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Community Development

Posted on: April 23, 2020

Winston-Salem Wins $30 Million Grant to Transform Cleveland Avenue Homes

Mayor Allen Joines at Cleveland Avenue Homes grant application presentation

NEWS RELEASE
Community Development
April 23, 2020

Winston-Salem has been selected to receive a $30 million federal grant to transform the aging Cleveland Avenue Homes public housing neighborhood and the surrounding area under the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant was co-awarded to the city and the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem.

The grant will allow the housing authority to replace the 244 existing apartments in Cleveland Avenue Homes with 406 new units, similar to the transformation of the Happy Hill and Kimberley Park public housing neighborhoods under the HUD’s HOPE VI program that was a predecessor to the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative.

Equally important, the grant includes funds for education, workforce development, small business assistance, neighborhood revitalization and other programs, in order to improve the lives of the residents as well as their housing.

Mayor Allen Joines said, "This is great news for the entire community. Local agencies came together to submit a plan that really was designed by the citizens themselves through our public-input process. I’m happy for them and for the transformative effect that this is going to have not only for the Cleveland Avenue Homes but for the surrounding area."

Northeast Ward Council Member Vivian H. Burke, whose ward includes the Cleveland Avenue Homes, said, "I am happy to hear the good news about HUD approving the Choice Neighborhoods grant in the Cleveland Avenue area, and I’m very appreciative of the staff leadership of Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan Ford, who worked hard with the Housing Authority and all the citizens in the area to make this a reality."

The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem will oversee construction of the new housing and such programs as education, training and similar programs. The city will be responsible for neighborhood revitalization efforts, including business development and public safety, said Marla Newman, the city’s community development director. 

"We are delighted to partner with the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem, our neighbors in Cleveland Avenue Homes, and the many stakeholders who came together to make this grant possible, “ Newman said. “This $30 million grant will indeed transform the neighborhood - creating modern, attractive and affordable homes for those who currently reside there, as well as increasing educational, job training, business and entrepreneurship opportunities."

Kevin Cheshire, the executive director and general counsel of the housing authority, said, "It’s been a long time coming. I’m excited that our persistence has paid off. I’m excited for our residents and I’m eager to see the transformation that comes out of this."

Logan Ford said, "Our residents and stakeholders answered the call to come together and create a new vision for the community and this project will be successful because the foundation was laid collaboratively."

Also partnering with the city and the housing authority on the project are McCormack Baron Salazar, an urban design firm that specializes in the revitalization of urban neighborhoods with multi-block, mixed-income projects; and Urban Strategies Inc., an independent national not-for-profit planning organization with extensive experience in education, workforce development and other "human capital" programs.

The city and the housing authority have been seeking a grant to revitalize the Cleveland Avenue Homes since 2013. That year, the authority received a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant from HUD. But applications for a grant submitted in 2016, 2017 and 2018 were not successful.  

The $30 million grant will leverage funds from other sources, include city bonds, community development block grants and private equity to create  more than $100 million in new housing development.

Winston-Salem was one of four cities to receive Choice Neighborhood grants this year. The other cities were Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Fort Worth, Texas. The winning grants all address the three core goals of the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative: To replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing; to improve outcomes of households in such areas as employment and income, health, and children’s education; and to create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in the neighborhoods.

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