About Choice Neighborhoods

The City of Detroit’s Housing and Revitalization Department, in partnership with the Detroit Housing Commission, has submitted an application for a HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant (“Choice Grant”) June 2016. If awarded, the Choice Grant will allow the City to leverage up to $30 million in federal grant funding to support the transformation of the Brush Park, Brewster Homes, and Eastern Market District into a vibrant, mixed-income, and mixed-use community.

To achieve this goal, the City of Detroit worked with residents and stakeholders of the area to develop a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy, known as the Douglass-Market Transformation Plan. This Transformation Plan is focused around the redevelopment of the Douglass Homes public housing site, while simultaneously directing investment in the surrounding neighborhood and supporting positive outcomes for the families who live there.  The goal is to reknit the neighborhood fabric and link residents both physically and programmatically to amenities and economic opportunities through the creation of a dense, inclusive neighborhood with a focus on equitable and sustainable development.

The City if Detroit will be providing an update on the Choice Project at the MSU Extension Office located on the northeast corner of Woodward and Erskine on Tuesday, September 13, 2016. The City of Detroit and the Transformation Planning Team will be hosting an open house for the transformation plan this coming fall.

What: Douglass-Market Transformation Plan Update
When: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 5:30
Where: MSU Extension Office, 3408 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

A draft copy of the Executive Summary Douglass-Market Transformation Plan is available here. The Douglass-Market Transformation Plan focuses upon three core planning elements:

  • 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.
  • Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment to offer the kinds of amenities and assets that are important to families’ choices about their community, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity.

Why here?

To apply for $30 million in grant funding, HUD requires that the municipality select a distinct area to target the grant investment in an area which includes a public housing site. The City of Detroit choose this area for a number of reasons:

  • First and foremost, the City of Detroit felt this grant opportunity would preserve affordable housing in an increasingly desired area
  • In order to qualify for the grant, the target area must include a public housing site. This housing site is the former Douglass housing site
  • The area includes a number of new developments, infrastructure improvements, and amenities to grow from, including proximity to employment centers, recent investments, and transit lines.

If funded through the Choice Program, HUD requires 70%, or $21 million, of the $30 million be invested in housing. The remaining dollars are divided up into $4.5 million for the People Plan (resident access to services) and $4.5 million for community improvements identified in the Douglass-Market Transformation Plan. All three of these components, Housing, People, and Neighborhoods, are key to developing a true neighborhood transformation strategy.

Choice Neighborhood Grant Application Timeline

  • January 2016: Kick Off Planning Process
  • February-April 2016: Community & Stakeholder Meetings
  • June 2016: Implementation Grant Preparation
  • June 2016: Final Implementation Grant Submitted
  • September 2016: Transformation Plan Open House and Release
  • Oct/Nov 2016: Notification of HUD Site Visit (if Detroit’s grant application is shortlisted)
  • December 2016: Notification of Grant Award Decision