The Beat the Blight Project Team meets regularly to identify blighted areas, make decisions to steer the direction of the Beat the Blight campaign, and provide feedback on the success of the project as the work progresses. The Project Team also engages and deploys a team of paid residents to clean up trash-filled areas throughout the neighborhood.
The Beat the Blight Campaign was started by neighborhood residents in an effort to clean up and beautify long blighted areas of the neighborhood. Each year, CHCA organizes two cycles for Beat the Blight -- in the Spring and Fall. In each cycle, the goal is to address at least 20 vacant and abandoned properties.
The Neighborhood History Project Team meets on a monthly basis and includes residents and community partners. CHCA was recently awarded a technical assistance grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission to train residents on how to lead neighborhood-based history projects.
Partnering with residents and block associations, CHCA will support resident leaders in organizing beautification projects for their blocks. These projects can include sprucing up front yards with regularly mowed lawns and flower pots to seasonal activities like Fall Harvest decor or Winter holiday decorations. CHCA also organizes neighborhood clean ups throughout the Spring and Summer.
Unfortunately, improperly planted trees are causing sidewalks throughout the neighborhood to buckle. Repairing these sidewalks is the responsibility of the homeowner. This disproporationately affects residents with limited incomes who are already struggling with basic maintenance. In addition to leverage public funding to fix sidewalks, CHCA also assists residents with accessing other resources, like the city's Facade Improvement Program.
CHCA plans to leverage its new office space as a resource center to help connect neighborhood residents to existing support services. CHCA will survey residents for the top services needed and then work with those partners to host onsite workshops, registration sessions, and one-on-one and small group meetings.
The city's Home Façade Program was establised to "create a sense of pride of ownership, preserve or increase the value of residential properties in the City of Newark, beautify neighborhoods, and correct existing code violations by providing funding for certain exterior repairs and improvements."
Grants up to $15,000 are available to owner-occupied residents who meet the city's eligibility criteria. Funds are awarded as a loan. After five years, if the resident remains in the property, the loan is converted to a grant.
Funding can be used to cover the costs of --