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HUD Reg. VI 20-5
HUD: Patricia Campbell: (817) 681-9741
EBRPHA: Otey White: (225) 907-6839
FOR RELEASE
Thursday
October 24, 2019

U.S. HUD ASSISTANT SECRETARY KURTZ DELIVERS $29.5 MILLION CHOICE NEIGHBORHOODS IMPLEMENTATION GRANT TO BATON ROUGE
Event includes celebration with residents
 

NEW ORLEANS - U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Howard Kurtz traveled to Baton Rouge to personally deliver a "big check" for $29,512,000 in funding to the East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority to transform the city's Ardenwood Village Public Housing and surrounding area.

He was joined by Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome; East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority CEO J. Wesley Daniels, Jr.; Baton Rouge Area Foundation Executive V.P. John Spain; Louisiana Housing Corporation Executive Director Keith Cunningham and Ardenwood Village Resident Council President Robin Sterling.

Provided through HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, the $29.5 million grant will help transform Ardenwood Village public housing and the East Fairfield/Smiley Heights/Melrose East neighborhoods.

"HUD's work is about more than just providing housing for those in need. We also have a responsibility to help create thriving communities where residents can grow and flourish," said Assistant Secretary Kurtz. "I'm thrilled to be in Baton Rouge today to not only deliver the CNI grant, but to personally meet with the residents who will benefit from the redevelopment. HUD's grant will be the final piece of the Ardenwood neighborhood's transformation plan and will leverage additional funding to create more opportunities for those who live there."

"This CNI grant is a tremendous achievement and opportunity for Baton Rouge and our citizens," said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. "The investment of $30 million in the revitalization and transformation of Ardenwood public housing and the Smiley Heights and Melrose East neighborhoods will have positive impacts across our entire parish. The grant will help these historic communities return to vibrancy and provide new and exciting opportunities for residents."

HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative leverages public and private dollars to support local strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach. Local leaders, residents, public housing authorities, cities, schools, police, business owners, nonprofits, and private developers come together to create and implement a plan that revitalizes both the distressed HUD housing and the surrounding neighborhood.

The Choice Neighborhoods Program builds on the successes of HUD's HOPE VI Program, linking housing improvements with a wide variety of public services and neighborhood improvements to create neighborhoods of opportunity.

With the award of today's CNI grant, the EBRPHA and city will make their Transformation Plan a reality by replacing all 93 units of the Ardenwood Village public housing development. A variety of neighborhood strategies are planned to complement this housing redevelopment, including a new YMCA Early Childhood and Women's Development Center and major corridor improvements. Overall, the CNI grant, leveraged with additional funding targeted for housing, will result in the creation of 434 housing units over four phases.

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