Welcome to Roger Williams Homes and Three Mile Trace Neighborhood Choice Neighborhoods Initiative website. The final version of the Choice Neighborhoods Plan has been approved by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and may be reviewed by clicking here. Mobile Housing Board welcomes your input and comments on the Plan. To provide input, please click on “Comment and Participate.
Roger Williams Homes is a 453-unit public housing development located a half mile from downtown Mobile. Built in 1954, Roger Williams Homes is severely distressed, with many of the units located within a flood zone. The neighborhood, Three Mile Trace, also has several additional distressed properties and a long-term vacancy rate of 24 percent, almost 4 times as high as the surrounding county.
Once a hub for African-American businesses, hotels and entertainment, the Three Mile Trace neighborhood experienced significant disinvestment as steel, paper and chemical production jobs disappeared. As the local economy weakened, crime and drug use increased. Today, the neighborhood’s poverty rate is 50 percent and its Part I Violent Crime rate is over three times that of the City of Mobile. Amidst these challenges, Three Mile Trace also has several opportunities for growth. The neighborhood contains the historic community of AfricaTown, and there is an ongoing effort to preserve African memories, culture, and community. Bishop State Community College and several major medical institutions are located nearby. The University of South Alabama’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital, located across the street from the neighborhood’s southern boundary, recently completed a multi-million construction project that can help attract additional private investment.
The City of Mobile is also preparing a multi-million dollar redevelopment plan for the larger downtown area, which includes the Three Mile Trace Neighborhood. The Mobile Housing Board, along with the City of Mobile and the Mobile Area Education Foundation, will use the Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant to develop a community-driven Transformation Plan that will revitalize the Three Mile Trace neighborhood, improving educational opportunities and bolstering community amenities. Informed by the active support of the Mobile County Public School System, Bishop State Community College, the Mobile Police and Fire Departments, the Roger Williams Residents’ Association and several local nonprofits, this Transformation Plan will build upon current initiatives to create a safe, economically-viable and family-friendly neighborhood with improved opportunities for all.