NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — It's an announcement that's expected to transform two areas in Hampton Roads.
On Monday, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson awarded Newport News and Norfolk $30 million each to redevelop severely distressed public or assisted housing and to revitalize surrounding neighborhoods.
The grants, provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is expected to transform the Marshall Ridley area in Newport News and the St. Paul's area in Norfolk.
Secretary Carson made the announcement in Newport News. Mayor Price called it a turning point for Newport News and its citizens.
"It will bring the area back to what it was when I was a kid," Price said.
Secretary Carson spoke on how they chose Newport News and Norfolk, after HUD denied Newport News the grant in the past, and having two cities in the same state and in the same area receive these types of grants.
"To have two areas in the same state awarded, this has only happened once before," Carson said.
Funding will transform the Marshall-Ridley area in the Southeast Community, creating new housing options, community services, recreational opportunities, and parks. Newport News received the maximum amount of funding allowable from HUD.
Governor Ralph Northam congratulated Mayor of Newport News Dr. McKinley L. Price and Mayor of Norfolk Kenny Alexander for receiving the grants.
“This is a great opportunity for the Cities of Newport News and Norfolk, the Hampton Roads region, and the Commonwealth to advance the transformation of public housing into dynamic, sustainable communities to help accomplish the vision embodied in Executive Order Twenty-Five,” said Governor Northam.
Newport News and Norfolk are two of three recipients chosen from a pool of 32 applicants.
HUD also awarded grants to Norfolk, Va. and Omaha, Neb. As part of the application review process, a HUD team visited Newport News in March to tour the Marshall-Ridley neighborhood and assess the city and housing authority’s initial progress in implementing the transformation plan.