The City of St. Louis - Community Development Administration (CDA) announced today the first recipients of 2024 Neighborhood Transformation Grants today. These grants aim to foster community-driven development, expand affordable housing, build neighborhood capacity, activate vacant lots, and support the implementation of comprehensive neighborhood plans across the City of St. Louis.

"Renovating more than 50 vacant homes across neighborhoods like Old North St. Louis, Dutchtown, Gravois Park, Lewis Place, Carr Square, Penrose, and Tower Grove East will add life, vibrancy, and new residents to these communities," Mayor Tishaura O. Jones said. "These investments will provide families with safe, quality, affordable housing, fostering thriving neighborhoods where everyone has the opportunity to live, work and play. Together, we are building a stronger, safer and healthier St. Louis."

CDA created these funding opportunities in response to community input and based on the assessment of the City's unmet needs identified in the City's Economic Justice Index and ARPA Community Needs Survey.

"All four of these new grant programs break new ground for CDA, allowing us to meet needs identified by residents and community stakeholders," said CDA Executive Director Nahuel Fefer. "From minor repairs to bringing vacant units back online, to small grants to support quick wins on the ground, these resources are designed to empower communities to make their plans for neighborhood transformation a reality."

By retaining SLACO and FORWARD to administer small grant programs, and partnering with non-profit developers and neighborhood groups across the city, CDA will be able to expand its capacity to fund specific, targeted projects identified by stakeholders and residents as catalytic.

Neighborhood Plan Implementation Grants - CDA is awarding $1,600,000 in Economic Development Sales Tax funding, approved by City voters in 2017 to fund neighborhood revitalization with place-based investments, to facilitate the implementation of two adopted neighborhood plans. These plans focus on large-scale, transformative projects that will leverage additional funds to maximize impact. The recipients are:

Cornerstone for Goodfellow & Maple and Hodiamont Tracks Park Improvements
  • Award Amount: $800,000
  • Project: Park improvements to enhance community spaces and connectivity, fostering a sense of place and encouraging community engagement on the future Hodiamont Greenway. Development of community amenities at the key intersection of Maple and Goodfellow.
  • Funding Source: Economic Development Sales Tax

St. Louis Art Place Initiative in Gravois Park
  • Award Amount: $800,000
  • Project: Neighborhood connections like interblock greenways and beautification efforts to foster a vibrant and engaged community through art installations and community-driven projects.
  • Funding Source: Economic Development Sales Tax

Neighborhood Capacity Building Grants Administration - This small grant program ($2,000 - $10,000) administered by SLACO will help build neighborhood capacity by funding neighborhood groups (i.e. supplies, technical assistance, community engagement, neighborhood planning) and resident-led community activities/events intended to build and strengthen neighborhoods.

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SLACO (St. Louis Association of Community Organizations)
  • Partnering Organizations: Community Builders Network and Invest STL
  • Total Funds to be Distributed: $400,000
  • Project: Administration of small grants to neighborhood associations and grassroots community groups to increase their capacity and engagement. SLACO's initiatives will focus on supporting neighborhood leaders, fostering collaboration among community organizations, and preparing grassroots groups for formal incorporation.
  • Eligible uses include planning activities, marketing materials, block events, community events, beautification programs, neighborhood clean-ups, and more. The program's objective is to build capacity to support community-driven development, increase the sense of place and community inherent in each neighborhood, and improve the quality of life across the City.
  • No less than 35 projects to be funded over the contract period
  • Grant program eligible applicants: neighborhood associations, block units, community organizations, nonprofits, churches, schools, orders, individuals with documented community support/or in pursuit of formalizing a neighborhood group or association, other community organizations as decided by the grant administrator.
  • Funding Source: Economic Development Sales Tax

Community Development Grants Administration - Inspired by the Vacancy Collaborative, CDA has assigned $500,000 to reduce vacancy and blight. This small grant program administered by FORWARD will offer small grants of $1,000 - $15,000 to transform vacant lots from liabilities into community assets.

  • Total Funds to be Distributed: $500,000
  • FORWARD is an integrated program administration and program management team used by state, county, and city governments to administer assistance programs at scale
  • Project: FORWARD will invite neighborhood groups to apply for vacant lot beautification grants. These grants will empower local organizations to enhance neighborhood spaces through greening projects, ongoing maintenance, and beautification efforts, reducing vacancy, fostering community engagement, and supporting sustainable development.
  • No less than 40 projects to be funded over the contract period
  • Grant program eligible applicants: neighborhood associations, block units, community organizations, nonprofits, churches, schools, orders
  • Funding Source: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

Vacant Unit Turns - CDA is also addressing the issue of vacant rental units in the City of St. Louis by providing funds for their repair, maintenance, and updates. While CDA's housing production awards typically provide more than $100,000 per unit for new construction and gut rehabs, this initiative is designed to lower costs by targeting minor rehabs. The recipients are:
  • RISE
    • Development Names: Crown Square, Fox Manor, Chippewa Park
    • CDA Funding Recommendation: $454,001
    • Total Units: 33
    • Project: Renovation and repair of vacant rental units to provide affordable housing and revitalize the Old North St. Louis, Dutchtown, and Gravois Park neighborhoods.
    • Funding Source: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
  • Sanctuary in the Ordinary
    • Development Name: Evans Apartments
    • CDA Funding Recommendation: $150,000
    • Total Units: 8
    • Project: Rehabilitation of vacant units in the Lewis Place neighborhood to provide quality, affordable housing options.
    • Funding Source: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
  • Carr Square Tenant Corporation
    • Development Name: CARR Square Village
    • CDA Funding Recommendation: $150,000
    • Total Units: 3
    • Project: Updates and repairs to vacant units in the Carr Square neighborhood, aimed at preserving affordable housing and improving living conditions.
    • Funding Source: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
  • Horizon Housing
    • Development Names: West Florissant and Gravois
    • CDA Funding Recommendation: $200,000 for 4400-4408 West Florissant; $245,999 for 3331 Gravois St, Apt 1-5
    • Total Units: 9 (West Florissant: 4; Gravois: 5)
    • Project: Maintenance and updates to vacant rental units in the Penrose and Tower Grove East neighborhoods, contributing to neighborhood stabilization and the availability of affordable housing.
    • Funding Source: American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

Neighborhood Transformation Grants are part of CDA's mission to revitalize neighborhoods and improve the quality of life for residents across St. Louis. By supporting comprehensive neighborhood plans, enhancing organizational capacity, and addressing housing needs, CDA aims to create sustainable and thriving communities.

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Neighborhood Transformation Grants, in their second year since launching in 2023 with ARPA funds, seek project proposals in Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs) and Economic Justice Index areas in the City. Non-profit organizations, Community Development Corporations (CDCs), home builders, construction contractors, and neighborhood associations were encouraged to submit a wide range of proposals like gardens and parks on vacant land, construction projects, hiring staff, back office support, minor to medium home renovations, home repairs, and more.

The 2024 Neighborhood Transformation Grants funding cycle has $21,668,557 available for community-driven projects and programs. CDA will announce awards this summer for the 2024 Neighborhood Transformation Grants funding cycle for the following remaining categories:
  • HOME-ARP Permanent Supportive Housing - Available Funds: $9,668,557 (HOME-ARP)
  • Affordable Housing Production: Rental and For Sale - Available Funds: $6,000,000 (CDBG/HOME)
  • Historic Home Repair Program and Construction Management Services (RFP) - Available funds: $1,000,000 (ARPA)

About the Community Development Administration: The Community Development Administration (CDA) serves as the City of St. Louis' clearinghouse for federal, state, and local funds. CDA works to implement the Mayor's economic justice agenda by funding a wide range of public and nonprofit entities to provide public services, build affordable housing, combat blight, and conduct various other community development activities.

Filed Under: Government, City

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