KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation was awarded the $40 million Choice Neighborhoods grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Western Heights.

Transforming Western is a comprehensive plan to transform Western Heights and the surrounding neighborhood that will include affordable housing and improved access to transportation, housing and economic stability.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia L. Fudge, along with HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman and other HUD principals presented Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants totaling $180 million.

The Choice Neighborhoods Program encourages local partners to invest additional funding and services for the program’s success.

Choice Neighborhoods program includes replacing distressed HUD-assisted housing with high-quality, mixed-income housing that responds to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.

The program goal is to improve income, health and educational outcomes for those in the target area while attracting reinvestment to distressed neighborhoods to offer amenities and assets important to families’ choices about their community.

According to the news release, each CNI applicant must find resources in order to leverage the funds necessary to complete the project. Four awardees will leverage an additional $2.5 billion in public and private resources to further invest in their local communities.

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation is one of the four Choice Neighborhoods 2022 Grant recipients and the only one in the state.

The community is invited to a celebration on Friday, Sept. 23, at 1 p.m. at Western Heights to learn details of the plan.