HUD Awards a $300,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant To Opa-locka Community Development Corporation
From left to right, Jose Cintron, HUD Acting Field Office Director; Willie Logan, Opa-locka CDC President; Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-17); Ed Jennings Jr., HUD Southeast Regional Administrator; Marie Head, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily; and Mayor Myra Taylor, City of Opa-locka.
Opa-locka is one of 13 communities nationwide awarded grants to begin grassroots efforts to revitalize housing, communities
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings Jr. and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing Marie Head joined FL Congresswoman Frederica Wilson to announce that the Opa-locka CDC will receive a $300,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant. Opa-locka is one of 13 cities nationwide receiving this funding to begin grassroots efforts to revitalize The Gardens, a distressed multifamily housing development, and transform the Nile Gardens neighborhood. See attached list and project summary for this all of the grantees.
"All across the country, local planners are serious about rolling up their sleeves to transform distressed neighborhoods into choice neighborhoods," said Jennings. "This community can now begin the comprehensive planning needed to turn the distressed housing at The Gardens in Nile Gardens - a long-neglected neighborhood - into a viable and sustainable mixed-income community that supports positive outcome for families."
The Opa-locka CDC applied for this funding with the City of Opa-locka, Florida Memorial University, Urban League of Greater Miami, Creative Choice Homes and EJP Consulting Group to develop a transformation plan for the targeted housing and neighborhood using a community-based planning process.
Building on nearly 20 years of success through HUD's HOPE VI Program, Choice Neighborhoods links housing improvements with a wider variety of public services including schools, public transit and employment opportunities. The program is a centerpiece of the Obama Administration's interagency Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, a collaboration between HUD and the Departments of Education, Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services. With support from the White House Domestic Policy Council and White House Office of Urban Affairs, the interagency partnership supports local solutions for sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods with the affordable housing, safe streets and good schools all families need.
As a result of partnerships like these, the Obama Administration is making it easier for local leaders who are working to redevelop neighborhoods to also access support for cradle-to-career educational programs through the Education Department's Promise Neighborhoods initiative, public safety strategies through the Justice Department, and community health center improvements through the Department of Health and Human Services.
HUD received 71 submissions for FY 2011 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants from communities across the U.S. Successful applicants demonstrated their intent to transform neighborhoods while leveraging outside investments and other federal dollars to plan for high-quality public schools, outstanding education and early learning programs, public assets, public transportation, and improved access to jobs and well-functioning services. HUD is focused on directing resources to address three core goals - housing, people and neighborhoods.
The communities awarded the planning grants announced will build the capacity needed to undertake a successful neighborhood transformation and create a choice neighborhood. These grants enable communities to create a comprehensive Transformation Plan, or road map, to transform 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.