Last fall, the research section of The Edge discussed HUD’s interim report on baseline conditions in the first five implementation sites for HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative supports the revitalization of struggling neighborhoods that contain distressed public or HUD-assisted housing. Like other Obama Administration place-based initiatives such as Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) and Promise Zones, Choice Neighborhoods is comprehensive and locally driven, engages and leverages resources from a range of stakeholders, and is data and outcome driven. Last month I had the opportunity to visit one of the sites, the Woodlawn Choice Neighborhood in Chicago’s South Side, which received an implementation grant in 2011.
All five of the first Choice implementation sites had begun work when they applied for Choice grants. The idea behind Choice is not for this grant to be the initial spark. Choice grants requires a number of preconditions be met, such as the engagement of local stakeholders who can support this type of work over a long enough horizon to have an impact. Indeed, the grants alone (which average $25.7 million) are not nearly sufficient to transform distressed neighborhoods. The initiative can, however, provide a needed infusion of capital and a process of engagement and planning that acts as a catalyst for revitalization.
A key element of the Woodlawn proposal was redeveloping the 504-unit Grove Parc Plaza, a Section 8 project on a 12 acre site, that had been built as part of urban renewal in the late 1960s but that had quickly fallen into financial trouble and disrepair. By 2006, its REAC score had fallen to 11.
Connected communities are places with affordable housing options, pedestrian-friendly street designs, public spaces, and transportation options to access major employment centers, key goods and services, and amenities.
In March 2012, the city of Charlottesville, Virginia saw the completion of its first permanent supportive housing complex, The Crossings at Fourth and Preston. The 60-unit building provides housing for people experiencing homelessness and those earning less than 50 percent of the area median income.
Evaluating the First Year of U.S.-Germany City Exchange Program for HUD Grantees
The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) recently released a Report looking at the first year of the Dialogues for Change (D4C) initiative, an innovative, international peer-to-peer exchange network that engages city leaders in substantive and meaningful dialogue to find common solutions to shared community development challenges...
As federal, state, and local government agencies and advocacy organizations continue to confront the shifting challenges of housing discrimination, research to understand the extent of the problem has become essential to developing successful enforcement strategies and educational campaigns.
The latest data show progress among key indicators, including a rebound in the sales of new and existing homes after a harsh-weather-induced lull during the previous two quarters. Purchases of new homes surged by 18.6 percent in May--the biggest monthly gain in 22 years (since January 1992)--and rose to their highest level since May 2008.
Click here to send your comments and suggestions.