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What is the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) program?

The CNI is an initiative of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support comprehensive neighborhood revitalization by using the redevelopment of distressed public housing as a catalyst for neighborhood wide transformation.

How do I get involved?

Visit www.chooseyonkers.org to learn about opportunities to get involved in this planning process. Information will include community events and resident leadership in planning.

Who can I call with questions?

Yonkers Community Organizer Juanita Lewis of Community Voices Heard, Yonkers Community Organizer 914.751.2641 or Yonkers Choice Neighborhoods Planning Coordinator Jarnell Bonds, at 443.393.3870.

What is the purpose of this Transformation Plan?

A comprehensive Approach to Neighborhood Transformation based on three core goals:

• Housing- Revitalize severely distressed public and/or assisted housing

• People- Support positive outcomes for resident’s health, safety, employment, mobility, and education

• Neighborhood- Transform distressed neighborhoods into viable, mixed-income communities with access to services, public assets, and amenities

Who will write the plan?

The City of Yonkers, Municipal Housing Authority and The Community Builders established a steering committee of key partners including the Yonkers Public Schools, Yonkers Police Department, Yonkers Workforce Investment Board, Sarah Lawrence College, The Yonkers Neighborhood Health Center and Community Voices Heard. Throughout the next 12 months, the committee will meet with more than 20 community based organizations including day care providers, healthcare providers, affordable housing developers and other civic groups to develop the transformation plan.

What is the timeline for this planning process?

The planning process is estimated to take 2 years from the initiation of the study to completion of the plan and identifying resources for implementation.

What Happens after the Planning is completed?

The City of Yonkers, MHACY and TCB anticipate submitting a grant application to HUD for an Implementation Grant to help us do the actual re-building of Cottage Place Gardens and to provide supportive services to residents during the rebuilding. The planning team will also need to identify other sources of funding to make the plan a reality. These applications are very competitive and there is no guarantee that the Yonkers Choice Neighborhood Team will receive a grant. However, we are dedicated to revitalizing the neighborhood and to finding the funding to do so.

How will this effect residents and stakeholders in the study area?

Our planning team is committed to creating a public process that enables all stakeholders to participate in the creation of a shared vision. This project will create a strategic plan for better housing, improved education, adequate neighborhood retail, and reduced crime and vacancy. The end result of this planning process will be a plan to improve the quality of life and safety for current residents.