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One of Five Cities to Receive

Tulsa Gets $30 M Grant from HUD To Transform Field Neighborhood

TULSA—The city of Tulsa has been awarded a $30 million grant, The Black Chronicle has learned.

Tulsa was one of five cities awarded the Choice Neighborhood Implementation grants by the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development.

The Tulsa Housing Authority and the city plan to use the grant to help revitalize the Eugene Field neighborhood and stimulate economic development in that area.

Created to revolutionize distressed neighborhoods, the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming areas struggling to address the interconnected challenges of distressed housing, inadequate schools, poor health, high crime and lack of capital.

Named in April as one of six finalists for this year’s grants, the Tulsa Housing Authority joined more than 43 community partners to ensure that the best impression was made on the selection committee during its visit.

Having lost its bid for the same grant in 2013, the city of Tulsa was determined to make this year’s application as successful as possible.

“This initiative is a marquee example of the way we are breaking down old silos and working together as Tulsans to move our city forward,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said.

“The city of Tulsa and the Tulsa Housing Authority partnered with over 30 community agencies to compete for this grant – and we proved that, when Tulsans work together, we can achieve great things.”

“I am thankful we can now include the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development among this growing coalition of partners to revitalize the Eugene Field neighborhood,” the mayor continued, “and I’m incredibly grateful they chose Tulsa for this grant.”

For Aaron Darden, president of the housing authority, receiving the award is just the type of comprehensive support that Tulsa needs to provide opportunities for Tulsa families.

“We at the Tulsa Housing Authority are excited to receive a Grant of this magnitude and be afforded the opportunity to lead the nation in promoting urban revitalization through the deconcentrating of poverty,” said Mr. Darden.

“Choice Neighborhoods is all about transforming communities and that’s exactly what the housing authority and our community partners plan to utilize this funding to do,” he added.

Choice Neighborhoods is HUD’s signature place-based initiative and its vision builds on the work that has been done by the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, an interagency partnership between HUD, the federal Department of Education, the federal Department of Health & Human Services, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Treasury.

The interagency partnership was begun in 2009.

The mayor thanked all departments and agencies that contributed to the application process, and he also thanked the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation and the George Kaiser Family Foundation for their efforts.

“This success would not have been possible “It was the Zarrow Foundation’s unprecedented $12 million affordable housing grant towards the project that for Rick Neal, the housing authority’s chairman of the board, helped to transmute concept into community.

“Having the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation come to the table with one of the single largest gifts in its history was not just significant, but it was vital in making this initiative plausible,” said Mr. Neal.

“We have in our hands everything we need to transform the Eugene Field community into, not only a jewel in the crown in our Tulsa community, but a national model for how to develop vibrant neighborhoods, which can contribute to the social and economic health of any community.

“We are grateful to both The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation and the George Kaiser Family Foundation for partnering with the housing authority to create transformational and positive change for Tulsa.”

The Eugene Field neighborhood in Tulsa will be revitalized, thanks to a $30 million grant from the federal Department of Housing & Urban Development. Above is an architect’s rendition of what’s in store for that community.

The grant will help transform the Eugene Field Neighborhood in Tulsa....To read more, subscribe to the blackchronicle newspaper