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Beyond Stabilization

NHS New Haven Street GardenWelcome to Beyond Stabilization. This content was created to help you think about whether and how your organization could engage in broader revitalization planning work. This content was written with the following premises in mind:

  • Many communities impacted the most by foreclosures have underlying economic, demographic, physical, and social factors that have contributed to the issue. Stabilization approaches alone are insufficient to address all of these factors; instead, more comprehensive revitalization approaches are required.
  • All communities impacted by foreclosures also have a unique opportunity, in the midst of crisis, to rethink what they want to become over the long term and establish new directions. Opportunities for physical redevelopment, for community engagement, and for attracting new residents and investors to the neighborhood are just a few of the opportunities that may present themselves. Again, broader thinking that goes beyond the confines of “stabilization planning” can help communities to unlock these opportunities.
  • Many organizations involved in stabilization work are housing organizations, first and foremost. On the other hand, comprehensive revitalization work involves many non-housing strategies, and may also require significant shifts in how housing strategies are shaped and delivered. Organizations contemplating getting involved in revitalization work must think through how they will respond to the many new and different demands this work will place upon them.
  • Most work that people call “comprehensive revitalization” involves planning and implementation at the neighborhood scale (or the village / small town scale in rural settings). At the same time, many regional issues – for example, the state of the regional economy, the regional distributions of jobs and affordable housing, and concentrations of wealth and poverty across a region - play a pivotal role in influencing regional outcomes, as do national issues. An important caveat, when reviewing potential strategies, is to think through the appropriate scale for addressing specific revitalization issues and opportunities. There will be times when working to build a regional coalition around certain issues is more effective than trying to tackle the issue through a neighborhood-specific approach.

The first topic in this section, Strategies for Sustainable Communities, provides information about revitalization planning processes, common revitalization issues that communities face, and potential approaches and strategies that respond to these issues.

The second topic in this section, Management Issues for Place-Based Strategies, discusses the organizational implications of engaging in revitalization work, and how organizations can prepare themselves.