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Neighborhoods 🏘 Neighborhood stabilization and redevelopment


Our local election runoffs are about a month away. I think one of the topics that will be on the forefront afterwards in really ramping up efforts to improve and stabilize some of our older and poorer neighborhoods. Most of my previous experiences have been in affluent communities and community development is definitely one of my weak spots. I'm trying to find good primers/reading on best practices or even better, successful programs that we can model.

We have resources to work with and have been slowly improving infrastructure and parks in these areas, demolishing extremely substandard housing, and trying to work with owner-occupied substandard housing to bring it up to code. Gentrification is a rising issue in a few areas where we've made some improvements. A lot of the housing is rough and good deal of it rental with less than stellar landlords.

Background - Blue collar community of 30,000 with roughly 50/40/7 white/African-American/Hispanic mix.


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Early in my career I worked in a similar sized town that also had a small college (less than 5K students).

It was successful in passing a rental registration ordinance which had no registration fee but required the property owner to provide contact information and nominate a person responsible for the property if they lived more than 60 miles away. This database was linked with code enforcement/public works so we were able to identify the properties with the most issues. Code enforcement was able to prioritize the more problem properties, cite them and order repairs, or send public works out for clean & lien.

Owner occupied properties that are substandard are more difficult to deal with. Homeowner rehab/repair programs often funded with HOME or CDBG funds help fill that need for low income households. Not sure if your town is an entitlement community, if it's not then you can apply to the state for funding for a program. Connecting owners and rental property owners with the state's Weatherization Assistance Program also can help a lot.