The bill, S. 624, would establish in statute details of how HUD must administer CNI funding. On February 17, Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) introduced legislation authorizing the CNI program, H.R. 762 (see Memo, 2/18). Both S. 624 and H.R. 762 are reintroductions of CNI authorizing legislation introduced by Chair Menendez and Ms. Waters in the 110th Congress.
In FY10, HUD requested and received funding for the new Choice Neighborhoods Initiative program. CNI is to be the successor to HUD’s HOPE VI program, which provided grants to public housing agencies to revitalize severely distressed public housing. CNI is a much broader program, authorizing grants to public housing agencies but also to local governments and nonprofits, and allowing for the revitalization of severely distressed public, HUD-assisted and privately-owned housing in neighborhoods experiencing extreme poverty. Senator Menendez’s bill would also require applicants for CNI funds to demonstrate a potential for long-term viability.
On March 18, HUD announced the first recipients of FY10 CNI funding. Of 119 applicants for CNI planning grants, 17 communities were awarded funding. Of the 42 applicants for CNI implementation grants, six finalists have emerged and will now compete for $61 million in CNI funding, which HUD expects to award by the end of September.
S. 624 was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
Access HUD’s press release on CNI grants at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2011/HUDNo.11-032