The Choice Neighborhoods Coalition yesterday submitted a letter to House and Senate conferees in charge of determining final funding for the Choice Neighborhoods program this year (FY 2012). It is asking Congress to approve $120 million as the final funding level. The text of the letter, along with the organizational signers, is below.
Dear House and Senate H.R. 2112 Conference Members:
As you conference H.R. 2112, the bill that includes Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), we urge you to ensure funding for HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Program at the level of $120 million, the funding level approved by the Senate’s version of this bill.
The undersigned public, private, and nonprofit organizations strongly support the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI). CNI builds on the bipartisan successes of the HOPE‐VI program and incorporates an innovative, holistic approach to solving the dire needs of distressed HUD‐assisted housing, by leveraging private resources to address not only the distressed housing but also the community blight that often surrounds failed housing developments.
Choice Neighborhoods creates jobs and results in a ripple effect, attracting new private investment in the revived communities. As a comprehensive, place‐based approach to serving both people and neighborhoods, the program holds great promise as the way to reduce concentrated poverty and revitalize distressed communities. CNI is unique in addressing the comprehensive community revitalization challenges of distressed communities, building upon other housing programs, such as HOME, to meet the high demand for affordable housing across the nation.
The demand for Choice Neighborhoods funding is significant: HUD received 161 applications for the 2010 funding round for Choice Planning Grants and could fund only 15 percent of these. This demand demonstrates the urgent need for of the Choice Neighborhoods approach of giving localities a tool to deal with neighborhood dysfunction exacerbated by distressed housing developments.
We are counting on you to ensure that funding for this critical program is maintained in Fiscal Year 2012.
Atlanta Housing Authority
The Community Builders, Inc.
Community Preservation and Development Corporation
E. R. Bacon Development, LLC
Enterprise Community Partners
Housing Partnership Network
The Integral Group, LLC
Jonathan Rose Companies
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
McCormack Baron Salazar
National Housing and Rehabilitation Association
National Housing Conference
National Housing Trust
Perry Rose, LLC
Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc.
Purpose Built Communities
The Related Companies of California
Romero Rose, LLC
Smart Growth America
Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF)
United Neighborhood Centers of America
Wilmington Housing Authority (Wilmington, DE)