City of Tucson Awarded $50M HUD Neighborhood Implementation Grant

Published on July 26, 2023

Side of the Tucson House building with sign

The City of Tucson was selected to receive a $50 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This highly competitive grant will accelerate the City’s efforts to create more than 550 new or rehabilitated housing units, establish an extensive support system for residents in the Tucson House, and strengthen ongoing public investments in the 2.3 square mile Oracle Road and Miracle Mile area known as Thrive in the ‘05. The $50 million grant will allow the City to leverage federal funds for an additional $300 million from public, private, and non-profit sources. 

“Investing in and improving the quality of life for residents in the Thrive in the ‘05 area has been a top priority for me since my time as a Council Member. As Mayor, I am committed to working with the Biden/Harris Administration and all of our partners to bring federal dollars home to Tucson. This transformative investment in Tucson is a clear indication that the vision Mayor and Council have set is the right strategy. Through our layered investment approach, we are creating affordable housing options, supporting our local businesses, and improving access to healthcare and education,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero.

“I sincerely thank the Biden/Harris Administration, HUD Secretary Fudge, and our entire Congressional Delegation: Senators Sinema and Kelly and Representatives Grijalva and Ciscomani, for their continued commitment to invest in Tucson. I want to commend the Department of Housing and Urban Development for seeing how valuable this grant is for Tucson. I want to thank our City staff and community partners for their work and support. Together, we are forging a path towards creating a safe, resilient, equitable city for us all,” added Romero. 

“This is the objective we have been working towards for the past five years. This Choice Neighborhoods grant is a critical investment needed to carry out the plans that were developed alongside the residents and stakeholders from the Thrive in the 05 neighborhood,” said Assistant City Manager Liz Morales, former Director of the City’s Housing and Community Development (HCD) department.

The Thrive in the 05 Transformation Plan adopted by Tucson Mayor and Council in 2022 identified a community-driven vision for investment in the area and guided the City’s application.  

“I’m thrilled about this $50 million dollar investment into the Thrive in the 05 that reflects and honors years of hard work and dedication from the community,” said Council Member Lane Santa Cruz. “The funding will help build a thriving, safe, and sustainable community in historically disinvested neighborhoods. Thank you to our congressional delegation for supporting Tucson!” 

The Choice Neighborhood Implementation plan revolves around three components: Housing, People, and Neighborhoods. The focal point of the City’s CNI Housing Plan will be the rehabilitation of Tucson House, the City’s largest public housing facility with 408 units in 17-stories. Additionally, the project will increase the inventory of mixed-income and affordable residential units in the surrounding area through three new developments in a partnership between the City’s Housing and Community Development (HCD) department and Gorman & Company, a national affordable housing developer. The City’s CNI People Plan will offer robust, on-site services including wrap-around case management for current Tucson House residents and increase the availability of high-quality health and educational services across the neighborhood.

Tucson House Resident Mike Edmonds said, “This grant shows that the City truly cares about Tucson House residents, and they haven't been forgotten. We're excited to see our home transformed into a modern city within a city."

“The future of this historic part of Tucson will be brighter with this grant’s significant investment in housing and small business. The projects it supports also build community and climate resiliency. I am appreciative of our Congressional delegation for supporting this work. Together, we make a difference for Tucsonans,” said Council Member Kevin Dahl. 

The City’s CNI Neighborhood Plan includes five critical community improvements on top of the investments already committed in the Thrive area. Those projects are a homeowner preservation program, enhancement of the Drachman Gateway as part of Pima Community College’s hub, improvement and beautification of the North 15th Avenue corridor, support for additional retail and commercial visual exteriors, and development of a new commercial kitchen/food incubator space and community kitchen to provide training and increase food access. In addition, HCD will apply Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in the area for additional neighborhood improvements including a health clinic adjacent to the Tucson House.  

HCD will lead the implementation of the multi-million-dollar grant with support from Mayor and Council, the City Manager’s Office, multiple City departments, as well as residents and community partners. Key partners include Pima County, United Way, Community Food Bank, Pima Council on Aging, ASU School of Social Work, Beacon Group, Sun Tran, Pima Community College, and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. 

“HCD is honored to lead this effort on behalf of the City of Tucson and is ready to advance the community-driven goals developed through the Thrive in the 05 initiative. This funding is a gamechanger to help us improve the quality and quantity of housing and neighborhood improvements in Tucson,” said Interim HCD Director Ann Chanecka.  

For more information about the Transformation Plan and the Thrive in the 05 initiative visit: