Five communities will receive a combine $149.75 million under the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative to redevelop severely distressed public housing and revitalize their surrounding neighborhoods.

Atlanta; Kansas City, Mo.; Memphis, Tenn.; Milwaukee; and Sacramento, Calif., were selected out of a pool of 33 applicants, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Julian Castro, HUD secretary
Julián Castro

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 Memphis Housing Authority will receive a $29.75 million implementation grant. The other communities will each receive $30 million.

Several veteran affordable housing developers are partnering with the local housing authorities and cities on the projects.

McCormack Baron Salazar, a firm that specializes in revitalizing distressed urban neighborhoods, is working with officials in Atlanta, Memphis, and Sacramento on their redevelopment projects. The Integral Group is also a key partner in Atlanta.

Brinshore Development is partnering with the Housing Authority of Kansas City and the city of Kansas City. Read summaries of the winning proposals.

Building on HUD’s HOPE VI program, Choice Neighborhoods links housing improvements with a wide variety of public services and neighborhood improvements. With the latest funding round, HUD has awarded more than $500 million in Choice Implementation Grants since 2011. Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:

·         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;

·         People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and supports delivered directly to youth and their families; and

·         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.

“The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is responsible for transforming what were once vacant lots, crumbling parks and storefronts, and distressed housing into vibrant communities,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro in a statement. “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.”