Choice Neighborhoods: HUD’s new urban remedy takes shape
Breathtakingly broad in scope, the Obama administration’s redevelopment plan tackles nearly every problem known to afflict city-dwellers.
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One of the brightest pieces of urban planning news this year has been the roll-out of the Obama administration’s Choice Neighborhoods program.
Last March the US Department of Housing & Urban Development awarded Choice Neighborhoods planning grants of up to $250,000 each to 17 communities across the country. In August, bigger money began to flow: five “implementation grants” of $10.3 million to $30.5 million, aimed at helping to turn around blighted sections of Boston, New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle. Download a PDF file here for summaries of each of these projects from HUD.
Choice Neighborhoods takes the ambitions that were at the heart of the HOPE VI public housing redevelopment program and raises them to a new level. Though the total federal funding available through Choice Neighborhoods is only a fraction of what HOPE VI distributed at its peak, the new program tries to grapple with a greater array of entrenched social problems.
In the five cities chosen for a total of $122.3 million in implementation grants, HUD’s goal is not only to replace or renovate troubled housing developments — a considerable undertaking in itself — but also to help set the distressed