The Durham Housing Authority (DHA) together with the City of Durham announce that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has selected Durham to receive $40M in Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) Grant funding. CNI Grants support communities that have undergone a comprehensive local planning process and are ready to implement a transformation plan for redevelopment.
Leveraging more than $1.5B in committed funding and investments from public, private, and nonprofit partners in Durham, including Duke University, this federal funding augments ‘Forever Home, Durham,’ an ongoing partner-centric program creating affordable opportunities for renters and homeowners through new construction, property repairs and essential housing services.
“We have worked incredibly hard for the opportunity to improve the lives of Durham families. Downtown Durham is booming with growth, but the reality on the ground is that there are two downtowns,” says Anthony Scott, chief executive officer of the Durham Housing Authority. “The newer part is disproportionately wealthy, White, and growing, while the edges are lower-income communities of color that are shrinking in the gentrification pressures. The Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant will help us bring those two together, further bridging the gap and restoring Durham’s community, forever.”
The CNI Grant will specifically support the DHA’s Downtown and Neighborhood Plan (DDNP) which serves as a catalyst to revitalization, intentionally reconnecting long-time residents and legacy businesses to the economically booming downtown. CNI funds will go towards the revitalization of Durham’s existing 519 East Main + Liberty Street Apartments, along with the development of multiple other DHA, City, and County-owned properties in the Downtown/Central City neighborhood. The plan incorporates ground-floor retail, a new community park and other green spaces, a new community center, and new roads. The Plan also includes public safety initiatives to reduce crime and violence and make the neighborhood a place where people want to live, work, and play.
“This critical funding, the leadership of DHA, along with the great work of many partners contributing to affordable housing initiatives in Durham, offers validation that we’re on the right path for future stability,” says Reginald Johnson, Community Development Department director for the City of Durham. “Our vision with the ‘Forever Home, Durham’ program is for our beloved city to be one that is affordable, livable, and inclusive. The CNI Grant funding propels our collective dream forward.”
As the recipient of the CNI grant, DHA and the City of Durham have selected Downtown Durham, Inc. (DDI); Laurel Street Residential (LSR); and Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI) to comprise a DDNP Implementation Working Group (IWG), which will be advised by a Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) and the Affordable Housing Implementation Committee (AHIC) to review big-picture progress toward the goals of the CNI-funded Transformation Plan. To ground and refine the strategies and outcomes throughout the process, DHA will consistently engage its residents and resident leaders and work alongside instrumental partners in the initiative, including NCCU and Durham Tech.
“It has been well recognized that we are in a housing crisis, and I applaud the DHA and the City of Durham for pursuing opportunities and solutions for providing affordable housing so our residents can thrive,” says Durham Mayor Elaine O'Neal. “The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant pushes our goals forward, continuing to transform Durham as the city rapidly grows. I’m looking forward to seeing these critical funds directly benefit our community.”
The Choice Neighborhoods initiative supports the resurgence of communities through an emphasis on linking housing improvements with comprehensive social services and physical neighborhood improvements. Through leadership and collaboration in Durham, this plan revitalizes distressed HUD-assisted housing and delivers enough affordable housing in mixed-income communities so that families living in the community can afford to stay and thrive, as well as support legacy businesses so they are not displaced as a result of the explosive growth in the area.
To learn more about this grant, DHA, and the DDNP, visit www.durhamhousingauthority.org. The full list of implementation partners can be found here.
About Durham Housing Authority
The Durham Housing Authority is the largest affordable housing provider in Durham, North Carolina. DHA has developed, owned, managed, and contributed housing to diverse communities of choice since 1949. For more information, visit DurhamHousingAuthority.org.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available at www.hud.gov and https://espanol.hud.gov. You can also connect with HUD on social media and follow Secretary Fudge on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for news alerts on HUD's Email List.
About Forever Home, Durham
Forever Home, Durham is a program aimed to create an affordable, livable, inclusive community for low-to-moderate income residents. The City of Durham works with the Durham Housing Authority and many other partners to address the urgent need for affordable housing by building new residential units, upgrading rental properties, and providing essential housing services. Visit www.foreverhomedurham.com to learn more.