|By Ascala Sisk, senior manager, |
In recent years NeighborWorks has launched a number of initiatives to respond to the impact foreclosed and vacant properties have on families and communities. Now we are pleased to add another tool to the foreclosure response and community stabilization toolbox. Last week, NeighborWorks America’s Stable Communities Initiative publicly launched the Neighborhood Marketing Program, a new initiative to stabilize communities by helping to restore stakeholder confidence and build market demand.
We started this program understanding efforts to stabilize communities need to do more than restore housing. To build strong communities, the case needs to be made for investment, both by current and by future residents and businesses. For that reason, we are supporting a group of high capacity organizations that have made significant neighborhood investments with additional tools and funding to work with resident leaders to reframe the image of their community, improve stakeholder perceptions and build market demand.
Sixteen organizations in the NeighborWorks Network were competitively selected to participate in the 2012-2013 pilot program.These organizations will receive approximately $50,000 in grants and technical assistance to create neighborhood marketing and branding campaigns. Over the next several months, all of the recipients of the Neighborhood Marketing Initiative grants will begin working with residents, stakeholders and marketing coaches to develop plans to move their communities forward.
At NeighborWorks, we see the Neighborhood Marketing Initiative as a natural extension of our existing leadership in helping residents, local nonprofits, and other businesses respond to the foreclosure crisis and build strong communities. As part of that, CEO Eileen Fitzgerald, pledged the Neighborhood Marketing Program as the NeighborWorks America commitment to action at the recent Clinton Global Initiative America. With this public commitment, we hope to engage more partners in supporting this and similar neighborhood-based recovery efforts.
Check out www.StableCommunities.org/marketing for more on the program and updates on how things are going. You can also download our new case studies report here.