Monday, August 31, 2009

A fresh look through a new lens

Saturday morning the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation, a newly formed non-profit CDC, toured the Idora Neighborhood with residents from the neighborhood, community organizers, and myself.

David Boehlke from New Orleans, LA and Joel Owens from Akron, two nationally recognized community development experts, joined the tour. It was interesting to get an outside perspective on the overall condition of the neighborhood. These two agreed that there are more opportunities in this neighborhood than challenges.

The modest and affordable housing offers a unique marketability for reestablishing homeownership. The neighborhood is comprised of approximately 750 housing units, of which 67 percent are owner-occupied.

NSP funds will be targeted in the neighborhood to remove 48 abandoned houses and conduct acquisition and rehabilitation of a minimum of six housing units. CDA has already completed 17 owner-occupied housing projects with $450,000 of HOME, CDBG, and Lead abatement funds. The Idora Neighborhood will be the first of the Youngstown 2010 “model of sustainability” projects.

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