Peoria Housing Authority Hopes to Receive $31 Million Grant

By WEEK Producer

September 30, 2010 Updated Oct 1, 2010 at 5:35 PM CDT

The Peoria Housing Authority hopes to be among a handful of agencies around the country to get $31 million for revitalizing neighborhoods within the Southern Gateway District.

The organization wants to get more feedback from residents about their needs.

Now that the ribbons are off and doors are open for students at the new Harrison Community Learning Center phase two of this community revitalization project is underway.

The Peoria Housing Authority is teaming up with the City and Community Action Agency to get $31 million in federal Housing and Urban Development money.

Services like jobs, education and vocational training could come under HUD's Choice Neighborhood Initiative.

Revitalization will take place within the areas boarding Route 24, Laramie and Martin Luther King Drive...with three core goals....neighborhood redevelopment, housing and people.

PHA officials say one important piece for obtaining the grant is community input.

That's why they're hosting a public meeting Saturday October 2nd.

Community Action Agency CEO McFarland Bragg says their needs will influence the kinds of changes coming to the Southern Gateway.

"We want to make sure we're planning these activities with the residents. Then you get more buy in and participation. You get more ideas generated about what they actually want because it's the neighborhood they live in."

Peoria City officials want to conduct a market study on housing and commercial usage to determine potential business opportunities.

They hope by providing tax incentives in TIF districts that more companies will locate in the area....bringing much needed jobs for residents.

The meeting on the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative will be Saturday, morning, October 2, at 10:00 at the Harrison Community Learning Center.

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