Leaders in urban redevelopment and neighborhood transformation met in Fort Myers for a convening of Choice Neighborhood Initiative Planning and Implementation grantees. The conference titled, Choice MEANS Choice: Anchoring Equity and Culture, was held recently at the Luminary Hotel.
Leaders in government, education, neighborhood transformation, business, urban redevelopment, nonprofit and more shared best practices and trends for 2023. Some of the topics addressed included: Strategies of Economic Mobility, Affordable Housing of the Future, Youth Violence and Community, Wealth Creation and Systems Change, Proactive Alignment and Trust-Building, Housing Stability, and more.
The Choice Neighborhoods program leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. Local leaders, residents, and stakeholders come together to create and implement a plan that revitalizes distressed HUD housing and addresses the challenges in the surrounding neighborhoods. The program helps communities transform neighborhoods by revitalizing severely distressed public and/or assisted housing and catalyzing critical improvements in the neighborhood, including vacant property, housing, businesses, services, and more.
Keynote speakers included Dr. Matthew Desmond, Founder and Principal Investigator of Princeton’s Eviction Lab and Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City; Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO of PolicyLink, a national research and action institute dedicated to advancing economic and social equity; and Joanne Bland, civil rights and human rights activist, co-founder of the National Voting Rights Museum and founder of Foot Soldiers Park & Education Center.
Urban Strategies, Inc. hosted the convening with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency, the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers, US Bank Community Development Corporation, Brinshore, Filene, Lument, McCormack Baron Salazar, Mehlville Charitable Trust, ORIX, and others.
Urban Strategies, Inc. is a national nonprofit with extensive experience in implementing results-based human capital development strategies in communities that are undergoing comprehensive physical revitalization. USI supports communities while working with partners to develop economic opportunities, cradle-to-college/career success, high-quality health services and a range of comprehensive service supports.