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Winston-Salem's North East Winston Neighborhood receives $30 million Choice Neighborhood grant

April 23, 2020 | McCormack Baron Salazar

Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that Winston-Salem and the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem will receive a $30 million grant to redevelop the severly distressed public housing at Cleveland Avenue Homes and to revitalize the surrounding North East Winston neighborhood. Provided through HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, the grant, and the $750+ million it will stimulate from other sources, will transform a long-struggling neighborhood and distressed HUD-assisted housing into an inclusive, sustainable, opportunity-rich community for people from all walks of life.

The grant is one of four FY2019 awards that were made from a pool of 25 applicants across the country. Click here to read more about all four grantee transformation plans.

"Today's Choice Neighborhoods awards will provide a transformational investment in these neighborhoods," said Secretary Carson. "Even during the Coronavirus outbreak, HUD is continuing to direct support to those communities that need it most."

"The recipients of the Choice Neighborhoods awards have an opportunity to revitalize communities and create more safe and decent housing," said Assistant Secretary Kurtz. "As the Office of Public and Indian Housing works with grantees to address the immediate COVID-19 situation, we are excited to work with grantees to plan for the future."

HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Local leaders, residents, and stakeholders, such as public housing authorities, cities, schools, police, business owners, nonprofits, and private developers, come together to create and implement a plan that revitalizes distressed HUD housing and addresses the challenges in the surrounding neighborhood. The program helps communities transform neighborhoods by revitalizing severely distressed public and/or assisted housing and catalyzing critical improvements in the neighborhood, including vacant property, housing, businesses, services and schools.

“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," Mayor Allen Joines said. "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.”

The North East Winston plan works to reknit two sides of the neighborhood that were divided by an urban renewal highway project. The west side, now called the Innovation Quarter, is now home to 3,600 workers, over 90 companies, 1,800 students, and 5 academic institutions. Meanwhile Cleveland Avenue Homes, 244 units of distressed public housing sits just one mile away. To build upon the Innovation Quarter’s success, the obsolete public housing development will be transformed into 406 mixed-income, mixed-use, multi-generational apartments. The 199 replacement, 85 workforce, and 122 market rate units will be complemented by amenities including a clubhouse, a fitness room, a business center, pocket parks, playgrounds and a large central park. The first new housing units will be constructed on a former school site in the neighborhood, allowing for a “build first” approach to minimize the impacts of relocation. The neighborhood strategy is aligned with two major existing master planning efforts led in partnership by the City and local anchor institutions. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools has proposed to relocate a new elementary school adjacent to the redeveloped site, in anticipation of future demand.

To close the physical divide, the historic commercial heart of the African American community –the North Liberty Street Corridor –will be used to weave Newside into one cohesive neighborhood. This crucial pathway from residential to commercial hubs will be realized through significant investments in streetscaping, commercial investment, the Zagster bike share program, and infrastructure and service improvements.

In addition to physical development, a human capital plan led by Urban Strategies, Inc, will link residents to an array of educational opportunities, proven employment programs, and a network of medical providers.  Access to high quality early childhood education and living wage jobs will be central to the transformation of the neighborhood and improving the lives of Cleveland Avenue Homes residents.

The other awardees were the City of Fort Worth / Fort Worth Housing Solutions, the City of Philadelphia/Philadelphia Housing Authority, and the City of Los Angeles / Los Angeles Housing Authority.  McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc. and Urban Strategies, Inc. were also on the Fort Worth team.