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Enriched Neighborhood® Revitalization

Through the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, Habitat for Humanity expands its services outward into the community, in order to assist more families and partners in reaching the goal of revitalization and self-sufficiency.

A complex concept can best be explained by a simple example. In our NRI program, one project was to serve our veterans in need of services more comprehensively by assisting the highly attended American Legion Post 507 in Newhall in reestablishing self-sufficient programming. This facility paid for their program by renting its space for events-but the hall was old and downtrodden. To address this, we led a campaign for fundraising, including a motorcycle run and a comedy night, and performed the complete rehabilitation of the American Legion hall. Now rehabilitated, the hall is once again vibrant, rented out regularly, and paying for ongoing needed veteran programs. Thus, the NRI serves more families by responding to community needs with an expanded array of products, services and partnerships, enhancing the quality of life for all.

The Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative was designed to transform neighborhoods using a holistic approach. Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV is joining residents, nonprofits, businesses, local governments and communities of faith to create and implement a shared vision of revitalization.

Collaboration with other local groups is an essential ingredient of the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. This includes:

  • Working with residents and other significant stakeholders in the community to develop a common plan of recovery and vision for the future.
  • Forging both formal and informal partnerships and alliances at the local level.
  • Joining or forming community coalitions.
  • Rallying active neighborhood support.
  • Advocating public policy for local housing initiatives.

Together, Habitat for Humanity, neighborhood residents and local partners can change the face of neighborhoods and the lives of the families who live there—forever.

In our Santa Clarita NRI neighborhood, approximately bordered by Golden Valley Road, Soledad Canyon Road, Railroad Avenue, Newhall Avenue, and Sierra Highway, we are building 87 homes in an Enriched Neighborhood® for veterans; this is in response to the community need for more housing for their low-income veteran population, especially those recently returning from service. These 87 veteran families and the local schools, non-profits, government and businesses surrounding the community make up the voices of our Santa Clarita NRI selected area. These voices share with us what they would like to see done in their community to better, not only the lives of our veteran families, but their neighbors, as well.

Our current response and action as a result of the Santa Clarita NRI area’s shared vision is:

  1. 87 homes in an Enriched Neighborhood® for veteransThe “SCV Habitat for Heroes” Enriched Neighborhood® includes:
    • Urban community garden
    • Playground
    • ADA compliant and Fully ADA accessible housing for disabled veterans
    • at minimum – Energy Star Certified homes
  2. American Legion Post 507
  3. Bridge to Home – Partnership to expand Healthy Lives Dental to two days a month to serve our Habitat families as well as more Bridge to Home clients.
  4. Bringing art workshops for trauma victims, a part of our Enrichment Services, to the students at Bowman High School. Bowman High School was selected due to its large number of students who are connected to or going into the military, the fact that three of its students have been tragically lost in the War on Terror, the incredible curriculum of the school, and the dedication of its students and staff. This program strives to provide a creative outlet for these students who have experienced trauma, loss and separation from family. As the students draw, sculpt, paint and write, they have begun to create a culture of healing in their school community. As the students grow, that culture will also grow into the larger community
  5. Adding a Bus stop closer to the SCV Enriched Neighborhood® and Bowman High School
  6. Adding a Stop Sign
  7. Adding a walkway for the neighboring Preschool, Creative Years
  8. Providing funding to The Child and Family Center for their veteran specific services, so that our veteran families can get counseling, if needed, at no charge to the family.
  9. 4 Veterans Build Critical Home Repairs/Disability Modifications

In our San Fernando Valley NRI neighborhood, bordered by the 210 Fwy, 5 Fwy, and Osborne Street, in the North East Valley, we have recently completed a 61 home Enriched Neighborhood® in Pacoima for hard working, low-income families. We are currently building a 12-home Enriched Neighborhood® for low-income veteran families. Veteran-specific housing was chosen for the Sylmar area, due to its high population of veterans. In fact, the LA Times reports that Sylmar has one of the country’s highest percentages of veterans who have served in conflicts. These 12 veteran families and the local schools, non-profits, government and businesses surrounding the community make up the voices of our San Fernando Valley NRI selected area. These voices share with us what they would like to see done in their community to better, not only the lives of our veteran families, but their neighbors, as well.

Our current response and action as a result of the SFV NRI area’s shared vision is:

  1. 12-home Enriched Neighborhood® for veteransThe Sylmar Enriched Neighborhood® includes:
    • Urban community garden
    • Tot lot for children
    • ADA compliant homes
    • At minimum – Energy Star Certified homes
    • Gated community
  2. 61-home Enriched Neighborhood® for hard-working low-income familiesThe Sylmar Enriched Neighborhood® includes:
    • Urban community garden
    • Tot lot for children
    • ADA compliant homes
    • Energy Star Certified homes
    • Gated community
  3. Rehabbed donated condominium in Sylmar for single low-income veteran
  4. Work closely with Sylmar High School’s horticulture program to provide vegetables, trees, and plants to our families in both Enriched Neighborhoods®
  5. Bringing in new veteran members to the VFW in Sylmar (only blocks away from the new Enriched Neighborhood®)
  6. Provide annual “Safe” Halloween party to the Enriched Neighborhoods® and their surrounding community, including neighbors from Section 8 housing.
  7. Completed a Critical Home Repair at a Sylmar Condo for a low-income veteran family, while there, we re-painted the community’s wrought iron fencing and curbs.

Northeast San Fernando Valley Sustainability and Prosperity Strategy

Project Overview

The Northeast San Fernando Valley Sustainability & Prosperity Strategy is a highly-ambitious endeavor that covers an area the size of Cleveland, with an even greater population―half a million residents. As substantial as the Northeast Valley region is, there is a tendency for it not to be recognized as a quarter of the fifth largest metropolitan area in the United States―the San Fernando Valley.

PROJECT AREA The core area covered includes the City of San Fernando, Community Plan areas of the City of Los Angeles: Arleta-Pacoima, Mission Hills-Panorama City, Sun Valley-La Tuna Canyon, Sunland-Tujunga-Lakeview Terrace-East La Tuna Canyon, Sylmar; and selected unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

This once-rich farmland of olives and citrus gave way to the suburban middle class at the end of WWII, and was absorbed into the vast suburban landscape of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. Owing to the modesty of the housing, and proximity of heavy industry and aggregates, the northeast became the de facto center of affordable housing for the region. Unfortunately, some of the same industries and activities that provided post-war job opportunities, also had a dramatic effect on the quality of life, and the residents of the region.

One of the pillars of this strategy will be to build on an environmental justice agenda being ably led by a cadre of local non-profits applying the principles of SCAG’s Compass Blueprint strategy. After many years and lengthy processes, the Compass strategy comes down to a few core principles:

Mobility – Livability – Prosperity and Sustainability

Applying the subsequently enacted mandates of California Assembly Bill 32 and Senate Bill 375, we arrive at a primary strategic goal: Linking land use and transportation planning to support community sustainability.

A key element is developing an overriding strategy for LOCATION EFFICIENCY to complement transit modes and technologies being identified and brought on line by SCAG and Metro. By rethinking the basic urban form of our communities, we can enjoy the dividends of reduced travel times, and reduced fuel consumption. The result is less environmental impact, and more time to enjoy an improved quality of life.

By planning our Town Centers better, we can assure a full range of amenities and assets close to our neighborhoods and in many cases accessible by transportation alternatives, including active transportation (non-motorized transit modes). By re-industrializing manufacturing, we can eliminate toxics, pollution and blight, while preserving the economic base, cultivating employment and promoting prosperity.

Northeast San Fernando Valley Sustainability and Prosperity Strategy

THANK YOU TO OUR MAJOR SPONSORS & PARTNERS