On September 23, 2019, HUD awarded a Fiscal Year 2018 $29,512,500 grant to the East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority/City of Baton Rouge Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) team.
Community Development Strategies led the Baton Rouge CNI application for community transformation, submitted in September 2018.
Resiliency, Innovation and Placemaking: The Baton Rouge Choice Initiative is comprehensive and reflects the transformation of theEast Fairfield – Smiley Heights – Melrose East community into an Urban Creative Village.
Urban Creative Village: The Baton Rouge team has coalesced over 40 neighborhood, local, state and federal partners to transform the East Fairfield – Smiley Heights – Melrose East community into an Urban Creative Village. The community-driven transformation plan capitalizes on the neighborhood’s central location by directing public and private investments to return abandoned properties to productive use, improving connectivity to essential assets and job centers and introducing a mix of housing and retail/commercial uses to restore neighborhood vibrancy.
$335.5M in Social and Economic Investments: are invested or planned for the East Fairfield – Smiley Heights – Melrose East neighborhood. The BR Team sees this as just the beginning of this significant transformation opportunity. Investments include $13.6M in human capital investments, $92.5M in Housing, $31M in Education, $110M in Workforce-Training, $14.4M in Neighborhood, $66M in Transportation and $7.5M in Health Wellness. These investments are estimated to result in over $1 Billion in economic impact in the direct, indirect and induced levels of the local and state economy.