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The Department of Housing and Urban Development says the grants will help to fund over 2,000 units of new housing.
Four communities will share $180 million in federal grants to revitalize public housing and the surrounding neighborhoods, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Monday.
This year’s recipients of the department’s Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants are Tulsa, Oklahoma ($50 million); Omaha, Nebraska ($50 million); Knoxville, Tennessee ($40 million); and Durham, North Carolina ($40 million).
The Choice Neighborhoods program aims to replace aging HUD-assisted housing with mixed-income housing, a press release from the department explained. HUD said that across the four communities, the spending will help to fund 2,323 new units of housing,
Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge said the projects "represent the kind of innovative thinking and collaboration needed to tackle our housing crisis.”
The program is designed to attract additional investments that can supplement the grants, and applicants must show they’re tapping into these resources to be considered for an award. This year’s awardees collectively have $2.5 billion in additional public and private funding for their efforts, according to HUD.
Later this week, Fudge is scheduled to visit Tulsa, where the city and its housing authority plan to revitalize the 50-year-old Comanche Park Apartments. The plan includes replacing 271 existing units with 545 new mixed-income rentals, as well as adding an urban garden, a small market, parks and other community spaces.
In Omaha, the city and housing authority plan to use the grant to rebuild the “functionally obsolete” Southside Terrace Garden Apartments, which are in the center of the diverse Southside Terrace - Indian Hill neighborhood. The plan includes replacing all 358 public housing apartments and adding 388 affordable and market-rate units. Grant funds will also be used for making physical improvements to local businesses and beautifying the area, according to HUD.
The Durham Downtown Neighborhood Plan is slated to create 483 new mixed-income units of housing and includes measures to bolster jobs and economic opportunity in low-income neighborhoods. The master plan includes transforming multiple properties owned by the city, county and Durham Housing Authority as well as adding new roads and community spaces.
In Knoxville, 196 units in the Western Heights Addition will be replaced with 479 that are more energy-efficient. The city also plans to build facilities such as an arts venue and a microbusiness incubator to support entrepreneurs.
HUD officials also plan to visit other awardees to deliver the grants in the coming weeks.