City of Tucson receives $50 million grant, funds to revitalize Tucson House and surrounding area

Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 6:03 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The City of Tucson was awarded a $50 million grant to revitalize the Thrive in the 05 area.

The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development was a very competitive grant to win, and Tucson was chosen from eight finalists. The grant will be spread throughout the next eight years as the city carries out numerous initiatives.

The Thrive in the 05 neighborhood is the main focus of the grant and city projects. The 2.3 square miles between Oracle Road and Miracle Mile hosts numerous buildings, such as the Tucson House, and it used to be a thriving community in the 50s through the 70s.

However, the construction of Interstate 10 in 1958 meant the neighborhood’s slow decline, but the grant is expected to turn things around.

“You know, I’ve always seen the Thrive in the 05 area as a jewel for our community,” says City of Tucson Mayor Regina Romero.

“It was once a beautiful, thriving part of Tucson that was an economic hub, a tourist destination, and that’s what it’s going to again become with the type of transformative investment that the federal government is bringing to Tucson.”

The grant is organized into three strategies.

The people and neighborhood strategies, totaling nearly 20 million dollars, will establish educational and health services across the community. They will also help advance five key programs in the Thrive in the 05 area, including renovating retail and commercial storefronts and establishing a homeowner’s preservation program.

The remaining 30 million dollars from the grant will be allocated to housing, which the city will use to rehabilitate the existing Tucson House into a 55+ facility, and it build three additional housing developments.

“We see this as a really amazingly located area, but we also want it to be affordable to residents, we also want it to be accessible to residents who are here now,” said Alison Miller. Miller is the strategic planning and community engagement manager for the city’s office of housing and community development.

Residents of the area are also excited for what the grant will bring in.

Sheri Gerou has lived at Tucson House for 19 years, participating in its council and community events. She says the grant money will change the building and the surrounding community for the better.

“I think it’s going to help tremendously; we need places for people to live and beautify this place,” Gerou said. “I’m just so happy about it.”

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