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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the availability of an historically-high $379 million in Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) Grants to communities across the country. The CNI Grants will transform public and other HUD-assisted housing, as well as surrounding neighborhoods. Public housing authorities, local governments, and/or tribal entities are eligible and encouraged to apply. The Fiscal Year 2022 funding is the highest amount of funding since the program’s launch in 2010 and $150 million higher than the FY21 budget.

“This is an historic day for the Choice Neighborhoods program,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “We are gaining the momentum we need to make big, impactful changes to the communities that need it the most. The most unique aspect of the program is that it’s based on locally driven planning and investment, so that communities can truly own their transformations.”

CNI Grants aim to assist in the redevelopment of severely distressed HUD properties into a mixed-income community. The program has a three-pronged “Housing, People, and Neighborhood” approach that includes not only the redevelopment of distressed properties, but also supports outcomes related to the health, education, and income of the residents while simultaneously investing in economic development and neighborhood improvement projects. This comprehensive approach means that grantees must be able to leverage the funds they receive from HUD with other public and private resources.
Since the program’s inception, the Choice Neighborhoods program has seen 10,000 new mixed-income units built across 44 cities. More than 32,000 units are planned. HUD has awarded more than $1.3 billion in Implementation Grant funds to date, with grantees achieving incredible results. For example, Louisville, Kentucky is using its grant to build 620 new, mixed-income housing units in the Russell neighborhood and perform much-needed repairs on area housing. The city also saw new retail and quality childcare services come into the neighborhood. Additionally, Norwalk, Connecticut, which was devastated by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, used their Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant to develop 273 housing units and completed a major cleanup on an adjacent “Brownfields” site that was converted into a beautiful neighborhood park.

Overall, the Choice Neighborhoods program has led to new businesses, parks, and grocery stores, while resident incomes are increasing across most cities, in some cases doubling. A recent study conducted by Case Western Reserve University on the Chicago Choice Neighborhood showed HUD’s investment generated $400 million in public and private resources. In addition, the study found median household incomes increased, crime rates fell steadily, and home ownership rates increased.

HUD recently announced a total of $180 million in Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants in Fiscal Year 2021 funding to the cities of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Omaha, Nebraska, Durham, North Carolina, and Knoxville, Tennessee. The latest round of grants emphasizes that these funds are for cities of all sizes. Some localities ascribe to the Choice Neighborhoods model and apply for multiple communities, as seen in the city of Tulsa and Omaha, which received their second Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants this year.

Applications for implementation grants are due by January 11, 2023.

To learn more, click here.