On October 24, 2019, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Hunter Kurtz visited Baton Rouge to deliver a $29.5 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant to the East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority (EBRPHA) and City of Baton Rouge to transform the Ardenwood public housing development and surrounding East Fairfield-Smiley Height-Melrose East neighborhood.
AS Kurtz was joined at the press event by Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, EBRPHA CEO J. Wesley Daniels and Keith Cunningham, Executive Director of the Louisiana Housing Corporation, a major financial supporter.
The CNI grant is the last funding piece in the cityās Transformation Plan, which has coalesced more than 60 neighborhood, local, state and federal partners to turn the Ardenwood area from poverty and high crime into an āUrban Creative Villageā with housing, schools, job training, transportation and arts promotion. Including the 93 units that will be replaced in the Ardenwood complex, 434 housing units will be built over four phases.
Resident Beverly Claiborne summed it up by saying, āFrom the cradle to a career-thatās where weāre going now. And we want to thank HUD for believing in us and in our ability to do this.ā