Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (AL-7) announced that $500,000 has been awarded to the City of Selma on behalf of the Selma-Dallas County Historic Preservation Society for redevelopment of the YMCA Building built in 1885. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds were awarded through the Hope VI Main Street Grant Program.

“I am delighted that the City of Selma has received this grant from HUD to revitalize its historic YMCA building. There is a great need for affordable housing in Dallas County, Alabama. I am pleased that this critical funding will provide affordable housing units while revitalizing Selma’s historic YMCA building, one of the oldest YMCA buildings in Alabama. I look forward to what the city and its historical preservationists are going to be able to do with this grant,” said Congresswoman Sewell.

“We are proud to be the only city in the nation to receive this funding from HUD. This assistance will certainly help improve the quality and atmosphere of downtown Selma,” Selma Mayor George Evans stated. “This grant will restore the vitality of downtown Selma. I am thankful to Congresswoman Sewell, the Selma City Council and all of those who contributed to Selma’s receipt of this grant, including Jewell Williamson, Sylvia Smith and Henry Thompson for their teamwork. I am proud of this recognition and am looking forward to what this means for the future of our city.

The purpose of the HOPE VI Main Street Program is to provide assistance to smaller communities in the development of affordable housing in connection with a Main Street revitalization effort. This program provides funding for communities to reconfigure commercial offices or buildings that can be revitalized into rent producing affordable housing. The YMCA building will have capacity for future retail or office space on the first floor. A one-bedroom handicap unit will also occupy the remainder of the first floor. The second level will be developed into two two-bedroom units and three one-bedroom units, yielding a total of six newly constructed housing units. The building has a third level, but no plans have been made for it at this time. The historic YMCA building is three blocks from the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where civil rights demonstrators were attacked by Alabama State Troopers on “Bloody Sunday” in 1965. The events of “Bloody Sunday” in Selma were pivotal in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


Contact: Hillary Beard           202.225.2665