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News Release V 12-104
Laura Feldman
(312) 913-8332
Follow us on twitter @HUDMidwest
FOR RELEASE
Thursday
December 13, 2012

HUD AWARDS $29.5 MILLION TO TRANSFORM DISTRESSED HOUSING, COMMUNITY IN CINCINNATI
Funding to leverage additional $45 million to revitalize 5 Multifamily projects in Avondale neighborhood

CHICAGO - U.S. Housing and Urban Development's Midwest Regional Administrator Antonio R. Riley announced today that The Community Builders, Inc., of Boston, will receive $29.5million to redevelop distressed housing in Cincinnati and bring comprehensive revitalization to the Avondale neighborhood.

HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (Choice) is a landmark initiative that promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming areas of concentrated poverty into viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods. The $29.5 million federal investment of Cincinnati's grant will generate an additional $45 million in private investments and commitments from local jurisdictions and partners.

"These grants to Cincinnati will turn the page to a more promising future for the families who currently live in this housing and the surrounding community and for future generations," said Riley. "Choice Neighborhoods promises to open doors to more opportunity."

"HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative supports local visions for how to transform high-poverty, distressed communities into neighborhoods of opportunity," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "We're emphasizing a comprehensive approach to revitalizing neighborhoods by considering the totality of a community with regard to health, safety, education, jobs and quality housing in mixed-income neighborhoods."

In addition to Cincinnati, the Choice Neighborhoods program will help transform distressed communities in; San Antonio, TX; Seattle, WA; and Tampa, FL, HUD Secretary Donovan announced today.

These communities were selected from nine finalists HUD announced in August. Each of the finalists completed a comprehensive local planning process and ready to move forward with their plan to revitalize the housing and redevelop their target neighborhoods. Building on the successes of HUD's HOPE VI Program, Choice links housing improvements with a wide variety of public services and neighborhood improvements to create neighborhoods of opportunity.

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is one of the signature programs of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which supports innovative and inclusive strategies that bring public and private partners together to help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. It encourages collaboration between HUD and the Departments of Education, Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services to support local solutions for sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods with the affordable housing, safe streets and good schools all families need.

Congress approved the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative with the passage of HUD's Fiscal Year 2010 budget. Funding is provided through two separate programs - Implementation Grants and Planning Grants. In 2011, HUD awarded its first Choice Implementation grants for Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle, a combined $122.27 million investment to bring comprehensive neighborhood revitalization to blighted areas in these cities. With this announcement, HUD has awarded a total of $231,250,000 in Choice Implementation Grants in eight cities. See past Implementation grantees list here.

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HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.govand http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDgov, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Mailing List.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Lead Applicant: The Community Builders, Inc.

Target Multifamily Housing Projects: Alameda Apartments, Crescent Court Apartments, Poinciana Apartments, Maple Apartments, and Somerset Apartments

Number of Targeted Multifamily Housing Units: 140

Total Units Planned: 318

Target Neighborhood: Avondale

Grant Amount: $29.5 million

Leveraged Funds:$45 million

Total Funding Impact: $74.5 million

Key Partners:

The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati

Cincinnati Public Schools

Avondale Comprehensive Development Corporation

Key Committed Funders:

City of Cincinnati

KCDC Investment, LLC

Ohio Housing Finance Agency

Metropolitan Sewer District

Ohio Department of Transportation

Housing Leverage committed: $31 million

Neighborhood Leverage committed: $14 million

Project Summary:

The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB), together with numerous local stakeholders, will implement a Transformation Plan for comprehensive and sustainable revitalization of the Avondale community centered on renovation of five distressed HUD-assisted affordable housing communities located along Avondale's primary thoroughfare, Reading Road. The renovation of these buildings will take place as part of an overall effort to improve the health of the housing market, improve the life chances of residents and community members, and re-establish Avondale as a community of choice. TCB will create or preserve 318 affordable housing units as part of TCB's neighborhood stabilization plan, including 140 units located in the five HUD-assisted target housing projects and 178 additional workforce/affordable units.

TCB will work closely with the Avondale Comprehensive Development Corporation (ACDC) and other key partners to revitalize the Avondale business district and strengthen the physical and programmatic connection to major employers in the hospital district and the University of Cincinnati. Through the Transformation Plan, TCB will better connect park and recreation resources with newly constructed housing to improve health outcomes and public safety. This set of activities collectively creates a synergy in the neighborhood's four major investment areas: the Southern Gateway, the Neighborhood Core, the Recreation Investment Area, and the Burnet Corridor. TCB will utilize its recent award of New Markets Tax Credits to assist in the development of a mixed-use property on the Burnet corridor and to facilitate an expansion of the Avondale Town Center (a neighborhood retail center) to accommodate a supermarket and additional retail.

The redevelopment efforts will also include a focus on improving outcomes of the residents of the Avondale community and, in particular, helping families with children to access opportunity. TCB's People strategy will leverage Avondale Comprehensive Development Corporation (ACDC) and build on prior successful work accomplished through the Place Matters Initiative of Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky LISC (LISC) and United Way of Greater Cincinnati. Key interventions include: expansion of community gardening and healthy living programs; Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Center for Closing the Health Gap programs focused on residents; financial literacy programming at the Urban League, connecting residents with jobs at the adjacent major employment center; and expanded arts and culture programming at the local K-8 schools. The Urban League will provide case management to connect current and future residents to employment, health, education, and civic engagement and advocacy training as well as leadership training that will actively bring the community together.