DENVER — U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Principal Deputy Secretary of Public and Indian Housing Lourdes Castro Ramirez announced that the Denver Housing Authority and partners will receive $ 30 million to revitalize the Sun Valley neighborhood during a press conference and tour of the Sun Valley Homes with Mayor Michael Hancock. Earlier this morning, HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced the following communities will receive grants totaling $ 132 million awarded through HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative: Denver; Louisville, Kentucky; Boston, Massachusetts; St. Louis; and Camden, New Jersey.
“These game-changing investments will breathe new life into distressed neighborhoods and offer real opportunities for the families who call these communities home,” Castro said. “What we do today will leverage private investment and bear fruit for generations of families looking for an opportunity to thrive in neighborhoods that are connected to the economic and social fabric of their communities.”
“This grant award is a major step in our collective work to improve the lives of residents in the Sun Valley neighborhood,” Mayor Hancock said. “The cycle of poverty that many here are experiencing has gone on for far too long, and it’s time we reverse that trend. The residents of Sun Valley deserve the same access to opportunities that so many others in our city have, and this plan will breathe new life into all of these efforts.”
The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is part of the Administration’s drive to reinvest in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty by revitalizing distressed federally supported housing into sustainable, mixed-income housing with access to transit, better schools and jobs.
“DHA and the Sun Valley community have worked tirelessly for many years to bring forth this vision for the future of the neighborhood.” Ismael Guerrero, DHA Executive Director stated. “More than anything, we are enthusiastic about this CNI award because of what it means for the children of Sun Valley. We will replace the obsolete housing with new and improved housing, and we will make investments in the neighborhood. And all of that will be with the goal of making Sun Valley a great place for families and a neighborhood where our children reach their full potential. That is DHA’s commitment to our residents and the community.”
The Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver and the City and County of Denver were awarded a $ 30 million FY2016 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant for the Sun Valley neighborhood – Sun Valley EcoDistrict. Located just west of downtown Denver, Sun Valley is the lowest-income neighborhood in the city, and the Sun Valley Homes and Sun Valley Annex public housing developments are among the housing authority’s most distressed and isolated sites. Despite these challenges, Sun Valley holds incredible potential, with a new light rail station and significant planned private and public investments. In hopes of capitalizing on this potential, local partners secured a FY2013 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant and created a comprehensive Transformation Plan for Sun Valley. With the award of a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant, local partners will be able to build 750 new, mixed-income housing units; improve the neighborhood’s landscape by creating new open space and increasing opportunities for local businesses; increase families’ access to quality jobs and education and develop a centralized district energy program to serve the target area.
In recent years, Denver has become among the fastest growing city in the country, balanced by a strong entrepreneurial environment, expanded infrastructure, and a talented workforce. However, due to a disconnected street grid, an abundance of vacant and underutilized land and concentrated poverty, the Sun Valley neighborhood has been isolated from the City’s growth. Eighty-three percent of Sun Valley households live below the poverty line and the neighborhood’s Part I violent crime rate is the highest in the city – 5.6 times the citywide average. Despite these challenges, new investments being made in Sun Valley are laying the groundwork for future growth. The Decatur-Federal Light Rail Station was completed in 2013 and now connects the Sun Valley to downtown and the surrounding region. In the northern part of the neighborhood, the Denver Broncos plan to construct a $ 351 million Entertainment District with retail, commercial and residential developments. Additionally, the City is continuing to invest in the neighborhood’s light industrial area to attract new businesses.
Read a comprehensive summary of each the Choice Neighborhood grants announced today.
Choice Neighborhoods build on the successes of HUD’s HOPE VI Program, linking housing improvements with a wide variety of public services and neighborhood improvements to create neighborhoods of opportunity. With today’s announcement, HUD has awarded more than $ 633 million in Choice Implementation Grants since 2011. Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:
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;
People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and supports delivered directly to youth and their families; and
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.
Choice Neighborhoods is HUD’s signature place-based program, which supports innovative and inclusive strategies that bring public and private partners together to help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. The program also encourages collaboration between HUD and the Departments of Education, Justice, Treasury and Health and Human Services to support local solutions for sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods with the affordable housing, safe streets and good schools all families need.
The post HUD awards $ 30 million to City of Denver to revitalize Sun Valley neighborhood appeared first on North Denver Tribune.