HUD is introducing Planning and Action Grants, a new type of planning grant award, in addition to the two-year Planning Grants.
Planning Grants are two-year grants that assist communities with severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing in developing a successful neighborhood transformation plan and building the support necessary for that plan to be successfully implemented.
Planning and Action Grants are three-year planning grants that demonstrate a commitment to “doing while planning.” Experience shows that tangible, early actions help communities build momentum for further planning and the eventual transition from planning to implementation of that plan. These actions improve neighborhood confidence, which in turn sustains the community’s energy, attracts more engagement and resources, and helps convince skeptical stakeholders that positive change is possible.
Under these grants, the planning process activities would take place during the first 24 months of the grant period. The planning process will identify Action Activities that will be carried out during the latter portion of the grant period. Action Activities, as defined in section I.A.3.f, are physical improvement, community development, and economic development projects that enhance and accelerate the transformation of the neighborhood. Activities are limited to: reclaiming and recycling vacant property; beautification, place-making, and community arts projects; homeowner and business façade improvement programs; neighborhood broadband/Wi-Fi; and gap financing for economic development projects. Action Activities must build upon the planning for the target housing and neighborhood.
HUD is making available approximately $10 million in assistance through the FY2015/FY2016 Choice Neighborhoods program for Planning Grants and Planning and Action Grants. Under this publication, eligible applicants will apply for Planning and Action Grants. The top scoring applicants will be awarded Planning and Action Grants, and the next set of highest scoring applicants will be awarded Planning Grants, based on funding availability.