In addition to providing affordable homeownership opportunities for our working family partners, Habitat Chesapeake has adapted the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI) to rejuvenate each community as a whole.
Through community development, we are able to provide a multi-level commitment to family partners, as well as those already residing in the neighborhoods. Serving the entire community allows Habitat Chesapeake to partner with more families, thus making a more significant impact.
Goals of Neighborhood Revitalization
The Habitat Chesapeake NRI program has four primary goals:
- To serve more families through an expanded array of housing products;
- To improve the quality of life in the communities where we serve;
- To broaden the base of Habitat Chesapeake's financial support;
- To increase volunteer participation.
To accomplish these goals, Habitat Chesapeake employees and volunteers work with residents to identify and prioritize the needs of each community. Staff and volunteers survey community members and host monthly meetings to help residents identify the assets and needs of their community. Based on these needs, Habitat Chesapeake facilitates the creation of a revitalization plan designed to use the community's existing strengths and Habitat Chesapeake's resources to address the community's needs. Over time, staff, volunteers and community members monitor and evaluate the progress and impact of the revitalization plan.
Committed to Community Development
Neighborhood revitalization is not one single project; rather, it is a multi-year, long-term commitment. Through NRI, Habitat Chesapeake is dedicated to staying active in our communities. While we continue to build affordable homes, the success and happiness of our partner families and neighbors relates directly to the strength of the community. Through neighborhood revitalization, Habitat Chesapeake is able to be a vital part of building safe and enjoyable places to live throughout Central Maryland.
While Habitat Chesapeake is proud to facilitate community development, it cannot be done without partnership. Local residents, businesses, civic groups and other local organizations have joined together to create change through these neighborhood revitalization efforts. Engaging individuals and groups within a community helps to develop a renewed spirit. Through collaboration, neighborhoods truly transform.
Currently, Habitat Chesapeake is focusing NRI efforts in the Brooklyn, McCabe and Mt. Winans communities within Baltimore City. The initiative begins with surveying community members, hosting monthly community meetings open to all residents and evaluating the neighborhoods from a statistical standpoint. Key indicators are used to provide a statistical glimpse into aspects of each neighborhood. These community vitality indicators are evaluated in the beginning of NRI, as well as throughout the entire process, to evaluate the impact of the revitalization efforts.
Key indicators include:
- Crime rates
- Homeownership rates
- Access to safe outdoor recreation areas, green space and environmental amenities
Our focus neighborhoods are already showing signs of change as a result of these community transformation efforts. In the coming years, Habitat Chesapeake will continue NRI efforts in these neighborhoods and expand to other communities in which we build.