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Murchison Choice Neighborhood Plan Wins "Advancing Equity" Award for City

The City of Fayetteville was awarded the 2023 North Carolina Marvin Collins Award in the "Advancing Equity" category from the North Carolina chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-NC) for the Murchison Choice Neighborhood Plan.

This award recognizes a project or program that meaningfully involves historically underrepresented groups, positively impacts quality of life for low or moderate-income individuals and achieves planning objectives that address structural inequities.

"It was important to council that we approached planning for a majority minority community and home to a Historically Black College and University with a sense of equity and respect for the diversity that makes our community great," said Economic and Community Development Director Chris Cauley in a press release. "Receiving this award validates the plan we created with our community at the center, supporting our City Council's goals,"

In December 2020, the City of Fayetteville, in partnership with FMHA, was awarded a HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant for the Murchison neighborhood. Through the Grant, the City and FMHA worked with residents and community stakeholders, including nonprofits, faith-based organizations, anchor institutions, supportive services agencies, businesses and others to create a forward-looking Transformation Plan with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The Plan is centered on redevelopment of FMHA's Murchison Townhouses, which includes 60 units of low-income housing. The CNI Plan is intended to replace 100 percent of those housing units within the neighborhood or in other areas of opportunity as part of new mixed-income developments.

Cauley and representatives from the Murchison Choice Planning Team received the award from APA-NC at the annual state conference on Oct. 11, in Durham.

The Choice Plan is a guide for the revitalization of the public housing units while simultaneously directing positive transformation along the Murchison Road Corridor.

It is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Choice Neighborhood initiative (CNI). The CNI employs a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation focused on housing, people and neighborhoods.

The Murchison Choice Neighborhood is a partnership between the City of Fayetteville led by the Economic and Community Development Department, the Fayetteville Metropolitan Housing Authority (FMHA), HUD, with coordination provided by COLLABO.

Article by: Greater Fayetteville Business Journal