Casey: decision on $30m Philly grant application upcoming

Philadelphia will hear next month if it wins a $30 million federal grant that to help revitalize a North Philly neighborhood, according to Sen. Bob Casey’s office.

Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, spoke with Housing and Urban Development secretary Shaun Donovan to back the application today, his staff said.

The city’s plan, if it wins the HUD Choice Neighborhoods grant, calls for 553 new housing units, mostly by the Temple Regional Rail station, improvements to cultural facilities and crime prevention, and a new workforce development center, among other proposals. The area that would receive the aid is bounded by Lehigh Ave. on the north, North Third St. on the east, Cecil B. Moore Ave. on the south and North Carlisle St. on the west.

Philadelphia was named one of nine finalists in August. Other finalists include plans from Chicago, Boston, Washington, Jersey City, N.J., Milwaukee, San Antonio, Seattle and Tampa. There were originally 42 applicants. HUD expects to name four to five recipients.

The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative “promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming distressed areas of concentrated poverty into viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods,” according to HUD. The program awarded its first grants last year.