Choice Neighborhood Initiative Links Housing, Health and Education
At arnpress conference on Friday morning the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced 17 planning grants under HUD’s new Choice Neighborhood Initiative. The awards range from $167,000 to $250,000rnand will go to groups composed of local governments, non-profits, for-profitrndevelopers and philanthropists. </p
Choice Neighborhoods is designed to providernsupport for the preservation and rehabilitation of public and HUD-assistedrnhousing by linking housing improvements with a wider variety of public services includingrnschools, public transit and employment opportunities. In addition sixrnfinalists have been selected to compete for approximately $61 million in Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants.</p
HUD received 119 submissions for Planning Grants and 42 submissions forrnImplementation Grants. Successful Planning Grant applicants demonstratedrntheir intent to transform neighborhoods by revitalizing severely distressedrnpublic and/or assisted housing while leveraging investments to creaternhigh-quality public schools, outstanding education and early learning programs,rnpublic assets, public transportation, and improved access to jobs andrnwell-functioning services. HUD focused on directing resources to addressrnthree core goals – housing, people and neighborhoods. </p
White HousernDirector of Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes told reporters that ChoicernNeighborhoods is at the heart of the Obama Administrations NeighborhoodrnRevitalization Initiative which acknowledges that improving housing cannot berndone in isolation. It envisions turningrnneighborhoods into places of opportunity by linking excellent schools withrnhousing, jobs, transportation, arts and culture and parks and recreation. </p
HUDrnSecretary Shaun Donovan said that, “Millions of children live inrnneighborhoods of poverty and that fact determines their outcomes in health andrneducation. We can actually project arnchild’s life expectancy by their Zip Code.” It follows, he said, that there can be norngreater economic policy than one that helps children.</p
ArniernDuncan, Secretary of the Department of Education said that two of the 17 grantees, inrnAtlanta and San Antonio, are also receiving Promise Grants from hisrnDepartment. The two were among 21 groupsrnwhich received DOE planning grants last year and are now moving into anrnimplementation phase. Duncan said thatrnwe must educate ourselves to a better economy and the true path to improvingrnour schools is a partnership between business, government, and the schools.</p
A list of the 17 grants recipients and a description of their proposedrnprojects is located HERE
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