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What does the Choice Neighborhood Initiative seek to do?
The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative recognizes that complete neighborhood transformation is required to improve the lives of residents in distressed neighborhoods. In order to achieve the goal of complete neighborhood transformation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awards planning grants to help communities create a comprehensive plan to revitalize a target public housing site and the surrounding neighborhood, and to empower the families that live there.

What are the goals of the Near North Side Choice Planning Initiative?
The Near North Side Choice Neighborhood Planning Initiative is focused on three core goals:

Housing: Replacing distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood

Neighborhood: Creating 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

People: Improving educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and support delivered directly to youth and their families.

What is the targeted housing and community for the Near North Side Choice Planning Initiative?
The housing targeted for the Near North Side Choice Planning Initiative is Preservation Square (formally O’Fallon Place) Apartments. Preservation Square consists of two project-based Section 8 housing complexes with 675 units of rental units in need of significant repair. Preservation Square is located at 14th Street and Cass Avenue within the severely distressed zip code of 63106.

Who will benefit from the Near North Side Choice Planning Initiative?
The Choice Planning Initiative will benefit everyone who lives and works in the Near North Side and its surrounding neighborhoods.

Do Near North Side residents have a say in what will go in to the Near North Side Transformation Plan?
Absolutely, and we need your input! The planning effort for the Near North Side is completely community-driven and based on feedback from residents and stakeholders. Your participation in the planning effort is critical to the development of the Transformation Plan.

Do the key planning partners have experience in these kinds of planning initiatives?

The planning team members each have extensive experience in community redevelopment and broad urban revitalization. Click here to learn more about each of the key planning partners.

How can residents add value to the Near North Side planning process?

How can residents add value to the Near North Side planning process?
  • Complete a resident survey! All residents living in Preservation Square and the surrounding areas are eligible to participate.
  • • Participate in Community and Stakeholder meetings! Community and Stakeholder meetings are held twice monthly. Click here to see the meeting schedule.
  • Join a Working Group! Working Groups are tasked to design the specific housing, neighborhood and people strategies that will inform the Transformation Plan. Working groups meet monthly. Click here to see the meeting schedule.