Located near Alabama State University and designed with families in mind, Paterson Court contains 200
studio, one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments. Paterson Court is the oldest of MHA’s public
housing properties and the most distressed. As such, it is an ideal candidate for a CNI Planning Grant.
Paterson Court is located in Montgomery’s Centennial Hill neighborhood, which is “both the historic and
contemporary name for this neighborhood rich with Black Heritage.” The Centennial Hill Neighborhood
Plan, which was adopted by the City of Montgomery Planning Commission in June 2008 describes
Centennial Hill as occupying “a strategic central position within the City of Montgomery. Once a
thriving and prosperous neighborhood with vibrant entertainment and clubs that drew performers and
audiences from across the country, Centennial Hill today is suffering from neglect. Many historic
buildings and homes remain in the area, though run-down or abandoned, as silent witnesses to the
affluence of the pre-Civil Rights days.”
According to HUD data, the concentration of poverty in the Centennial Hill neighborhood is 73.56%.
And the long-term vacancy rate in the target neighborhood is 16.41% whereas it is 7.59% in
Montgomery County. Clearly, this is the kind of distress that Choice Neighborhoods was designed to
The MHA has selected Paterson Court as its target neighborhood for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Through the CNI, the MHA seeks to relocate all Paterson Court households to new, safe and sanitary housing units within the Centennial Hill community.
The Choice Neighborhoods Planning Process
The CNI Planning Process is a two-year effort leading to the creation of a Transformation Plan. The
process includes extensive resident and community engagement which MHA has implement through a
series of frequent planning meetings and charettes. Continuing community outreach is essential to
A vigorous household level resident needs assessment was conducted in the winter of 2022 and involved face-to-face interviews, input from provider organizations and analysis of other data sources. Assets and needs in the community were identified and documented. Project staff, partners and consultants led the community through a visioning process to develop a shared vision and shared goals that were measurable and achievable.
In order to demonstrate each Planning Grant city’s commitment to the community, at least one neighborhood “doing while planning” project (Early Action Activity) is to be implemented. The strongest doing while planning project fosters community engagement, responds to community needs and enhances the neighborhood. As of June 30 2023, the MHA is pleased to announce that its EAA project has been completed. Please visit the Early Action Activity page on this website for more information.
The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant
The CNI Implementation supports those communities that have undergone a comprehensive local planning process and are ready to implement their “Transformation Plan” to redevelop the neighborhood. The MHA's Transformation Plan was approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in June of 2023. Our immediate next steps are to gear up to apply for the implementation grant which is due on December 11, 2023.
The implementation grant will allocate up to $50 million to Public Housing Authorities (PHA) seeking to revitalize a target community by way of improving housing, neighborhoods and its people. The funds received from this grant, in addition to a target goal of $75-100 million in monetary and/or in-kind leverage, will be invested into the Centennial Hill community with the aim of elevating both the place and its people to new heights. To view the plan in its entirety pleased select the link below.