Two St. Louis organizations to work on HUD-funded revitalization projects

Neighborhood development nonprofit Urban Strategies, Inc. and affordable housing developer McCormack Baron Salazar, both based in St. Louis, are among the partners that will work on a pair of $30 million redevelopment projects recently approved as part of a nationwide effort to revitalize financially struggling communities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced last week it was awarding $144 million to help spur economic and affordable housing development in five cities: Baltimore, Phoenix, Shreveport, Louisiana, Flint, Michigan, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Urban Strategies and McCormack Baron Salazar will contribute to efforts in Tulsa and Baltimore, according to HUD’s press release. Those two cities were each awarded $30 million from the larger federal pool, known as Choice Neighborhoods Initiative grants.

“Choice Neighborhoods Grants are significant investments to transform struggling neighborhoods and improve living conditions for thousands of families,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in the release. “The public dollars we award today will generate major investment to revitalize entire neighborhoods and create more opportunities for those who live there.”

In Baltimore, for example, the grant funding will go toward revitalizing key commercial corridors, redeveloping underutilized properties and creating new educational and health amenities.

The initiative aims to replace 1,788 “severely distressed” public housing units across the five cities with 3,800 new mixed-income, mixed-use housing units across the five participating cities.

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