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.
Types of Projects:
- Light Landscaping
- Brush Removal
- Minor Exterior Repairs…and more!
To learn more about volunteering during an upcoming Rock the Block, contact Jenny Schroeder, Volunteer Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 884-5782.
Neighborhood Revitalization Focus Areas
Deer Park in South Omaha was our first NR focus area. Since work began in 2011, 9 vacant, condemned houses have been demolished, 9 homes have been built or renovated and sold to low-income families, 12 owner-occupied homes have been repaired and 75 properties have benefited from minor repairs, landscaping and clean-up (Rock the Block photos below).
Additionally, the Deer Park Neighborhood Association has flourished with increased membership, including Habitat Omaha Homeowners, a better relationship with the city and new strategic initiatives that include collaboration, engagement of members and addresses community concerns like graffiti.
Kountze Park has become the site of Habitat Omaha’s largest and most geographically focused development projects, including three Builders Blitz events (photos below), to date. It has attracted the attention of key community stakeholders and provided a successful model for neighborhood revitalization efforts in Omaha and beyond.
Over the past three years, we have torn down 26 condemned houses, built or renovated 46 homes, provided 55 repairs/beautification projects and helped to revive the neighborhood association. 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). Through this event, three condemned houses were demolished and 11 homes were built on one block. Over the next three years, we will build an additional 29 new homes, complete 7 critical repairs on owner-occupied houses, demolish 8 vacant, condemned houses and complete at least 30 beautification projects.
Miller Park/Minne Lusa
Our work is just beginning in the historic Miller Park/Minne Lusa neighborhood with a Rock the Block event in the summer of 2017. Over the next few years we will continue to help transform the neighborhood through new home builds, renovations, critical repairs, demolitions and additional beautification projects.
Questions, comments or concerns about our NR program? Contact Emily Nohner, Program Director, at email@example.com or (402) 884-7417.