The U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development has $120 million for four grant awards available to public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofits, tribal entities and developers that present plans to revitalize severely distressed public or HUD-assisted multifamily housing projects in distressed neighborhoods.
The program, Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants, is intended to transform these neighborhoods into viable, mixed-income communities. Applicants must have a comprehensive strategy, or have already done extensive transformation planning. Interested Choice Neighborhoods applicants should already be planning to transform a struggling HUD-eligible neighborhoods by:
- Implementing effective services, high-quality early learning programs and public schools and strategic crime prevention initiatives
- Invigorating public assets and public transportation
- Improving job access
Up to 15 percent of a Choice Neighborhoods grant can be used for Critical Community Improvements, such as:
- Neighborhood business facade improvement programs
- Neighborhood broadband
- Streetscape improvements
- Targeted loan, grant and revolving loan programs to assist with property maintenance, like facade and front porch updates
- Block programs
- Underutilized land acquisition initiatives for new parks, community gardens or community facilities
Choice Neighborhoods has three core goals:
- Housing. Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality, mixed-income housing that is well-designed, well-managed, sustainable and accessibly designed, including affordable broadband.
- People. Significantly improve educational outcomes so students graduate from high school and are prepared for college and careers, and over time, show progress relative to the state average; improve mobility for youth with services.
- Neighborhood. Attract both public and private reinvestment to offer neighborhood aspects that are important to families:
- Safety, as evidenced with lower crime rates;
- Good schools, as shown by test scores on par with or better than the state average, or with school reforms in place that raise student achievements over time;
- Commercial accessibility, in that the distance traveled to basic services is equal to or less than the distance traveled from the median neighborhood in the closest metropolitan area.
Each grantee must develop objectives-based metrics in order to measure performance.
There is no limit to the number of public or assisted housing projects per application, so long as all are within the boundaries of the eligible neighborhood, but there should only be one grant application per public or assisted housing site. Applications are due June 28, 2016.