Fort Myers Selected by HUD for Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Funds

Last week, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sec. Marcia Fudge announced that five communities, including one in the Sunshine State, have received a combined $160 million to redevelop severely distressed housing and spur comprehensive revitalization under the federal Choice Neighborhoods Initiative.

HUD named Camden, New Jersey; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Fort Myers, Florida; and Lewiston, Maine as this year’s grant winners.

“Since its creation, the Choice Neighborhoods initiative has transformed communities across the nation,” said Fudge. “Today’s announcement will support local vision for reinvigorating low-income communities into areas of opportunity-whether it be with regard to housing, health, education, childcare, or jobs. I applaud each of the five communities for their commitment to ensuring affordable housing serves as a platform for community innovation and individual advancement.”

The Choice Neighborhoods initiative supports the revitalization of communities through an emphasis on linking housing improvements with comprehensive social services and physical neighborhood improvements. Local leaders, residents, and stakeholders, such as public housing authorities, cities, schools, police, business owners, nonprofits, and private developers, come together to create and implement a plan that revitalizes distressed HUD-assisted housing and addresses the challenges in the surrounding neighborhood. This year’s awardees were selected from a pool of 20 applications.

Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:

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;

People: Improve outcomes of households living in the target housing related to employment and income, health, and children’s education; and

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.

The five awardees will create nearly 2,700 new mixed-income housing units as part of their efforts to revitalize their neighborhoods. Based on information provided in each community’s application, for every $1 in Choice Neighborhoods funding, the awardees will leverage an additional $10.60 in public and private resources for their project proposals.


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