Birmingham to apply for grant to help Smithfield, surrounding communities

Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 2:02 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The City of Birmingham is set to apply for the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant Program.

If awarded, the federal grant will be used to revitalize the Smithfield, College Hills and Graymont neighborhoods.

It is a $50 million grant and the city plans to commit up to $35 million in leverage.

Dr. Meghan Venable-Thomas is the Director of Community Development for the City of Birmingham. She said the grant is not just about housing, but for the people who call the area home.

The funds would be used to reimagine mixed-income housing, individualized personal development plans for each Smithfield public housing household to improve early education, school performance, job training, and income/asset building, a master planned community with connected sidewalks and green open spaces; as well as 21st century broadband.

Venable-Thomas said Smithfield was specifically chosen because of its rich history that shaped not only Birmingham, but the nation as a whole.

“From its social justice background, its civil rights background. We thought it was important that being one of the first thriving communities of Birmingham for us to really, one, to bring back to where it was before and to think of the future opportunities there,” said Venable-Thomas.

Finalist for the grant will be announced this summer, and winner notified in the fall.

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