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Choice Neighborhoods Lead Grantee: Greater Dayton Premier Management

Choice Neighborhoods Co-Grantee: City of Dayton

Target Public Housing Project: DeSoto Bass Courts and Hilltop Homes

Target Neighborhood: DeSoto Bass Courts

Choice Neighborhoods Grant Amount: $1,500,000 million

Key Partners:  University of Dayton | CountyCorp’s Housing Source Division | Montgomery County Land Bank | Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley | Montgomery County | CareSource | Dayton Public Schools | Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County | Human Relations Council | Family and Children First Council | United Way | Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission | Dayton Foundation | PNC | Regional Transit Authority | CityWide Development Corporation

When the city of Dayton lost thousands of jobs in the wake of the manufacturing sector’s decline, the neighborhoods in West Dayton were hit particularly hard. Between 2000 and 2010, the DeSoto Bass neighborhood, located in West Dayton, lost 23 percent of its population.  Today, the DeSoto Bass neighborhood has higher crime rates, higher vacancy rates, and lower homeownership rates that the rest of the city and over half of its residents live in poverty. Located within DeSoto Bass are the 354-unit Desoto Bass Courts and 201-unit Hilltop Homes developments, two of the city’s oldest, largest, and most segregated public housing developments. 

While the DeSoto Bass neighborhood has many challenges, there have likewise been new investments. Over the last decade, a new career center and warehouse, a key bridge replacement, and the Kindred Hospital have been developed.  Recently, the City invested approximately $7.8 million in brownfield cleanup and is now positioning more than 50 acres of land for redevelopment.  The area also has a strong social fabric – with more than 160 churches or faith-based community locations – and a desirable location:  Dayton’s central business district.  The Veterans Administration Medical Center, a major hospital and employer, and the University of Dayton are located within a mile of the target area.

With the Choice Neighborhoods Planning and Action Grant, the Choice Neighborhood Dayton team will create a Transformation Plan that capitalizes on these assets and repositions the neighborhood.  Greater Dayton Premier Management, along with the City of Dayton, will lead a two-year, community planning process.  Building upon this plan, the Choice Neighborhood Dayton team will be able to use $1 million of the Planning and Action Grant funds to support community and economic development activities to jumpstart the implementation of the Transformation Plan and position the neighborhood for reinvestment.