Wellston First Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan
Recipients: St. Louis County, H3 Studio, Inc; Beyond Housing; David Mason & Associates; Development Strategies;UM-St. Louis Public Policy Research Center;Rise Community Development; TOD Broadband Fiber Collaborative, LLC; and Vector Communications Cooperation
The HUD Choice Neighborhoods initiative is a national program that seeks to transform areas of distressed public housing into vibrant and sustainable communities of opportunity. Choice Neighborhoods is structured around tree goals to comprehensively create communities: People, Housing, and Neighborhoods.
The Wellston First Plan was developed through a variety of hands-on, face-to-face engagement activities to collect ideas and input from the community; develop solutions and initiatives through multi-phased, iterative, and personal engagement. Over 250 individual Wellston residents and community stakeholders participated in this process, which encompassed over 700 points of contact. This process effectively and positively changed the Wellston community's awareness and perception of planners and the planning processes. The Wellston First Plan was completed on November 21, 2015 and the final plan was formally accepted by HUD in March, 2016. In the five months since the completion of the plan , several key early action items have already been completed. These include: 1. The transition of the Wellston First Advisory Committee to guide implementation activities and build community capacity; 2. Completion of a funding grant proposal under the 2015 HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant "Action Activities" program; and 3. Establishing an ongoing outcome reporting and management system and community dashboard to track implementation progress. In addition, two keys recommendations of the Plan have already been implemented. These are the replacement of the failed Wellston Police Department with Police Services from a multi-jurisdictional police agreement known as the North County Police Cooperative; and the establishment of a housing repair program for owner-occupied housing.