In 2011 Habitat for Humanity launched its neighborhood revitalization initiative nationwide. While the largest private builder in the world, Habitat believed it should and could do more to address the need for affordable housing and to revitalize neighborhoods where this housing often resides. Because of the low number of affordable homes in our County, HFHSLOCO immediately became a Neighborhood Revitalization Affiliate and to work to preserve and revitalize our existing affordable housing stock and low-income neighborhoods. Currently HFHSLOCO has established a community coalition that is working in Sierra Bonita Village, a senior community in Paso Robles, and will begin establishing a coalition in Oceano to work in a neighborhood there.
The Mission of Neighborhood Revitalization
Neighborhood Revitalization serves more families by responding to community aspirations with an expanded array of products, services, and partnerships, thereby empowering residents to revive their neighborhoods and enhance their quality of life. Neighborhood revitalization is not a change in Habitat’s mission because community building has always been a part of what we do. Prior to the launch of Neighborhood Revitalization, Habitat affiliates across the country were already participating in neighborhood-based partnerships as the most effective and efficient way to serve as many families as possible.
The Vision of Neighborhood Revitalization
Habitat’s vision is to revitalize neighborhoods into vibrant, safe, and inviting places to live for current and future residents. Revitalization happens through the hard work of engaged citizens, partnerships with civic and business groups and a renewed community spirit.
Neighborhood Revitalization’s Goals
- To serve more families through an expanded array of housing products: In order to serve as many families as possible, especially in a specific or focus neighborhood, Habitat has moved from concentrating only on new house construction to including house preservation, weatherization, and rehabilitation in their construction offerings.
- To demonstrate an improved quality of life in the communities Habitat serves: Historically Habitat had one metric – how many houses were built or, more recently, how many families were served. Neighborhood Revitalization has introduced outcome evaluation as a means of determining the qualitative impact of the work Habitat, and its community partners, will do in focus neighborhoods.
- To broaden the base of Habitat’s financial support: Many Habitat affiliates have found that Neighborhood Revitalization is an intriguing and innovative program that many organizations are willing and excited to fund. Affiliates are receiving funding from new donors that were eager to fund Neighborhood Revitalization because it demonstrates impact on an entire community.
- To increase volunteer participation: Neighborhood Revitalization opens up new volunteer opportunities both through increased housing products and the possibility of mobilizing Habitat volunteers to work on other volunteer-appropriate projects in a neighborhood’s revitalization.