What is Choice Neighborhoods?

Choice Neighborhoods is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) signature place-based initiative that provides grants to support locally driven strategies to address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation with the focus on three core goals, including 1) Housing: Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood; 2) People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and supports delivered directly to youth and their families; and 3) Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment 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.

Are there different kinds of Choice Neighborhoods grants?

There are two types: a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant and an Implementation Grant. The Planning Grant is used for the purpose of developing a comprehensive Neighborhood Transformation Plan for the targeted distressed public or HUD-assisted housing and the surrounding neighborhood(s). The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant provides funding to support communities that have undergone a comprehensive local planning process and are ready to implement their Transformation Plan. Both grant opportunities require applicants to leverage other financial and in-kind resources to further support the Transformation Plan.

Who is eligible to apply for a Choice Neighborhoods Grant?

Local governments, public housing authorities, for-profit entities, nonprofit entities and tribal entities. For more information about HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Program, click here.

What is Atlanta’s Choice Neighborhoods Program called?

Atlanta’s Choice Neighborhoods Program is called Choice Atlanta. Atlanta Housing (AH) was awarded a 2010 Choice Neighborhoods Planning grant to develop a Neighborhood Transformation Plan (NTP) for the redevelopment of the former University Homes site and the revitalization of three Westside Atlanta neighborhoods: Ashview Heights, Atlanta University and Vine City. Those neighborhoods are collectively referred to as the University Choice Neighborhood (UCN). AH and the City of Atlanta were awarded a 2014-2015 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant (CNIG) to redevelop University Homes and catalyze the UCN Transformation Plan. You can access both the NTP and CNIG application under Documents.

I am a former University Homes resident; what do I do if I am interested in returning?

Depending upon qualifying information, you have the right to return to the revitalized University Homes (now called Scholars Landing). For more information, call the UCN Office at 404.541.5858 and ask to speak to a member of the UCN case management team. Or email us using the Contact Us link on this website.

Will down payment assistance be available for the homeownership phase at Scholars Landing?

Yes, down payment assistance is planned for the seven affordable homes planned as part of Scholars Landing Phase V. For more information about general requirements on Atlanta Housing’s down payment assistance program, you can call 404-892-4700 and ask to speak to someone in the homeownership department.

What is meant by “affordable” as it relates to the Scholars Landing homeownership phase?

Households earning at or below 80 percent of area median income are eligible to purchase an affordable home. Down payment assistance is available to qualifying households to cover closing costs and the lender’s home loan down payment requirements. For more information, you can call 404-892-4700 and ask to speak to someone in the homeownership department.

How can I learn more about Choice housing opportunities?

Click on the Housing link on this website to find out more information.

How can I get involved?

For transformation to be successful and sustainable over time a great deal of time, commitment, comprise and working in unison with partners and stakeholders is essential. Start with reading the UCN Transformation Plan. If you live in the UCN, participate in your neighborhood association as we work with these groups to carry out UCN activities. Also, check the website regularly for any updates on activities and events, or you can provide your information and interest through the “Contact Us” link.

Who can I contact if I have other questions or need additional information?

You can reach us through the “Contact Us” link.