On July 26, 2023, HUD awarded a Fiscal Year 2022 $50M Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant to the Housing Authority of the City of Birmingham and the City of Birmingham to revitalize the Smithfiled-College Hillls-Graymont community.
Community Development Strategies led the Birmingham application for community transformation, submitted on January 10, 2023.
The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD) and the City of Birmingham submitted a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant application requesting $50M from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on January 10, 2023, to implement the Smithfield-College Hills-Graymont (SCG) Choice Neighborhoods Initiatives. The SCG Initiatives include public and private funding in the amount of $308.5M in both social and physical investments that HABD and the City leveraged in collaboration with local and regional partners.
Birmingham key public/private initiatives The timing for the transformation of SCG is once-in-a-generation to align Choice Neighborhoods with the following key public/private Birmingham initiatives:
- $253.3M for 920 family and senior mixed-income/mixed-use climate-resilient apartments, including an intergenerational development with new Pre-K/Head Start classrooms.
- New Social Innovation Center (SIC) including a workforce/high-tech learning library planned to be constructed in 2026 as part of the mixed-use new construction development on the Smithfield Court site. The SIC will be Birmingham’s first centrally located hub for innovators, service providers and anchor institutions to engage with and establish long-term relationships with Smithfield Court residents and community members. The Smithfield Library will be an anchor, as a new high-tech learning library with expanded STEAM programming that also will include Birmingham Civil Rights Institute exhibits. The other anchor is Birmingham’s workforce development partnership, which will co-share office and meeting rooms led by Central Six Alabama Works! Collaborators include the City, HABD’s YouthBuild program, UAB, Birmingham Business Alliance, Create Birmingham, Prosper, STRIVE, the Women’s Foundation of Alabama, Birmingham Promise, BCS, Lawson State, Goodwill, GROWTH-NCRC and others. A community gathering space will occupy the center of the building, with clusters of other social services providers, including the Minority Health Equity Research Center and the Sustainable Cities Research Center, working with The Ascent Project leading our Choice People Strategies.
- $10.8M The Good Jobs Challenge grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration to the City of Birmingham in August 2022, will provide funding to the workforce development partnership for programs provided at the Social Innovation Center.
- $29.6M for Neighborhood projects including the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) Blazer Core ‘City as Classroom’, Live Health Smart Alabama expansion area programs, 60 new for sale homes planned by Growth, a new transit hub and bus rider experience upgrades.
- $25.6M committed for Smithfield Court resident wrap-around services, from 20 partners including: United Way; Birmingham City Schools (BCS); UAB; the City; Childcare Resources; Shine Early Learning; Birmingham Promise; the Library; Jefferson County Health; Lawson Community College; Prosper; Goodwill; STRIVE; Girls, Inc; Girl Scouts; Boy Scouts; Birmingham Talks; Create Birmingham; STREAM Innovations; and the YMCA.