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HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Program began in 2010 to leverage public funds and private dollars in support of community revitalization. The program seeks to accomplish these goals:
- Replace distressed public and HUD-assisted housing with high-quality mixed income housing that meets the needs of neighborhood
- Improve career, financial stability, health and educational outcomes of these households, and
- Facilitate public and private re-investment in disinvested neighborhoods to increase families’ access to improved safety conditions, good schools, and commercial activity.1
This program provides an opportunity for lead remediation in a neighborhood as part of a broader, more comprehensive plan for neighborhood revitalization. Grants are available to help finance planning and implementation.2 Local governments, Public Housing Authorities (PHA’s), tribal entities, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply if they meet these requirements: 3
- Neighborhoods must have at least one “severely distressed” public housing or HUD-assisted housing project at the core of its revitalization plan.4
- A comprehensive, collaborative neighborhood Transformation Plan is produced, that includes converting target housing into healthy, sustainable housing that includes affordable units.5
- A neighborhood is considered eligible for this grant if at least 20% of residents have very low incomes or live in poverty, based on the most recent data from the US Census Bureau, and the neighborhood is experiencing distress due to either high rates of vacancy or high rates of crime.6
- The Transformation Plan also requires measurable outcomes for rejuvenation of the neighborhood where the target housing is located, and stipulates that neighborhood residents who choose to not return to the redeveloped target housing should have affordable living options elsewhere in the neighborhood that are as good as or better than the redeveloped Target Housing.7
In order to deploy this resource to address lead hazards in your community’s housing, include residential lead remediation in the Transformation Plan that specifically addresses lead remediation to rehabilitate distressed public or HUD-assisted housing within the defined boundaries of the target neighborhood.8 9 These allowable costs could be used to remediate lead hazards in properties undergoing rehabilitation that are public or to HUD-assisted such as project-based housing choice vouchers. Funds cannot be used to remediate lead hazards in tenant-based housing choice voucher units. Implementation funds could also be used to address lead hazards in properties prior to demolition. Any public or HUD-assisted property would also have to comply with the Lead Safe Housing Rule and EPA Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule requirements during the lead remediation and post intervention unless the remediation measures resulted in the property attaining a lead-free status.
The FY 2018 NOFA indicates that Planning and Action Grants can be awarded for $1.3 million, while the maximum for Planning Grants alone is $350,000.10 The grantee must also commit to match funds of at least five percent of the grant award. For more information about this program visit: https://www.hud.gov/cn.