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HUD awards $5 million to Newport News neighborhood revitalization initiative

Crystal Graham
newport news HUD grant
Newport News October 2022 groundbreaking event, submitted.

The Marshall Ridley Neighborhood in Newport News was recently one of 16 projects receiving supplemental grant awards from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD.

Virginia received $5 million for the Newport News’ neighborhoods initiative, which received a $30 million implementation grant in 2018. This redevelopment effort, known as the Lift and Rise on Jefferson, represents a large-scale neighborhood revitalization initiative that is currently underway. The implementation grant focuses on replacing the 259-unit Ridley Place public housing development with 487 units of mixed-income housing in the southeast and downtown areas of Newport News.

In total, awards for Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants totaled more than $98 million.

Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants support those communities that have undergone a comprehensive local planning process and are ready to implement their plan to redevelop the distressed public and/or assisted housing and neighborhood.

Since the program’s inception, the Choice Neighborhoods program has seen 11,000 new mixed-income units built across 44 cities. More than 32,000 units are planned.

“When it comes to Choice Neighborhoods, HUD is an invested partner at the table,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Cities and public housing authorities are working tirelessly to address affordable housing shortages despite pandemic era construction cost increases. The additional Choice Neighborhoods funding represents HUD’s commitment to creating new housing for the communities that need it most. The Choice Neighborhoods approach is a comprehensive model that can be transformative for communities, and we invite more communities to consider tapping into it.”

HUD also announced the availability of $10 million in Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants funding to support locally driven planning efforts. Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants are two-year grants of up to $500,000 each that assist communities with severely distressed public housing or HUD-assisted housing in developing a comprehensive neighborhood transformation plan. Applications for Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant funding are due June 6.

“Choice Neighborhoods is breathing new life into communities with new housing, parks, grocery stores, jobs and services,” said Deputy Secretary Todman. “These new opportunities would not happen without meaningful community engagement and community planning. Today’s Planning Grant funding announcement provides local communities with the tools they need to attract the partners and resources that communities deserve.”

In Virginia, the City of Norfolk also received $10 million in funding to support local planning efforts. The city received a $30 million implementation grant in 2018 to revitalize the St. Paul’s/Tidewater Gardens neighborhood. The implementation grant will replace the 618-unit Tidewater Gardens public housing development with 714 units of mixed-income housing units on site and 70 offsite units. It will also issue 288 new Housing Choice vouchers in eight separate on-site apartment developments in four phases.

The grant awards provide additional funds to 16 current Choice Neighborhoods implementation grantees to address the pandemic-related disruptions. The supplemental grant funding for implementation grantees will be used to construct new, high-quality, mixed-income housing nationwide.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.