top of page
Interactive planning activities with a large map


Changing Lives

Latest Update

Southside Gateway Community Plan

Reimagining Southside Gardens

Southside Gardens housing units

The Southside Gateway initiative involves planning around the transformation of public and HUD-assisted housing. While centered around the future redevelopment of Southside Gardens, the planning activities for neighborhood investment will extend to the greater South Lorain, OH community. 

These strategies will be based on community input and may include plans for:

  • Market-responsive mixed-income housing and new community amenities

  • Energy-efficient, sustainable, healthy, and accessible housing units

  • Infill development and re-purposing of deteriorated structures

  • Infrastructure improvements & neighborhood beautification (streets, sidewalks, lighting, parks, etc.)

  • Business development and retention

  • Improved access to workforce development, education, and health services

Planning Area


The area covered by the Choice Neighborhood planning grant includes the geographic boundaries in South Lorain, Ohio:

  • North: Recently reopened Republic Steel Plant, along 28th St

  • South: High-tension power line along 36th St

  • West: Broadway

  • East: Oakwood Park along Grove Ave.


At the center of neighborhood is the target public housing community—Southside Gardens (the Site).


The general approach to determining boundaries was to focus on physical edges, such as the steel plant and high-tension power lines, as well as mixed-use corridors along Broadway and Grove Avenue.

City of Lorain map with project target area
Simple target area map with Southside Gardens highlighted

Choice Neighborhoods employs a "Housing, People, and Neighborhood" Model


Create opportunities for private and public investments in Southside Gardens and the South Lorain neighborhood to offer amenities and assets that are important to the community.


Improve outcomes for those living in Southside Gardens and the South Lorain neighborhood related to income, employment, education, health, and health services.


Replace distressed public housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is responsive to the needs of residents of both South Gardens and the South Lorain neighborhood.

Planning Phases timeline diagram



  • What is the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative?
    The HUD Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. The program helps communities by revitalizing distressed public (and/or assisted) housing while investing and leveraging investments in: Well-functioning services and public assets High quality public schools/education programs High quality early learning programs/services Public transportation and mobility Improved access to jobs The program ensures that current residents will benefit from redevelopment by providing residents the choice to move into affordable and accessible housing in their current neighborhood or another existing neighborhood of opportunity. The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is focused on three core goals: Housing: Transform distressed public and assisted housing into energy efficient, mixed-income housing that is physically and financially viable over the long term. People: Support positive outcomes for families who live in the target developments and the surrounding neighborhood, particularly outcomes related to residents’ education, health and recreation, safety, employment, and mobility; and Neighborhood: Transform distressed neighborhoods into viable, mixed-income neighborhoods with access to well-functioning services, high quality public schools and education programs, high quality early learning programs and services, public assets, public transportation, and improved access to jobs.
  • Where Do LMHA and the City of Lorain Fit In?
    LMHA and the City of Lorain must develop a comprehensive revitalization plan for Southside Gardens and the surrounding South Lorain community, Southside Gateway. This Plan will become the guiding document for redevelopment of Southside Gardens while simultaneously transforming the surrounding neighborhood. To successfully develop and implement the Southside Gateway Community Plan, LMHA will work with Southside Gardens residents, public and private agencies, community and philanthropic organizations, neighborhood residents, and other identified individuals and stakeholder groups to gather and leverage resources needed to support the strategic and financial sustainability of the Plan.
  • What Happens Now?
    The planning process kicked off in March of 2023, and will be completed in late 2024. The completed plan will be used to support redevelopment of Southside Gardens, creation of additional affordable units in the community, and economic investment and opportunity. LMHA and the City may apply for a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant, if such funding is available.
  • Why Is The South Lorain Community So Important?
    South Lorain was selected for this grant because of multiple factors, which include the location and condition of Southside Gardens, the demographics, the needs of the community, and the alignment with both LMHA’s and the City’s goals and priorities. There has been little housing investment or revitalization since Southside Garden’s founding. Despsite the challenges faced by the the community there is significant investment in South Lorain by community partners that is creating momentum and serves as catalyst for change.
  • What Do We Hope To Achieve With The Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant?
    The grant will be used to bring the community and planning partners together to create a viable and actionable Southside Gateway Community Plan, which can be implemented utilizing a variety of local, state, and national resources. The grant will also be utilized to develop and construct an early action project that will benefit all residents of the community. Southside Gardens includes 111 units of public housing built in 1966. The Southside Gateway Community Plan will seek to replace 100% of those housing units within the neighborhood, or in other areas of opportunity as part of new mixed-income developments.
  • How Will We Work With The Community?
    Residents are the most important part of the Choice Neighborhood Grant planning process. Southside Garden residents, the planning team, elected officials, and philanthropic partners will work together to design a plan that includes their vision of what a neighborhood should look like and what services and amenities need to be provided.
  • How Can This Benefit The Neighborhood In The Short-Term?
    The planning team will dedicate approximately $200,000 to identify and build an “Early Action Activity” in late 2023-early 2024 that will have an immediate positive benefit for the community. We need your involvement to help come up with these important ideas!
  • Does The Planning Process Include Construction of New Housing?
    No, this process ONLY involves planning and the implementation of a smaller “Early Action Project.” Construction of housing, retail, and other larger improvements would happen later based on community input and available resources.
  • What Is The Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant?
    Following completion of the Plan, LMHA and the City of Lorain may apply for a HUD Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant, if available, which could provide between $30 and $50 million towards Housing, People, and Neighborhood Initiatives.
  • Are There Resident Hiring Opportunities As Part of This Process?
    Yes, we are looking to identify four Community Ambassadors to assist with resident engagement, data gathering, and Plan feedback. Ambassadors will receive a stipend.
bottom of page