About the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI)

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) leverages public and private dollars to support locally-driven strategies meant to address neighborhoods struggling with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing.

The program fosters collaboration between local leaders, residents, stakeholders, and developers to design and implement a plan (Transformation Plan) to revitalize distressed public housing and the surrounding neighborhoods. Through the Choice Neighborhoods program, critical neighborhood improvements are made, and communities are transformed.

With this grant, HHA and the City of Houston will work with the Cuney Homes Resident Council and many other local stakeholders, schools, business owners, and nonprofits to create and implement a Transformation Plan for Cuney Homes and the Third Ward. The comprehensive CNI planning process will focus on three main elements:

  • Housing:  replacing distressed housing with well-managed, quality, mixed-income housing.
  • People: providing residents with quality-of-life support related to areas such as health, education, and employment.
  • Neighborhood: reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to bring in good schools, commercial activity, and other amenities important to Houstonians.

Third Ward-Cuney Homes Choice Neighborhoods

Historic Third Ward 

Houston’s Third Ward was created as one of the city’s numbered political subdivisions shortly after Houston was founded in 1836. Houstonians recognize the Third Ward as a predominantly African American community with a history and cultural legacy with a sense of purpose and commitment. The Third Ward has undergone drastic boundary changes and population transformations in its 180-year history. 

Choice Neighborhood Boundary

The boundary of the Choice Neighborhood overlaps with the majority of the Third Ward but does not include all of the Third Ward. The neighborhood has many significant assets to build on including: Texas Southern University, the University of Houston, Emancipation Park, numerous churches, the METRO light rail, and new Columbia “Hike & Bike” Trail.

Click image to enlarge

Planning Timeline

Feature photo: Project Row Houses Exterior. Photo Credit: Michael Hagerty/Houston Public Media