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October 24, 2013

Report on Choice Neighborhoods

Alice Griffith Community Garden, San Francisco.jpg

Developing Choice Neighborhoods: An Early Look at Implementation in Five Sites - Interim Report

The Urban Institute recently released an interim report for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on the first five implementation sites for the Choice Neighborhoods program. Mark Joseph and NIMC are part of the national evaluation team conducting preliminary research on this federal mixed-income housing program. The Choice Neighborhoods program supports local collaborations to redevelop distressed public housing projects while supporting the transformation of the surrounding neighborhoods into vibrant mixed-income communities.

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Choice builds upon the first mixed-income program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HOPE VI, which focused on replacing or rehabilitating distressed public housing. The Choice program maintains aspects of HOPE VI such as the public-private partnerships and mixed financing for replacing or rehabilitating assisted housing but extends eligibility to privately owned federally subsidized developments.

Improving on HOPE VI, Choice goes beyond housing to include People and Neighborhood in a comprehensive plan. Current residents of the housing slated for redevelopment also have the opportunity to live in the new development when it is completed. The right to return is an added protection for tenants. Choice encourages partnerships between local anchor institutions, organizations and agencies to build and sustain affordable housing, provide social services, educate children, promote public safety and create methods of re-energizing commercial corridors.

This interim report provides a an initial look at the five Choice implementation sites in Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle. In 2012 three additional sites received implementation grants in Cincinnati, San Antonio and Tampa.