U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Press Release

HUD Awards $30 Million to the City of Milwaukee To Revitalize Public Housing Development

A Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant was Awarded to Redevelop the Westlawn Public Housing Development and Revitalize the Neighborhood

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin today to announce that five communities, including Milwaukee, Wisconsin, received a combined $150 million to redevelop severely distressed public housing and revitalize the surrounding neighborhood. HUD is awarding Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Implementation Grants to city and housing authority partnerships in Atlanta, Georgia; Kansas City, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Sacramento, California; in order to begin the process of transforming, rehabilitating and preserving public housing.

The City of Milwaukee and the Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee were awarded a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant to redevelop the Westlawn public housing development and revitalize the surrounding Westlawn neighborhood.  The Transformation Plan includes the redevelopment of 708 new mixed-income housing units, including 394 replacement units, both on the Westlawn site and in the surrounding neighborhood.  In addition, the plan includes strategic investments to improve the entire neighborhood by reducing the negative effects of foreclosures, improving access to retail and transportation, and strengthening families’ health and employment.

As part of the Administration’s overall drive to reinvest in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, President Barack Obama’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is intended to transform distressed public and assisted housing into sustainable, mixed-income housing with access to community assets and services and to support positive outcomes for families living in the development and in the community. The five awardees have proposed to replace more than 1,650 distressed public housing units with more than 2,800 new mixed-income, mixed-use housing units as part of an overall effort to revitalize neighborhoods. For every $1 in Choice Neighborhoods funding they receive, the awardees and their partners will leverage an additional $9 in public and private funding for their project proposals.

“The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is responsible for transforming what were once vacant lots, crumbling parks and storefronts and distressed housing into vibrant communities,” said Castro. “It has become one of our nation’s most important tools in the fight to ensure that every family – no matter where they live – has the resources and strong foundation to succeed.”

HUD received 33 applications for the FY2014/15 Implementation Grants. The following awardees will receive a combined total of nearly $150 million in award from the competition funds:

State Awardee/Co-Awardee City Amount
Georgia Atlanta Housing Authority / City of Atlanta Atlanta $30,000,000
Missouri Housing Authority of the City of Kansas City / City of Kansas City, Missouri Kansas City, MO $30,000,000
Tennessee Memphis Housing Authority / City of Memphis Memphis $29,750,000
Wisconsin City of Milwaukee / Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee Milwaukee $30,000,000
California Housing Authority of the County of Sacramento / City of Sacramento Sacramento $30,000,000

Read summaries of the grants announced today.

In addition to today’s grant announcement, Sacramento was previously designated a Promise Zone and was awarded a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant. Kansas City, Memphis and Atlanta received Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants in FY2010.

Building on the successes of HUD’s HOPE VI Program, Choice Neighborhoods links housing improvements with a wide variety of public services and neighborhood improvements to create neighborhoods of opportunity. With today’s announcement, HUD has awarded more than $500 million in Choice Implementation Grants since 2011. Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals.

  1. Housing: Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood;
  1. People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and supports delivered directly to youth and their families; and
  1. Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families’ choices about their community.

HUD’s 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.

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