The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District this week submitted its application to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for a $50 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant.
In an effort to revitalize one of Birmingham’s most historic neighborhoods, Smithfield, HABD submitted an application for a CNI grant which would support the rebuilding and preserving of affordable housing and opportunities across the greater Smithfield, Graymont and College Hills communities. Choice Neighborhoods, a program introduced in 2009, leverages public and private funding to address neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing.
The Birmingham City Council approved resolutions on Jan. 3 to allow the city of Birmingham to purchase two vacant parcels on 10th Ave. N. for $4.59 million from the Birmingham Board of Education in order to satisfy requirements for the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant Application. One of those parcels is the 11-acre Parker High School surplus site where 350 units of new multifamily homes are expected to be built.
As lead applicant, and along with its co-applicant the City of Birmingham, HABD plans to leverage more than $900M in housing, people, education and community investments should it be named a recipient later this year.
“The awarding of the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant to the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District would be transformational,” said HABD President and CEO Dontrelle Young Foster. “Smithfield Court is one of the oldest public housing communities in the country and, unfortunately, the larger Smithfield, Graymont and College Hills neighborhoods that surround Smithfield Court have not received the investments needed to grow with other areas across Birmingham.”