On June 3, the Choice Neighborhoods team at HUD provided an update on the program via webinar. The session provided an update on both planning and implementation grants, looking forward and back.
As we reported earlier, the FY 2010 competition drew 119 applications for planning grants and 42 applications for implementation grants. On March 18, HUD announced the 17 planning grant winners and 6 finalists for implementation grants. The 17 planning grant winners included as either leads or co-applicants: 13 public housing authorities, 4 local governments, 3 nonprofits, and 2 for-profit organizations. Two of the planning grant winners were associated with Promise Neighborhoods winners (one of which was in San Antonio, where the Eastside Promise Neighborhood is an UNCA member). The Choice Neighborhoods planning grants were worth up to $250,000 each.
The 6 implementation grant finalists were located in Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tampa. The finalists just submitted follow up applications and the winners are expected to be announced in the "late summer" (which could be September). HUD today announced that funding from both FY 2010 (about $60 million) and FY 2011 (presumably about the same amount) will be used to fund at least 4 winners out of the 6 implementation grant finalists.
The Choice team also announced that the grant notice for the second round of Choice Neighborhoods planning grants should be released within days. There is enough funding ($3.6 million) for at least 12 new planning grants worth as much as $300,000 each.
During the webinar, the HUD staff reiterated that President Obama has requested $250 million for Choice Neighborhoods in his budget request for next year (FY 2012). They also noted that authorizing legislation has been introduced in the House (H.R. 762) by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and in the Senate (S. 624) by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
They also described further plans to solicit ideas and provide technical assistance to the field. They are seeking comments for the 2012 grant notice by July 15 and plan to hold listening sessions in Seattle and Washington, DC in June and July. They also hope to create a community of practice to share successful, innovative ideas from around the country. They plan to secure a technical assistance provider to help grantees with capacity building and a national program evaluator. Finally, they have invited all of the grantees to the Neighborhood Revitalization Conference in July and plan to hold a Choice Neighborhoods conference in the winter of 2012.
While those were the highlights, the team also answered several technical questions, which I have not summarized here but can be seen in the hour-long webinar. The webinar is available on the HUD web site here. Look for the video dated June 3 and entitled "Choice Neighborhoods FY 11 Updates."