(206) 220-5356 (work)
(804) 363-7018 (cell)
June 12, 2012
HUD AWARDS $500,000 TO STUDY CHOICE NEIGHBORHOOD GRANTS
Portland State & Washington State Department of Social & Health Services among four groups to test best ways to transform neighborhoods struggling with long-term poverty
SEATTLE - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $500,000 in research grants to four entities to study HUD's Choice Neighborhoods (CN) Program, a centerpiece of HUD's neighborhood revitalization efforts to transform distressed neighborhoods into sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods with the affordable housing, safe streets and good schools. Portland State University and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services are among the four grantees nationwide announced today.
The Seattle Housing Authority was among the first five cities in the country to win a HUD Choice Neighborhoods grant of almost $10.3 million in late August 2011 to begin the process of transforming the city's Yesler Terrace neighborhood.
"HUD expects the Choice Neighborhoods Program will transform poverty-stricken neighborhoods and produce more opportunities for the families who live there," said Erika Poethig, HUD Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy Development & Research. "These grants demonstrate our commitment to sound research to help gauge the program's overall success and cultivate the most promising approaches to making the greatest possible impact."
"Good data is a key to making sound decisions about how communities can most effectively transform themselves," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. "The work to be done by these four organizations will allow us to gauge how far we have moved the needle and what work remains to be done in these communities."
The four organizations winning grants today are:
- Portland State University - $76,948: Portland State University will collect and analyze data on the characteristics of the neighborhoods CN Planning grantees are targeting. This work will describe the neighborhoods' baseline characteristics before any CN planning activity occurs and will determine whether there are specific conditions that put a neighborhood in position for a sustainable revitalization effort. This research will also include unsuccessful applicants for CN Planning grants, to test how the baseline characteristics differ between neighborhoods that were and were not selected for funding.
- Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) - $198,027: DSHS will develop an advanced administrative database that combines records from the Seattle Housing Authority and DSHS, providing information about the residents of Seattle's Yesler Terrace public housing community, the surrounding neighborhood, and similar residents living in other neighborhoods. Having this information for different study groups will eventually allow rigorous quasi-experimental research on the impact of the CN investments in Seattle.
- University of California, Berkeley - $131,148: This research project will quantify the major investments made by public, non-profit, and private for-profit organizations in the Eastern Bayview neighborhood in San Francisco, and examine how this measure of investment activity relates to the neighborhood's improvement over time. The research will also focus specifically on the challenge of bringing healthy food options to the neighborhood.
- International City/County Management Association (ICMA) - $93,877: ICMA will create case studies of the experiences of three communities using CN Planning grants to develop a transformation plan. The case studies will focus on the role of the local government and the importance of effective collaboration between the many stakeholders involved in planning for neighborhood revitalization. These case studies will be for Salisbury, N.C.; Suffolk, Va.; and Norfolk, Va. By focusing on small and medium sized cities, this research will complement more common studies of neighborhood revitalization efforts in large cities.
HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Demonstration Small Research Grants Program offers an opportunity for nonprofit and for profit organizations, foundations, think tanks, consortia, and colleges, universities to develop and implement small scale research projects that build upon the larger Choice Neighborhoods Demonstration research project.
Choice Neighborhoods 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.
Choice Neighborhoods, which includes CN Planning grants and CN Implementation grants, builds on the successes and lessons learned from HUD's HOPE VI Program. CN Planning grants provide funding to build the capacity a community needs to prepare to undertake a successful neighborhood transformation to create a "choice neighborhood." These grants enable 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. CN Implementation grants provide funding for communities that have already undertaken the comprehensive local planning process and are ready to move forward with their Transformation Plan to redevelop the targeted housing and neighborhood.
Since 2010, HUD awarded 30 CN Planning grants and six CN Implementation grants. HUD will announce 2012 CN Implementation grants later this year.
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 www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.