Smithfield Community awarded $50M transformational grant 

(Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

The historic Smithfield Community in Birmingham has been awarded $50 million from Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant Program.

“Greatest grant proposals we have ever seen”

HUDSmithfield 1 Smithfield Community awarded $50M transformational grant 
HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge made the announcement today in front of a packed crowd on the grounds of the Smithfield Community Center which is west of I-65 about a mile from downtown Birmingham.

“Your community has come together and put together one of the greatest grant proposals we have ever seen,” Fudge told the residents.

$242 Million in economic activity

HUDSmithfield 12 Smithfield Community awarded $50M transformational grant 
Mayor Woodfin and HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Mayor Randall Woodfin also spoke to the neighbors and posted on social media the projects the $50 million grant will be directed toward:

  • The City plans to purchase Parker High’s 11 surplus acres of land and make way for the construction of 350 new affordable multi-family units on that land;
  • An estimated 1,100 new affordable housing units will be built across the entire Smithfield community;
  • The entire plan is estimated to generate $242 million in new economic activity in our community

The City of Birmingham will match the grant funds with $35 million over the next 8 years.

“The awarding of this grant has changed the destiny of our community,” Woodfin stated. “With the support of the federal government and our local partners, we will wrap our arms around this area to create a new Smithfield, one that honors its rich legacy as well as being a pioneer for innovative neighborhoods for the future.”

Amazing place

HUDSmithfield 2 Smithfield Community awarded $50M transformational grant 
Rep. Terri Sewell speaks at Smithfield grant ceremony (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Rep. Terri Sewell also credited the residents for making the transformational grant possible.

“It is because of you that we’re here. You came out to more than five town hall meetings to tell us what you envisioned this amazing place to become. Because of that, we now have $50M.”

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Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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