By Eric L. Wesson Sr.
CALL Staff Writer
HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced that Kansas City has been selected to receive a 2015 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant. Thirty-three cities across the country applied for this program, and Kansas City was one of five selected, along with Atlanta, Memphis, Milwaukee, and Sacramento.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II is pleased with the grant. “I am thrilled that our community will be a recipient of the Choice Neighborhoods grant,” Congressman Cleaver, said. “This is a reflection of the strong collaborative spirit of many individuals and organizations in our community. The $30 million will serve as a catalyst towards revitalizing the Paseo Gateway neighborhood and will bring much needed resources and opportunities to its residents. I am proud to have supported this project throughout the process and look forward to its strong impact on Kansas City.”
Mayor Sly James is also quite pleased with the grant and the possibilities it brings to the city.
“This tremendous grant represents the best of how we gets things done, bringing together diverse partners to make Kansas City best,” said Mayor James. “It also presents an exciting opportunity to take a holistic approach to the revitalization of an economically underinvested area of our city that is rich in history. This grant will provide resources to and for residents to help improve their neighborhoods and lives. Working together, we can now focus on improving housing, transportation, social services and other vital services for the area.”
City Councilman Jermaine Reed agrees, but adds that improvements should be “people focused.”
“This announcement will literally transform the community; however, I will encourage the implementation team to be ‘People Focused’. Don’t just focus on the ‘Planning’ and “Revitalization” but continue to focus on providing opportunities for the families that will be relocating from Chouteau Courts and surrounding communities – and the families that will moving into the community after the completion of the project,” Councilman Reed said.
“Chouteau Courts, bounded by three neighborhoods – Pendleton Heights, Paseo West and Independence Plaza – has experienced issues relating to its physical location. Chouteau Courts was built on a landfill, bounded by the interstate and nestled along a commercial corridor. These circumstances are not ‘ideai’ for any residential community” he said.
Choice Neighborhoods is a key component of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, a collaboration among HUD and four other federal agencies that supports locally developed solutions for transforming distressed neighborhoods.
Want to read more? Buy this issue now: