News and Public Media for North Central Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

HUD grant money to go toward improvements in East Gainesville

Parts of east Gainesville will get a facelift thanks to a half a million dollar grant awarded to the city.

Gainesville is one of the 14 cities nationwide that will receive a Housing and Urban Development neighborhood planning grant.

Mayor Harvey Ward made the announcement on Friday and said the money will help pave the way for future improvements.

“The initial number is nothing to sneeze at, but it's the leverage and the opportunity and the doors that it opens for the community that are terrific,” he said.

The city and housing authority will use the $500,000 to work with residents and local organizations to create a plan.

Part of the plan will be to update public housing at the Pine Meadows and Lake Terrace properties off East University Avenue. 

In other communities, similar grant money helped pay for a garden project and to improve a library.

Candace Johnson, a Lake Terrace resident, said she’s been living there for 10 years and hopes some of the money will go toward engaging kids in the area.

“It’ll give them something to do, something provocative to do,” she said. “It’ll keep a lot of kids out of trouble.”

The grant supports the development of revitalization plans to replace distressed public housing. The plans must focus on the three core goals: housing, people and neighborhood.

After the planning is complete, the city will apply for an implementation grant, which can range from $30 million to $60 million to start the construction.

The city has two years to develop the plan.

“A better east Gainesville means a better Gainesville,” Ward said.

Alexa is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing