Looking to learn more about Neighborhood Revitalization? Below are some common questions. You can also access our Neighborhood Revitalization Media Kit for additional materials and stories of revitalization. If you do not find answers to your questions below, please call us at 417-829-4001 or send a quick email to Kelsey Milholland.
Neighborhood Revitalization (NR) is an approach to serve more families by responding to community goals with a variety of products, services and partnerships that enable residents to revive their neighborhoods and enhance their quality of life.
For Habitat it is about the ability to serve more families by responding to community aspirations with an expanded array of products, services and partnerships, empowering residents to revive their neighborhoods and enhance their quality of life.
As a whole, it’s a collective effort to revitalize neighborhoods into vibrant, safe and inviting places to live for current and future residents. This will happen through the hard work of engaged citizens, partnerships with civic and business groups and a renewed community spirit.
Habitat will continue to provide our traditional services of home build, home repair, and preservation projects in the community. However, through NR we are able to expand the array of service we provide including offering help to homeowners and renters alike, as well as completing community wide projects that impact a larger number of people rather than a specific homeowner. (Example – Rally in the Alley assisted in cleaning alleys which addresses one of the neighborhood goals of clean and safe alleys.)
When Habitat builds, renovates or repairs a home, it benefits one family. One decent home in a blighted neighborhood, while a good start, is not the only help a community needs. NR has a greater impact on a neighborhood because it involves residents and partners working together to make decisions and take action that lift up an entire community. It’s about reinvestment in the community to create a vibrant, safe and inviting place to live. HFHS is just one partner among many that are invested in Woodland Heights and its success.
Depending on the goals outlined by Woodland Heights residents, future NR projects could include working with the government to improve sidewalks, roads, and alley; connecting local businesses with area residents to provide educational programs on topics deemed important; or, establishing a lawn equipment library so homeowners can take better care of their yards.
HFHS is responding to the need for better living conditions for low-income homeowners, particularly in Zone 1. Years of neglect and the lack of investment in Zone 1 neighborhoods have left Springfield’s housing stock in a deteriorating condition. This is according to a recent housing survey conducted by the City of Springfield and reported in Community Focus 2015.
A decent place to live can remove barriers to opportunity, success and health that may benefit a family’s life for years, if not generations. NR is more than just building, repairing and preserving homes.
The success of Woodland Heights and other neighborhoods, benefits everyone through decreased spending in public expenditures (i.e. the cost of juvenile delinquency, teenage pregnancy, etc.) increased tax revenue, new investment and jobs.
As NR develops, we will better understand financial needs for the program as this encompasses projects beyond Habitat's menu of programs. The neighborhood will look to the collaborative efforts of businesses, churches and most importantly the resources encompassed within Woodland Heights to provide funding for all project needs. HFHS is only one spoke on the wheel of the entire program.
NR partners will work hand-in-hand with residents to revive their neighborhood and enhance their quality. The NR format joins residents, area nonprofits, businesses, churches and the local government to discover what is most needed in a neighborhood and to help implement a shared vision of revitalization. When specific needs are determined, specific partners will be asked to support the program.
EXAMPLE: Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, MO partnered with the Springfield Fire Department to have smoke detectors installed in the homes of Woodland Heights residents. On Saturday, October 15, 2016 firefighters knocked on 120 doors to speak to residents about fire safety and installed 20 new smoke detectors.
Woodland Heights was picked as the targeted NR area after a year of research. Habitat staff, board, and committee members visited multiple neighborhood meetings to determine the best fit for the NR program.
Qualifications For Woodland Heights can be found here.