Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant

The Choice Neighborhoods program leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. The transformation plan focuses on three areas: housing, people, and neighborhood. 

In December 2020, Lewiston Housing submitted an application to HUD in partnership with the City of Lewiston as co-applicant. Lewiston Housing will lead the housing plan and the people plan, and the City will be responsible for the neighborhood plan.

Housing Plan

In partnership with Avesta Housing, Lewiston Housing will lead the redevelopment of 92 deteriorated HUD-assisted residential properties (target housing units), including Maple Knoll, Lafayette Park, and several smaller scattered affordable properties, in three strategic replacement sites in the neighborhood. In addition to the 92 assisted units, Lewiston Housing will build an additional 93 units of workforce and market-rate units throughout these sites.

People Plan

The people plan aims to improve households living in the target housing units related to employment and income, health, and children’s education. This plan focuses on the residents of the target housing units, and is based on needs assessments completed with each household. Lewiston Housing utilize a collective impact approach to facilitate this work. Using this model closely with Choice residents in those housing units will provide the community and Lewiston Housing with the ability to test best practices that may benefit the broader community in these core areas. Lewiston Housing will utilize an Empath Mobility Mentoring Model for coaching residents to identify and achieve personal goals. Lewiston Housing will partner with liaisons in the workforce, education, and health to ensure residents connect with the resources needed to achieve the desired outcomes.

Neighborhood Plan

The Neighborhood Plan serves as the framework of the overall Transformation Plan. It relates to our planning process’s key findings, relevant data, and the neighborhood’s strengths and challenges. Harnessing the enormous community strengths that are here now, the transformation plan proposes a 25-year strategy to grow Tree Streets from that place in Maine with the highest concentration of childhood lead poisoning, the worst perceptions of crime and racial tension, and the State’s lowest-performing schools into a lead-free, economically diverse, and ethnically and socially welcoming community. The City will lead this plan by partnering with Lewiston Housing, community organizations, and the private sector.

Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)

Lewiston Housing is currently working to reposition all of our public housing through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. RAD allows public housing agencies to leverage public and private debt and equity to reinvest in the public housing stock. While well maintained, much of Lewiston Housing’s public housing is outdated and not energy efficient. Through this program, we will ensure that units remain permanently affordable to low-income renters while improving housing quality.

RAD Plan:

  • Blake Street Towers: We have begun the process of RAD and are currently creating plans for Blake Street Towers’ rehab. The emphasis will be on improving energy efficiency, elevator improvements, and modernization of common areas and apartments.
  • Meadowview: This property remains in the early stages of RAD, and we are currently evaluating options.
  • Hillview: Hillview is our largest campus and the last of our public housing properties in the pipeline. We will share exciting news on this campus as it develops.