2021 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Program

The Choice Neighborhoods program leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with severely distressed public housing and/or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Local leaders, residents, and other stakeholders, such as public housing agencies, cities, schools, police, business owners, nonprofits, and private developers, come together to create and implement a plan that revitalizes distressed HUD housing and addresses the challenges in the surrounding neighborhood.  The program helps communities transform neighborhoods by redeveloping severely distressed public and/or HUD-assisted housing and catalyzing critical improvements in the neighborhood.  To this end, Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:

  1. Housing: Replace severely distressed public and HUD-assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood;
  2. People: Improve outcomes of households living in the target housing related to income and employment, health, and education; and
  3. Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private investment 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.

To achieve these core goals, successful applicants must develop and implement a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy, or “Transformation Plan.”  This Transformation Plan becomes the guiding document for the revitalization of the public and/or HUD-assisted housing units, while simultaneously directing the transformation of the surrounding neighborhood and creating positive outcomes for families.

Experience shows that to successfully develop and implement the Transformation Plan, broad civic engagement is needed. Successful applicants need to work with public and private agencies, organizations (including philanthropic and civic organizations), banks and financial institutions, and individuals to gather and leverage the financial and human capital resources needed to support the sustainability of the plan.  These efforts should build community support for and involvement in the development and implementation of the plan.  Additionally, past revitalization efforts have demonstrated that even modest physical improvements and investment actions can help communities build momentum for change and transition from planning to implementation of that plan. These actions improve neighborhood confidence, sustain the community’s energy, attract further engagement, and help convince skeptical stakeholders that positive change is possible.  Successful applicants should undertake such “doing while planning” projects during the grant period.

Objectives and Metrics to Measure Long Term Success:

Each Choice Neighborhoods grantee must develop a Transformation Plan that addresses the Housing, People, and Neighborhood objectives. Grantees are expected to develop performance metrics based on these objectives:

Housing Objectives:  Housing transformed with the assistance of Choice Neighborhoods should be:

  1. Well-Managed and Financially Viable. Developments that have budgeted appropriately for the rental income that can be generated from the project and meet or exceed industry standards for quality management and maintenance of the property.
  2. Mixed-Income. Housing affordable to families and individuals with a broad range of incomes including low-income, moderate-income, and market-rate or unrestricted.
  3. Energy Efficient, Climate Resistant, and Sustainable. Housing that has low per unit energy and water consumption and is built to be resistant to local disaster risk.
  4. Accessible, Healthy, and Free from Discrimination. Housing that is well-designed, meets the requirements of accessible design and embraces concepts of visitability and universal design, has healthy indoor air quality, has affordable broadband Internet access, and is free from discrimination.

People Objectives: Residents who live in the target and replacement housing before and after redevelopment benefit from:

  1. Effective Education. A high level of resident access to high-quality early learning programs and services so children enter kindergarten ready to learn and quality schools and/or educational supports that ultimately prepare students to graduate from high school college- and/or career-ready.
  2. Income and Employment Opportunities. The income of residents, particularly wage income for non-elderly/non-disabled adult residents, increases over time.
  3. Quality Health Care. Residents have increased access to health services and have improved physical and mental health over time.
  4. Housing Location, Quality, and Affordability. Residents of the target housing who, by their own choice, do not return to the development have housing and neighborhood opportunities as good as or better than the opportunities available to those who occupy the redeveloped site.

Neighborhood Objectives:  Through investments catalyzed by Choice Neighborhoods, the neighborhood enjoys improvement:

  1. Private and Public Investment in the Neighborhood. The neighboring housing has a very low vacancy/abandonment rate, the housing inventory is of high quality, and the neighborhood is mixed-income and maintains a mixture of incomes over time.
  2. Amenities. Basic services are located in or nearby the neighborhood. Basic services include grocery stores, banks, health clinics, and doctors’ offices, dentist offices, public transit, and high-quality early learning programs and services.
  3. Effective Public Schools: Public schools in the target neighborhood are safe and welcoming places for children and their families. In addition, schools have test scores that are as good as or better than the state average or are implementing school reforms that raise student achievement over time and graduate students from high school prepared for college and/or a career.
  4. Safety: Residents are living in a safer environment as evidenced by the revitalized neighborhood having significantly lower crime rates than the neighborhood had prior to redevelopment and maintaining a lower crime rate over time.

Funding of approximately $ 5,000,000 is available through this NOFO. HUD expects to make approximately 11 awards from the funds available under this NOFO.

Preference Points: This NOFO offers 2 points for either Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Designation, Promises Zones, or Opportunity Zones

Program Office: Office of Public and Indian Housing

Funding Opportunity Title: Choice Neighborhoods Planning Program

Assistance Listing  Number: 14.892

FAIN (FR) Number:  6500-N- 38

OMB Approval Numbers: 2577-0269

Opening Date: 05/12/2021

Deadline Date: 07/13/2021

Agency Contact:  Questions regarding specific program requirements for this NOFO should be directed to ChoiceNeighborhoods@hud.govPersons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Please note that HUD staff cannot assist applicants in preparing their applications.

Program NOFO