HUD Choice Neighborhoods Initiative

What is Choice Neighborhoods?

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) employs a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. The program helps communities by revitalizing distressed public (and/or assisted) housing while investing and leveraging
investments in:

• Well-functioning services and public assets (i.e. parks, community centers, etc.)
• High quality public schools/education programs,
• High quality early learning programs/services,
• Public transportation and mobility
• And improved access to jobs

The CNI will ensure that current residents will be able to benefit from this transformation by preserving affordable housing or providing residents with the choice to move in to affordable and accessible housing in another existing neighborhood of opportunity.

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) is focused on three core goals:
1) Housing: Transform distressed public and assisted housing into energy efficient, mixed income housing that is physically and financially viable over the long term.
2) People: Support positive outcomes for families who live in the target developments and the surrounding neighborhood, particularly outcomes related to residents’ education, health and recreation, safety, employment, and mobility; and
3) Neighborhood: Transform distressed neighborhoods into viable, mixed-income neighborhoods with access to well-functioning services, high quality public schools and education programs, high quality early learning programs and services, public assets, public transportation, and improved access to jobs.

To achieve these core goals, successful applicants are required to develop and implement a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy, or Transformation Plan. This plan will become the guiding document for the revitalization of the public (and/or assisted) housing units while simultaneously directing positive transformation of the surrounding neighborhood. To successfully develop and implement the Transformation Plan, Northwest Georgia Housing Authority (NWGHA) will work with public and private agencies, community and philanthropic organizations, John Graham Homes residents, former Altoview Terrace Homes residents, East Rome neighborhood residents, and other identified individuals and stakeholder groups to gather and leverage resources needed to support the strategic and financial sustainability of the plan.

Where Does East Rome Fit In?
In September 2019, NWGHA and the City of Rome were awarded with a Choice Neighborhoods planning grant application for John Graham Homes and the neighborhood of East Rome. Building on the vision established by the community through prior planning processes, NWGHA and the City partnered to submit an application that would help address the clear inequities that exist within the community.

By working with residents of the John Graham Homes and holding community conversations, the public can develop a vision for current and future generations of East Rome residents to prosper. With the assistance of the community, we can begin to act on specific recommendations of the East Rome Redevelopment Plan and the Rome-Floyd-Cave Spring Comprehensive Plan to ensure that all residents of East Rome are presented with quality options of housing and living amenities that are integrated into a unified neighborhood environment.

What Happens Now?
The East Rome Choice Neighborhood Plan provides a tremendous opportunity to evaluate options that can improve the quality of life for local residents while creating a stronger, more connected community. The Plan will create strategies for greatly improving housing for current John Graham Homes residents while bringing residents together in a series of conversations aimed at building better and stronger local relationships, increased job opportunities and
improved services.

How Can You Help?
Our planning team, which includes a strong partnership between NWGHA and the City of Rome, is committed to fostering a public process that enables all residents and community members to help create a shared vision for the community. Residents and community members are invited to attend meetings, share thoughts, and encourage others to do the same. The goal of the plan is for an inclusive process as much as possible.