Norfolk awarded $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Implementation Grant

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA) and the City of Norfolk a $30M Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) Grant for the Tidewater Gardens community in the St. Paul’s Area.

The grant will provide the following support:

  • More than 600 housing choice vouchers. One for every Tidewater Gardens household who chooses this option. These vouchers are above and beyond the annual HUD allotment.
  • $4.5M in supportive services to expand the capacity of People First.
  • $4.5M for neighborhood amenities such as a 60,000 sq ft catalytic community hub for culinary arts, technology, art and more.
  • $21M for housing redevelopment. This includes replacement, affordable and market rate housing options.

“We are excited for this historic investment in the City of Norfolk.  During my race for mayor, I promised to take bold steps to de-concentrate poverty and expand opportunity for everyone in Norfolk. To make this happen, we worked to develop a successful partnership with HUD.

Our work is showing significant results. Within the past 13 months:

  • We made a series of visits to the White House, US Capital, and HUD.
  • We hosted HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson and HUD leadership on tours of our communities and held conversations with community, political, and business leaders.
  • Sixteen census tracts throughout the city have been designated as “Opportunity Zones” – a federal program that will provide incentives for long-term private investment in these areas.
  • In March, Norfolk was the featured city at an Opportunity Zone Investor Summit organized by Accelerator for America, and more than 300 investors heard our story, as we presented our vision for investments in the St. Paul’s area. 

And today, I am excited to announce that Norfolk was awarded a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Initiatives grant. This will further our vision to transform Tidewater Gardens into a mixed-income, mixed-use, resilient neighborhood that will provide affordable, quality housing for ALL income levels,” said Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander. 

NRHA and the City of Norfolk applied for funding to support the transformation of the St. Paul’s Area in September 2018. The St. Paul’s Area is more than 200 acres which contains three public housing communities and is subject to extensive flooding. Norfolk’s transformation plan includes parallel efforts of both people and place.

Apart from the $30 million Norfolk will receive from HUD, the City and its partners have made investments and commitments of over $158.5 million dollars in the St. Paul’s area.

The grant funding will help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by investing in residents with supportive services around housing, employment, education and health and wellness programs. Physically it creates a system of parks, open space and streets to manage stormwater and flooding; provides recreational, cultural and educational amenities; reconnects the community to regional assets; and, provides diverse housing types to accommodate all incomes.

For information on St. Paul’s Area go to www.stpaulsdistrict.org.