DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The city has received a federal grant aimed at helping officials revitalize parts of west Dayton.

Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $1.5 million to Dayton to create a plan to redevelop DeSoto Bass Courts and Hilltop Homes into a mixed-income area.

The two communities have a high crime rate and  many residents living below the poverty line. City leaders hope the grant will help create better economic opportunities.

‘It will help us provide the safe, affordable housing these residents deserve. It will increase access to resources and opportunities and provide steadfastness,” said Jennifer Heapy, CEO of Greater Dayton Premier Management (GDPM), the local public housing authority.

HUD granted funding to 10 communities. Dayton and Phoenix received the largest awards. Mayor Nan Whaley says this is a great leap forward for the region.

“To make sure we can provide not only housing, but communities that people in Dayton want to be a part of, participate in, live in and love. That’s what’s so important about this announcement,” said Whaley.

The planning process is expected to take two years. When it’s finished, the city will apply for a $30 million implementation grant to make it happen.