The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded a $35 million dollar Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant to the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) and the City of Cleveland for its Buckeye/Woodhill Transformation Plan. CMHA together with the City of Cleveland, The Community Builders (TCB), City Architecture, Case Western Reserve University, Burten, Bell, Carr Development and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, is leading a major transformation of Woodhill Homes and the surrounding Buckeye-Woodhill community.
“As part of my Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, our goal has been to transform and revitalize the Buckeye-Woodhill community in a way that prioritizes the needs, concerns and vision of its current residents,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “The Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant ensures our city, partners and residents can continue the important work of making equitable neighborhood development a reality in Cleveland neighborhoods. This grant is a testament to the hard work and dedication of residents in the Buckeye-Woodhill community, working with the support of both CMHA and Councilmember Griffin. We appreciate their collaboration throughout this process and moving forward. I thank President Biden and Secretary Fudge for entrusting Cleveland with this important award. “
Shaped by the vision and priorities of current residents, this Transformation Plan includes new housing, streets, public space, and programming for a thriving community. The Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant awarded to CMHA and the City of Cleveland will serve as a catalyst to build out a comprehensive mixed income community valued as envisioned through three years of intensive community planning.
The highly competitive grant process concluded with CMHA and the City selected for an award from a pool of 20 applications across the country. After just missing an award as a finalist last year, the team redoubled efforts to improve the plan by enhancing the housing development plans and increasing the focus on resident and community outcomes.
“The project team lead by CMHA, the City of Cleveland, and The Community Builders collaborated with a host of residents, community leaders, educational and philanthropic institutions as well as non-profit organizations to continue to keep the project moving ahead despite not receiving the implementation grant award in 2020,” said CMHA CEO Jeffery K. Patterson. “The resiliency and dedication of the members of this community along with the hard work, passion, and commitment to transform this community by partners and residents alike is what helped make this Choice Implementation grant award a reality.”
The Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant focuses on three critical areas in relation to
- 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;
- People: Improve outcomes of households living in the target housing related to employment and income, health, and children’s education; and
- 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.
Buckeye-Woodhill’s location is advantageous with strong historic assets and recent investments. Over the past ten years, the Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhood has experienced more than $113 million in new investments from the public and private sector. This includes new housing, public art, parks and green spaces, housing rehabilitation, transportation improvements, a youth workforce program and much more.
“Together, we will continue to build on the collaborative leadership model between the residents,
CMHA, TCB and our stakeholders to transform our community,” said Councilman Blaine Griffin, who represents and lives in the neighborhood. “We want to be a model of how to do 21st century urban revitalization. I will always remember this moment as a day we got the necessary support to transform our community and help people who need it the most.”
With catalytic funding from the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant, the Neighborhood Transformation Plan will be implemented over the next several years. The City of Cleveland has committed additional funding through the Mayor’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative for infrastructure, home repair programs, and economic development initiatives. CMHA, TCB, and City Architecture are completing the design of the first two phases of new housing to replace Woodhill Homes, with the intention of breaking ground later this year.