Choice and planning our future neighborhoods

single-meta-cal October 10, 2019

Huntsville is a growing, thriving community that is working to create great neighborhoods and opportunities for improved quality of life for all our citizens.

Recently, the City of Huntsville, in partnership with Huntsville Housing Authority, was awarded a highly competitive $1.3 million Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help revitalize and transform a portion of the community just southwest of downtown Huntsville. The planning grant will enable the City to develop a community-driven strategic design for the area that will provide many new housing opportunities with expanded shopping, recreation, and access to essential quality of life services.

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is a program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Its goal is to transform neighborhoods of extreme poverty into functioning, sustainable mixed-income communities.

The planning process, to be funded by the grant award, will allow the community to create a vision for the future of the area centered around Butler Terrace and Butler Terrace Addition public housing communities.

Huntsville was selected as one of only four communities in the 2019 Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) competitive grant process that will envision the transformation of select neighborhoods by rebuilding both public and assisted housing into mixed-income communities. The comprehensive process brings together local leaders, current and potential future residents, and a vast array of other community and system stakeholders.

The process will include representatives from social service organizations, the faith community, medical providers, local colleges and universities, arts and entertainment, and many more to garner input on the revitalization of distressed public housing and to address neighborhood challenges. CNI is intended to help localities build neighborhoods of opportunity.

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is focused on three core goals:

  • Housing
    Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.
  • People
    Improve outcomes of households living in the target housing related to employment and income, health, and children’s education.
  • Neighborhood
    Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families’ choices about their community.

To achieve these goals the Huntsville Community will develop a Transformation Plan. Elements of the transformation will include: engaging the community, a Project Launch introducing the planning process, recruiting and training Resident Ambassadors, Visioning sessions for new housing and neighborhood business opportunities, listening meetings, and early action activities, which could include neighborhood business façade improvements, neighborhood beautification and improved recreational opportunities.

CNI is intended to help localities build neighborhoods of opportunity.

The Planning process will last approximately three and one-half years. Once the plan is completed Huntsville will have the opportunity to compete for a Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant. The Implementation grant would provide funding for many aspects of the Transformation Plan.

Eligible uses of the Implementation Grant funds may include neighborhood infrastructure, replacement of affordable housing, employment opportunities, health and education projects and the support of public and/or private investment in the neighborhood. For more information email or

map of area west of downtown included in the Choice Neighborhood Grant

The area in red, west of Downtown Huntsville, included in the Choice Neighborhood Grant.