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Urban Strategies Awarded $500,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant

January 21, 2015 | McCormack Baron Salazar

St. Louis, MO - A press conference was held on Friday, January 16, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the Flance Early Learning Center to announce Urban Strategies as a recipient of a $500,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant to guide the revitalization of the Preservation Square (formerly the O’Fallon Place) housing development and the surrounding neighborhood. Urban Strategies, along with the Honorable Francis G. Slay, other St. Louis City officials, the St. Louis Housing Authority, McCormack Baron Salazar and several collaborative partners, joined the Honorable Nani A. Coloretti, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, for the announcement this morning.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today that the agency has awarded $3.24 million in Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants to help communities across the country create comprehensive plans to transform targeted low-income housing communities and their surrounding neighborhoods. Urban Strategies, a St. Louis-based national not-for-profit human capital and community building organization, was one of the seven planning grant recipients selected of 51 applicants nationwide.

Along with public and private partners, including the City of St. Louis, the City of St. Louis Community Development Administration, the St. Louis Housing Authority, McEagle Properties, LLC, McCormack Baron Salazar, and over 30 local supporting partners, Urban Strategies will implement an extensive stakeholder- and resident-based neighborhood planning process to create a comprehensive neighborhood transformation plan. The Transformation Plan will target the Preservation Square housing community and the surrounding neighborhood, focused within the 63106 zip code.

The Transformation Plan will create strategies for a safe, walkable community rich with assets and amenities, and high quality supports and services for residents. Additionally, the plan will work to address the critical need for economic and workforce development in the severely distressed 63106 zip code, where currently the median household income is less than $10,500 per year.

"This significant investment will help St. Louis to address critical issues on the City’s near northside," says Sandra Moore, President of Urban Strategies. "Through an intentional stakeholder and resident engagement process and deep assessment of neighborhood assets, together we will build a plan that bridges gaps in education, employment and opportunity as well as create a blueprint for a vibrant and thriving community."

"We are grateful to Secretary Castro, Deputy Secretary Coloretti, Mayor Slay and our many city and local partners for their commitment to, and investment in this effort," continues Moore. "This plan, once realized, will transform our City’s near northside, as well as the lives of the people who live and work there."