Bartlett Park - help is coming.
UPDDATE: March 2013.
The continuing effort to assist in the turn around of Bartlett Park takes important steps forward this month with the purchase of 6 vacant lots and 3 houses by the city on 14th or 15th Ave S. This is an area where the city has already built or rehabbed several houses. The City's NSP3 funds will be used to rehab these 3 additional homes and to build new houses on the vacant lots. We have learned the critical importance of clustering rehabs and new houses so as to create a critical mass that then leads to the private sector taking over the process. Once that starts, the city can move on to another area.
ORIGINAL POST - 2010
The City has just received Neighborhood Stabilization funds to purchase, rehab and sell foreclosed homes in some of our struggling neighborhoods. I argued without success for many months during the first round of money in late 2009 and early 2010, that it made no sense to rehab or rebuild one house on block and not touch the other boarded houses on the same block. Naturally, the City is struggling to find buyers for those houses.
Fortunately, I was able to convince the Mayor to duplicate the lesson we learned when Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay rehabbed, with our help, several houses on Paris Ave in Bartlett Park. The street was turned around, crime dropped sharped, values increased and the improvements lasted. The Housing Department staff will target a few blocks on another street in Bartlett Park and rehab several houses. I expect that we will then sell the houses reasonably quickly and move to the next targeted area.
I will update this as concrete action approaches.
UPDATE JUNE 2011
Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay is raising money to make improvements to 15 houses surrounding the area where the city will work. I believe we can create sufficient momentum to make a significant difference in the neighborhood.
UPDATE October 2, 2011
The "Paris Project" to improve many of the homes on 15th Ave South is coming together thanks to support from the Mayor, many city departments, Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, Habitat for Humanity and the Urban League. I believe this is the model of how to have real impact in a community. The scattergun approach that has been traditionally used is incapable of bringing the transformative change that many neighborhoods need and is a staggering waste of public and private money. We will launch this project as soon as all the pieces are in place to transform this street.