Choice Neighborhoods Initiative


The Choice Neighborhood (CN) is a program by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) represents the next generation of neighborhood revitalization policy, as it builds upon the HOPE VI public housing revitalization program launched in 1993. HOPE VI provided funds for local leaders to redevelop some of the nation’s most severely distressed public housing and create stable mixed-income communities. Choice Neighborhoods takes HOPE VI to the next level by broadening the properties and activities that resources can be targeted towards. The goal is to ensure that the redevelopment is an even more robust anchor that spurs neighborhood stability and elevated levels of investment. While housing was the main objective, experience has shown that this redevelopment (CN) has also been associated with reduced levels of poverty, crime, and unemployment, increased income and property values, and the creation of investment, business growth, and local jobs.

The three core goals of CN are:

  • HOUSING: Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed- income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.
  • PEOPLE: Improve the outcome of the households living in the target housing related to income and employment, health, and education.
  • NEIGHBORHOODS: Create 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.

THE PLANNING GRANT takes place over a 24-month period (2 years) in which the planning partner develops a transformation plan for the neighborhood boundary submitted during the planning grant stage. The transformation plan will be built by the residents of the PHA, neighborhood, education officials, law enforcement, public housing agency, city, and planning partners. The planning grant maximum award is $500,000.

“This award will provide Fort Wayne Housing Authority, the City of Fort Wayne, residents, and stakeholders an opportunity to bring the community and planning partners together to create a viable and actionable Transformation Plan for southeast Fort Wayne.” “The board and staff of Fort Wayne Housing Authority see this as a unique once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revitalize an important neighborhood in our community through housing investments, enhanced services for our residents, and physical neighborhood improvements.”  – George Guy, CEO/Executive Driector

Tall Oaks Apartments is the distressed public housing property that forms the foundation for the Southeast Fort Wayne (SEFW) Choice Neighborhoods planning project. Tall Oaks Apartments is a seven-story apartment building that was built in 1970. The building has 105 dwelling units of public housing (one-bedroom or two-bedrooms) and is currently a family-oriented site. The building is located at the intersection of E. Tillman Road and Decatur Road.



This map outlines the boundary area that was selected for the Choice Neighborhoods grant application. The boundary area has been identified as the Southeast Fort Wayne Choice Neighborhoods project. The red star indicates the location of the HUD distressed property, Tall Oaks Apartments.

Planning Process and Timeline

Key HUD Milestones

Early Action Activity

Through vigorous resident engagement at Tall Oaks Apartments, the concern for pedestrian safety surrounding the housing site was paramount. From this concern came the resident-led idea of installing pedestrian safety improvements. These improvements include installing new interconnected Solar Powered “Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons” (RRFBs) at the intersections of Tillman Road and Decatur Road, and Decatur
Road and Woodside Avenue.

In addition to the pedestrian safety improvements, the residents of Tall Oaks Apartments noted access to fresh produce as a major challenge. With this information, the residents expressed their interest in erecting a Community Garden to provide fresh foods and the ability to engage with additional residents within the Southeast Fort Wayne (SEFW) community. Tall Oaks residents will be involved in the planning process of the community garden by way of a Community Garden Committee that will work with Fort Wayne Housing Authority Staff, Clesia Ventures Team and the City of Fort Wayne staff to develop a plan for this portion of the Early Action Activity.

Rendering of potential community garden

Upcoming Events

Town Hall Visioning Session coming November 2023!

The Visioning session shall include Tall Oaks residents, Fort Wayne Housing Authority Staff, Clesia Ventures staff, SEFW CN committee members and residents from the SEFW Community. The aim of the meeting is to gain a deeper understanding of the SEFW community’s current condition and needs and start the creation process of the Housing, People and Neighborhood visions within the SEFW community.


For questions or more information, please email us at [email protected]