Habitat Omaha’s Neighborhood Revitalization (NR) program is a multi-faceted, block-by-block community development model that unites all of Habitat Omaha’s programs (new home construction, renovations, critical home repairs, beautification projects and demolitions) with data collection and coalition building for more significant neighborhood transformation. As building programs are implemented within a focus area, the NR team works to strengthen the neighborhood association, provide referrals to address other community needs and bring people together through special events and beautification projects, like Rock the Block.
Rock the Block
Rock the Block events help transform the face of a block in just one day. Building on our mission to reconnect the community, Rock the Block is all about neighbors helping neighbors. During each day-long event, dozens of volunteers converge on a block to help with the transformation through a variety of beautification and exterior repair projects. Through these projects we aim to inspire people to become active participants in their neighborhoods.
Neighborhood Revitalization Focus Areas
Deer Park in South Omaha was our first NR focus area. Since work began in 2011, hundreds of properties have benefitted from our NR Program. This work includes newly built and renovated homes, demolishing vacant and condemned houses, repairing owner-occupied homes and minor home repairs, landscaping and clean-up.
The Deer Park Neighborhood Association has also flourished with increased membership, including Habitat Omaha Homeowners. Increased membership has resulted in a better relationship with the city and new strategic initiatives that include collaboration, engagement of members and addressing community concerns like graffiti.
Kountze Park has become the site of Habitat Omaha’s largest and most geographically focused development projects, including Builders Blitz events (photos below). It has attracted the attention of key community stakeholders and provided a successful model for neighborhood revitalization efforts in Omaha and beyond.
Over the years, more than 20,000 community volunteers joined future Habitat Omaha homeowners to build homes, break-down social barriers and dispel myths and stereotypes about North Omaha. Passionate neighbors became involved to welcome people to their community and work together to find solutions to address challenges.
NR efforts began in Adams Park with our 2017 Home Builders Blitz (photos below). This event resulted in demolishing three condemned houses and building 11 homes on one block. Since then, we have built an additional 29 new homes, completed 7 critical repairs on owner-occupied houses, demolished 8 vacant or condemned houses and completed over 30 beautification projects.
Miller Park/Minne Lusa
Habitat Omaha implemented its NR Program in the Miller Park/Minne Lusa neighborhood in 2017. Over the past few years, we have helped transform the neighborhood through new home builds, renovations, critical repairs, demolitions and Rock the Block beautification projects.