Representatives from DCHA announced at a resident meeting in late April that they have applied for a $500,000 HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant for Greenleaf, a trio of public housing communities in Southwest. Greenleaf was built in 1959 and includes a cluster of townhomes, midrise, and walk-up units from I to M streets, between 3rd Street and Delaware Avenue. In addition, Greenleaf Seniors is a high-rise at the SE corner of Delaware Avenue and M Street, as well as a mid-rise building (203 N Street). There are a total of 497 units in all three sections. According to the HUD website, the Choice Neighborhoods program supports locally driven strategies to address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Three main goals of the program are as follows:
1. 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;
2. People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and supports delivered directly to youth and their families; and
3. Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families’ choices about their community.
A Transformation Plan must be developed for the communities that receive a Planning Grant, which helps guide the revitalization of the public housing units and transformation of the surrounding neighborhood and positive outcomes for families. DCHA's grant application comes right at the same time that the Office of Planning is about to undertake a Small Area Plan for the broader area, which includes Greenleaf Gardens, Seniors and Mid-rise. Eventually, DCHA can apply for an Implementation Grant from HUD (that is if Greenleaf is selected for a Planning Grant and a Transformation Plan is developed). Also, a public-private partnership could be sought to eventually redevelop Greenleaf. In the meantime, cosmetic work on the exterior of Greenleaf Gardens has begun and assessments of distressed property have already started.
|Recently painted homes at Greenleaf Gardens.|
The Near SE/SW CBCC will be hosting an informational meeting on May 23 where Tarek Bolden from the Office of Planning will go over the SW Small Area Plan process. There will also be discussion on the HUD grant process for Greenleaf. The meeting will be held at Westminster Church (400 I Street) from 6-7:30pm. Free childcare will be provided for children ages 5-12.
By the way this post is not an April Fools' Day joke.