authority Jersey City NJ Montgomery Gardens McGinley Square - Montgomery Corridor $250,000
Jubilee Baltimore, Inc. Baltimore MD Pedestal Gardens Central West Baltimore $213,000
Memphis Housing Authority Memphis TN Foote Homes Vance Avenue Neighborhood $250,000
Mt. Vernon Manor, Inc. Philadelphia PA Mt. Vernon Manor Apartments Mantua $250,000
Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority Norfolk VA Tidewater Park Gardens Expanded St. Paul's Area $250,000
Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments Shreveport LA Galilee Majestic Arms; Naomi D. Jackson Height Allendale; Ledbetter Heights $250,000
Providence Housing Authority Providence RI Manton Heights Olneyville $250,000
San Antonio Housing Authority San Antonio TX Wheatley Courts Eastside $250,000

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

Norfolk, Virginia

Choice Neighborhoods Grantee: Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority and City of Norfolk
Target Public Housing Project: Tidewater Park Gardens
Target Neighborhood: Expanded St. Paul's Area
Choice Neighborhoods Grant Award: $250,000

Key Partners:
Norfolk Public Schools
Old Dominion University
UBS Financial Services, Inc.
Church of Good Shepherd

Project Summary:

Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority has partnered with the City of Norfolk to develop a Transformation Plan targeting the expanded St. Paul's area in Norfolk, VA. Norfolk's Central Business District, which experienced strong economic growth and revitalization in the 1990s, is separated from the target neighborhood by St. Paul's Boulevard. The target neighborhood has a high crime rate, extensive poverty, and several distressed housing developments, including Tidewater Park Gardens. This development consists of 618 public housing units and suffers from flooding, mold problems and damaged walkways. However, the St. Paul's area has potential for success, with assets that include community and supportive service organizations, strong local churches, a community health center and a
light rail system. Local stakeholders participating in the planning process include Head Start, Habitat for Humanity
and Norfolk State University. A planning process for the area began in 2006 and Choice Neighborhoods funding will build on this process to achieve several goals including establishing necessary partners, developing a financing plan and phasing model to integrate public housing units, studying infrastructure issues and connectivity to Downtown
and developing an organizational framework for implementation of the Plan.


Content Archived: April 16, 2013