Washington, D.C.–The House Financial Services Committee took a key step toward the enactment of an Obama Administration priority, the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. This proposal is designed to transform distressed neighborhoods and public and assisted housing developments into viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods by linking housing improvements with appropriate services, schools, public assets and access to jobs.
The initiative was passed on a 42 – 27 voted by the committee as part of a larger public housing measure (H.R. 5814) that also included proposals aimed at clarifying federal rules for replacement of demolished housing units, and providing new methods for financing of public housing. Choice Neighborhoods was originally funded as a $65 million demonstration project in HUD’s 2010 funding bill, and the recent Committee action marks an important milestone in the effort to move beyond this pilot concept and establish the program on a permanent basis.
“This is a crucial step toward encouraging viable communities that connect families and individuals to quality housing, more jobs, better educational opportunities, and greater community support,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a statement. “I want to thank the members of Congress we worked closely with to refine this proposal – specifically, Committee Chairman Barney Frank, and Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee Chair Maxine Waters.”