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December 13, 2012
HUD AWARDS ALMOST $30 MILLION TO TRANSFORM DISTRESSED HOUSING, COMMUNITY IN SAN ANTONIO
Funding to revitalize the San Antonio Housing Authority's Wheatley Courts and the Eastside neighborhood
FORT WORTH - U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Acting Regional Administrator Mark Brezina announced today that the San Antonio Housing Authority will receive $29.75 million to redevelop distressed housing in San Antonio and bring comprehensive revitalization to the Eastside 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 $29.75 million federal investment in San Antonio's Choice grant has generated $63 million in private investments and commitments from local jurisdictions and partners.
"These grants to San Antonio 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 Brezina. "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 San Antonio, the Choice program will help transform distressed communities in Cincinnati, Ohio; Seattle, Wash.; and Tampa, Fla., 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. San Antonio is in fact the only Choice grantee to receive three placed based grant components of the Initiative by way of the Department of Education's Promise Neighborhoods program, the Department of Justice's Byrne Act funding for public safely, and Choice Neighborhoods for revitalization.
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.
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.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD. or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.
FY 2012 Choice Neighborhoods Project Summary
San Antonio, Texas
Lead Applicant: San Antonio Housing Authority
Target Public Housing Project: Wheatley Courts
Number of Targeted Public Housing Units: 246
Total Units Planned: 591
Target Neighborhood: Eastside
Grant Amount: $29.75 million
Leveraged Funds: $63 million
Total Funding Impact: $92.75 million
City of San Antonio
McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc
Urban Strategies, Inc
United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County (Eastside Promise Neighborhood)
Key Committed Funders:
Texas Dept of Housing and Community Affairs
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch
St. Phillips College
Straight Line Management
San Antonio Independent School District
San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside (SAGE)
Housing Leverage committed: $35 million
People Leverage committed: $25 million
Neighborhood Leverage committed: $3 million
The San Antonio Housing Authority's (SAHA) Transformation Plan calls for the redevelopment of Wheatley Courts, an obsolete and inefficient public housing site, as part of a broader transformation of the Eastside neighborhood. SHA will create or preserve 591 units of housing as part of the overall effort, including 305 rehabilitated units at Wheatley Courts and an additional 286 mixed-income units at nearby Sutton Oaks.
With a goal to support neighborhood families and assist neighborhood youth in accessing quality education and economic opportunity, SAHA's People and Neighborhood strategy will build off existing innovative and highly collaborative efforts to address high crime rates and failing schools which have been recognized as national models. The United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County received a Promise Neighborhoods Implementation grant from the US Department of Education that it will use to improve education outcomes for children in the Eastside community. The United Way's planning team will focus its efforts on Wheatley Middle school as well as the schools that feed into Wheatley and the neighborhood high school. United Way's Eastside Promise Neighborhood will serve as a primary partner to SAHA and implement cradle to college/career programs for children, youth and adults throughout the neighborhood. SAHA will also implement crime prevention and safety-enhancing activities with Byrne act funding from the US Department of Justice in partnership with the Eastside Promise Neighborhood. Additionally, positive outcomes for Wheatley Courts residents will be achieved through on-site case management by a network of SAHA and community service providers. Residents will be able to take advantage of expanded job readiness, training and placement programs through Goodwill Industries' Good Careers Academy and St. Philips College. The Transformation Plan builds from existing assets, that include microloans by San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside for new business starts; internal and external workforce development training and adult education; proximity to two major employment centers (Fort Sam Houston and downtown); and, significant investments by the City in the target area. Improved access to health care and services aimed at improving overall health and wellness will occur through expansion of a Metro Health clinic, better connection to the Frank Bryant Health Center (a federally qualified center that offers free and low cost health care to neighborhood residents), and new, programmed recreational green spaces.
The first phase of SAHA's redevelopment plan includes commercial and retail development in a busy neighborhood corridor conveniently accessible to neighborhood residents. SAHA will also rehabilitate distressed single family homes within the target community, establish a community garden and produce co-op; coordinate placement of a multi-modal transit hub to link residents with employment centers; and, construct a community center that serves as a focal point for youth, arts, neighborhood beautification and community engagement. The plan is aligned with SA2020, a communitywide strategic planning process, and the Eastside Reinvestment Summit.