Birmingham Chosen for HUD Choice Neighborhoods Grant

Birmingham Chosen for HUD Choice Neighborhoods Grant

Birmingham, Alabama, has been chosen as a recipient of a significant federal grant aimed at providing much-needed affordable housing to the Smithfield, Graymont, and College Hills communities. The city’s recognition as a finalist for the prestigious $50 million CHOICE Neighborhood Implementation grant, granted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has set the stage for transformative changes in these neighborhoods.

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The grant is expected to bring about the creation of approximately 1,100 affordable housing units spread across the Smithfield, Graymont, and College Hills areas. Birmingham’s comprehensive plan involves the replacement of the aging Smithfield Court, a 500-unit public housing community with an 81-year history, with modern multifamily rental units and single-family homes available for purchase.

With the successful acquisition of the grant, the overall project is projected to yield an astounding $242 million economic impact, promising a significant boost to the local economy and community development.

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Birmingham Mayor Randall L. Woodfin expressed enthusiasm for the city’s selection as a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant recipient, underscoring its commitment to neighborhood revitalization. The collective efforts of numerous partnerships established to fortify the city’s neighborhoods and enhance opportunities for its residents have been instrumental in securing this grant. Moving forward, the city is eager to collaborate closely with HUD, the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD), and the array of partners involved to realize the transformation of these neighborhoods.

The CHOICE Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) grant is a coveted and competitive federal initiative aimed at replacing severely distressed public housing and facilitating the transformation of surrounding communities through improved living conditions and economic opportunities.

Birmingham had previously applied for a Choice Neighborhoods grant in 2019 without success. Undeterred, the city reengaged in the process and submitted a new application in January, driven by a partnership led by HABD and the city of Birmingham. HABD has ambitious plans to leverage over $900 million in housing, education, and community investments as a direct result of securing this transformative grant.

Dontrelle Young Foster, President and CEO of HABD, expressed immense pride in being the recipient of Alabama’s first-ever Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant. She highlighted how the grant will pave the way for the redevelopment of Smithfield Court, one of the nation’s oldest public housing communities, and serve as a catalyst for comprehensive neighborhood revitalization on Birmingham’s westside. HABD’s vision transcends housing development alone; they are dedicated to nurturing the growth and potential of the residents, offering them opportunities for thriving lives through education, housing, and empowerment.

The formidable partnership behind this transformative endeavor includes Atlanta-based real estate developer The Integral Group and The Ascent Project, a nonprofit organization committed to community development in urban centers. With more than 40 partners involved in the collaborative effort, the project is set to benefit from a diverse range of expertise and resources.

As the grant paves the way for a brighter future, Birmingham is poised to witness a metamorphosis in these communities, creating a sustainable and vibrant environment for its residents to flourish. The influx of affordable housing and holistic community development initiatives promises to uplift the lives of countless individuals and contribute to the city’s enduring growth and prosperity.

Christopher Charles spent 6 years in the mortgage industry before moving into the world of digital media. He's helped thousands of families buy and refinance real estate at banks and mortgage companies and now continues that mission through industry-leading content. Chris is known for his expertise in the mortgage & real estate industry and continues to produce content all over the web.

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