Vital Neighborhoods InitiativeRevitalizing Philadelphia Neighborhoods One Block at a Time
The Vital Neighborhoods Initiative intends to strengthen “middle-market” neighborhoods one block at time. These are neighborhoods that have strengths but could benefit from additional targeted reinvestment to maintain continued positive growth and promote their unique history. The focus of the Initiative is to build on the existing strengths of the neighborhood and promote a unique sense of place.
The program intends to achieve these objectives through investments in the public environment and support for activities to highlight neighborhoods for potential home buyers.
Program goals include:
- Encouraging home improvements and exterior upgrading by current residents.
- Attracting new buyers and promoting home ownership in the neighborhood.
- Marketing changes to current and potential home owners to stimulate further positive investment in the neighborhood.
- Expanding neighborhood pride and neighborliness through involvement of residents in neighborhood projects and events.
The Vital Neighborhoods Initiative offers two grant opportunities to eligible neighborhoods:
Small Grants (up to $5,000) Intended to carry out a project that will enhance the public environment or the marketability of residential properties in a neighborhood. Projects can make a visible improvement to the public environment of a residential block, or have a marketing focus, which can include such activities as a neighborhood website, a neighborhood brochure or an historic preservation project or survey.
Large Grants (up to $30,000) Intended to carry out a project that will improve the public environment of a residential block in a target area of the neighborhood. Work should concentrate on one block in a target area that is related to the strongest section of the neighborhood. This may include façade improvements, street-scaping or improvements on private property that contribute to the public environment.
2011-12 Eligible Vital Neighborhoods
Belmont Village, West Philadelphia
Cedar Park, West Philadelphia
Fairmount, North Philadelphia
Fishtown, North Philadelphia
Holmesburg, Northeast Philadelphia
Penn Knox, Germantown
Pomona Cherokee, Germantown
Powelton Village, West Philadelphia
Roxborough, Northwest Philadelphia
Saunders Park, West Philadelphia
Tacony, Northeast Philadelphia
Walnut Hill, West Philadelphia
West Powelton, West Philadelphia
Wynnefield, West Philadelphia
Yorktown, North Philadelphia
Criteria for Neighborhood Selection
The Alliance uses three criteria to determine eligible neighborhoods for funding: 1) Baseline information provided by The Reinvestment Fund that mapped median residential sales prices, median income and percentages of vacancy; 2) Neighborhoods that are listed on The National Register of Historic Places or that are eligible for listing; and 3) Neighborhoods that are Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) eligible.
If you are interested in the Vital Neighborhoods Initiative and feel that your neighborhood meets at least two of the above criteria, please contact Patrick Hauck at email@example.com or 215-546-1146 x4
2012 VITAL NEIGHBORHOODS INITIATIVE PROJECTS
$5,000 Grant awarded in 2011-2012
Holmesburg: The Holmesburg Civic Association installed and unveiled a Pennsylvania Historical State Marker commemorating the Pennypack Creek Bridge and published a brochure showcasing the unique history of Holmesburg,
$30,000 Grants awarded in 2011-12
Fairmount: The Fairmount CDC implemented residential block-scape improvement on the 2800 block of Cambridge Street in Fairmount. Improvements concentrated on the existing built infrastructure, including steps and retaining walls, landscaping improvements and exterior improvements.
Powelton Village Civic Association developed and implemented the Historic Paving Repair and Restoration Program which provided small grants to help homeowners subsidize the repair and restoration of the neighborhood's brick sidewalks.
Tacony: The Historical Society of Tacony, in collaboration with the Tacony Community Development Corporation, hired a preservation consultant to survey and document the entire historic Disston Estate
in preparation for nominating that portion of Tacony as historic district on both the National Register of Historic Places and the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.
Roxborough: Roxborough Development Corporation developed the “Roxborough Front Porch Project”, a pilot program focusing on the refurbishing of historic front porches along the two nit blocks of Lyceum Street.
Belmont Village: The Belmont Village Community Association will be utilizing a $30,000 VNI grant in 2013 to construct the first phase of the neighborhood gateway with signage along the 4500 block of Conshohocken Avenue, a key entry point to the neighborhood. (The gateway was designed with funding from a 2010 VNI Service Grant.)
About the Vital Neighborhood Initiative
The Vital Neighborhoods Initiative is modeled after the very successful Healthy Neighborhoods Program in Baltimore, MD. In March of 2010, the Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) and NeighborhoodsNow selected the Preservation Alliance to continue the Vital Neighborhoods Initiative begun by NeighborhoodsNow with support from OHCD. The Alliance is grateful to the board of directors of NeighborhoodsNow for establishing this program and for bringing the Healthy Neighborhoods concept to Philadelphia.
Click here to download the NeighborhoodsNow report Protecting Philadelphia’s Backbone: A Strategy for Vital Neighborhoods, by Paul Brophy and Thomas Burns (1.4 MB).
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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