An approach to neighborhood improvement
Because neighborhood revitalization involves more than just housing development, NHS designed an innovative project in 2004 to address factors other than housing that impact a community. The Revitalization Demonstration Project (RDP) was designed as a holistic approach to revitalization that considered the effects of public image, market forces, neighborhood management, and physical conditions on a neighborhood. As a result, the RDP included community building, marketing, publicity, and strategic partnerships in its efforts to stabilize selected targeted neighborhoods.
The RDP model served as a unique, comprehensive, and innovative approach that empowered residents to take charge of their neighborhoods. RDP initiatives included block parties, organized street clean-ups and tree plantings that actively connected residents to each other and to the resources necessary to sustain community development.
Lessons and successes from our first RDP were shared with other New Haven communities through the development of a citywide Neighborhood Revitalization Institute (NRI) that continues to investigate and apply holistic strategies to community building by encouraging individual homeownership and greater community engagement. The RDP gave rise to NHS of New Haven’s clustering strategy that is in evidence today throughout Newhallville and on Stevens Street in the Hill neighborhood.