HUD grant awarded to study possible future investment in East Gainesville
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - City leaders announced a newly awarded grant that could open the door for tens of millions of dollars worth of funding in East Gainesville.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the Gainesville Housing Authority (GHA) and the City of Gainesville $500,000 from the Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant. The city was one of just 14 chosen nationwide.
The money will be used to conduct a study on the revitalization of GHA’s Pine Meadows and Lake Terrace properties in East Gainesville near Fred Cone Park.
Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants support the development of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans to replace distressed public housing.
“I’m thrilled for our entire community, and particularly for East Gainesville,” said Mayor Harvey Ward. “This is exactly the sort of transformational opportunity I had in mind when I made the motion nearly two years ago for the city to partner with the Gainesville Housing Authority. It’s the kind of visionary, working relationship that HUD tends to reward and that will change thousands of lives for the better in our city.”
Pine Meadows Resident Services Specialist, Freddie James, believes the study will empower the community of East Gainesville.
“I think it’s a rewarding factor because it states that we’re stronger together,” shared Freddie. “It just at times takes us collaborating and also having the funding to do those bigger projects.”
City of Gainesville staff says they will work with businesses and schools to represent the community during this 2 year study. Mayor Harvey Ward believes this could lead the city in the right direction.
“The 2-year study allows us to hold ourselves accountable too so that we know we have what we need,” shared Freddie. “We have the funding and we have the support, now we have to put those pieces together so that the funding and the support aren’t all for nothing.”
If the study is successful, the city can then apply for $30 to $50 million from the federal government to go forward with the revitalization project.
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