Healthy Neighborhoods helps strong but undervalued neighborhoods increase home values, market their communities, create high standards for property improvement and forge strong connections among neighbors. Using its capacity to attract and invest public and private capital, HNI has improved neighborhoods throughout Baltimore City. Healthy Neighborhoods uses its capacities and relationships to bring capital on favorable terms to these Baltimore neighborhoods.
- Build homeowners’ assets
- Focus on neighborhood markets
- Target measurable outcomes
- Value neighborhoods as partners
- Forge partnerships among lenders, philanthropies and neighborhoods
What We’ve Learned
- Strategies are based upon the strengths and assets of neighborhoods.
- Neighborhoods compete for new residents.
- Appreciation of property (building assets) is a good thing.
- Encourage and support visible positive neighborhood action.
- Neighbors must be engaged in positive marketing and action (if you complain too much, no one will come).
- Healthy Neighborhoods programs are not income restricted.
- Value is built by over improving property.
- Seek private capital which meets program goals and offers modest subsidy.
- Build a community-oriented system to mitigate risk.
- Start on strongest blocks first.
- Demand measurable results.
- An active “leadership board.”
- Use capacity for other community development activities.
- CRA enforcement and local empowered management matter.
How Does Healthy Neighborhoods Help?
- Capital for purchase and rehab by homeowners
- Professional advice for rehabbers
- Community projects which support positive images
- Neighborhood marketing
- Performance measures
- Advocates for the Healthy Neighborhoods philosophy
Partnership with Baltimore City
- Capital to acquire and rehabilitate homes
- A positive vision for city neighborhoods
- Delivery of key city services
- Acquisition of vacant properties
- Support for community partners
How Do We Know It’s Working?
- Increased home values
- Rising tax base
- Decreased time on market
- Increased equity investments
- Neighborhood organization and activity
A Different Way of Investing in Neighborhoods
- Conventional: Make houses safe, code-compliant
- Healthy Neighborhoods: Restore market values so people can invest confidently.
- Conventional: Repair as many houses as possible in as large an area as possible
- Healthy Neighborhoods: Target properties and blocks for maximum market impact
- Conventional: Houses, households with greatest needs
- Healthy Neighborhoods: Diverse households with potential to raise income and maintenance standards
- Conventional: Government subsidies; distribute funds by regulation
- Healthy Neighborhoods: Variety of market-oriented incentives
- Conventional: Enforce minimum standards
- Healthy Neighborhoods: Create high expectations
- Conventional: Help borrowers with financial challenges
- Healthy Neighborhoods: Provide range of consumer support, market the neighborhood, encourage block projects and resident leadership