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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Assistant Secretary and FHA Commissioner Carol Galante joined Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray today to announce that the D.C. Housing Authority wiill receive a $300,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant. The District is one of 13 cities nationwide receiving this funding to begin grassroots efforts to revitalize the 288-unit Kenilworth Courts public housing development and the 132 project-based voucher units owned by Kenilworth Parkside Resident Management Corporation and transform the Parkside-Kenilworth neighborhood.

“All across the country, local planners are serious about rolling up their sleeves to transform distressed neighborhoods into choice neighborhoods,” said Commissioner Galante. “This community can now begin the comprehensive planning needed to turn the distressed housing at Kenilworth Courts public housing development in Parkside-Kenilworth – a long-neglected neighborhood – into a viable and sustainable mixed-income community that supports positive outcomes for families.”

The D.C. Housing Authority used a community-based planning process to apply for this funding, which will result in a more detailed transformation plan for the targeted housing and neighborhood.

“I am elated but not surprised that Kenilworth Parkside has been chosen as one of the top 13 communities in the nation to receive a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant,” said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. “I have seen all the major community institutions, along with residents, parents and kids alike, come together in many meetings and efforts in order to become one of the lucky 13 to earn this $300,000 grant to revitalize public housing, and spread the effort throughout Kenilworth Parkside.”

Mayor Gray explained the DCHA Choice planning process will build upon and strengthen the planning process of the DC Promise Neighborhoods Initiative, led by the Cesar Chavez Charter Schools, which was awarded a $500,000 Planning Grant last year from the U.S. Department of Education to transform the educational system in the neighborhood. Its planning process is complete and it now has launched into its implementation phase.

“We now have a Choice, so we can keep our Promise,” he quipped.

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, 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.

“We are very excited about this new opportunity to help revitalize another DC neighborhood,” said DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman. “We feel that our experience and success in bringing life back to distressed communities through the HOPE VI Program has greatly prepared us for this new, innovative program.” DCHA has received seven HOPE VI grants, the second highest tally in the nation. The $181 million the Housing Authority received through HOPE VI in the last decade has been leveraged to provide $1.5 billion in community development for the District.

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.

Congress approved the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative with the passage of HUD’s FY 2010 budget, and in FY 2011 authorized HUD to use $65 million to provide competitive grants to assist in the transformation, rehabilitation and preservation of public housing and privately owned HUD-assisted housing. Congress recently appropriated $120 million for Fiscal Year 2012. Choice Neighborhoods builds on the successes and lessons of HUD’s HOPE VI program and widens the traditional pool of eligible applicants beyond public housing authorities to include local governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit developers (who apply jointly with a public entity).

(l to r) HUD Region III Director Jane C.W. Vincent, HUD Acting Assistant Secretary & FHA Commissioner Carol Galante, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman and DCHA Board Chair Pedro Alfonso.
(l to r) HUD Region III Director Jane C.W. Vincent, HUD Acting Assistant Secretary & FHA Commissioner Carol Galante, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, DCHA Executive Director Adrianne Todman and DCHA Board Chair Pedro Alfonso.
Last modified: 12/29/2014 8:53:44 PM