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Progress Dashboard

Where have we been?

Where have we been?

Where are we now?

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

Phase 1 (2016)

We recruited stakeholders to analyze the problem, created a beginning set of system elements, and began considering a framework for a Detroit community development system.

Phase 2 (2017-2018)

We formed an Advisory Council, conducted extensive research resulting in a specific set of challenges and created Task Forces to respond to those challenges and develop test-projects for most of the elements.

Phase 3 (2019-2020)

Stakeholders will champion elements of the system, working closely with CDOs and GROs, by “test-piloting” project ideas:

  • Coordination of Capacity Building Services
  • Community Development Career Navigation Model
  • Neighborhood Vitality Success Framework
  • Neighborhood Voice and Advocacy Framework
  • At least two city-CDO funded partnerships

Simultaneously we will:

  • Activate the System Capitalization element
  • Establish a governance/oversight structure
  • Develop a process to resolve CDO coverage for all neighborhoods
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The Villages Community Development Corporation


When was it organized?

2006

Who is completing this survey? Name and role with organization:

Mac Farr, Executive Director

Choose one category that best fits your organization:

Community Development Organization (not sponsored by a church or agency or company)

Does your organization have paid staff?

Yes

If yes, how many?

1 and 2 people on contract

What is the annual budget of your organization?

$100,000

Describe the streets or locations that define your organization’s overall focus area (north, south, east and/or west):

  • Mt. Elliott Ave — W
  • St. Jean St — E
  • Detroit River — S
  • Mack Ave — N

Describe in detail the work your organization does, within the role categories below, along with the specific geographic area in which the work is done. Refer to the definitions below of the community development roles we are inquiring about. Include any partner organizations you work with, and how the work is funded or otherwise resourced. Use extra pages if necessary. If your organization doesn’t do work in one or more of the role categories, just skip that portion of the survey. Five Community Development Roles (Based on the Census Working Definition from Phase One of the Building the Engine of Community Development Process”):

Please Describe The Work Your Organization Does In Community Development:

Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: General Description

  • We have representatives from each of our respective neighborhoods on our board and serving in various committees for our organization.
  • We have quarterly meetings (one approximately every three months) to focus on areas of interest, usually something along the lines of housing, development or infrastructure.  
  • There’s a hierarchy to the way we operate. It’s not preferences; it’s easier to do it a certain way.  For example, if I reach out to Indian Village Association or West Village Association, it’s easier to work through them and have their people bring their issues to the meetings.  This is a fairly stable and successful model.

Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Partner Organizations

  • Indian Village Association
  • West Village Association
  • East Village Association
  • Jos. Berry Subdivision Association
  • Five Alive (Islandview)
  • North Village Association

Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Funders

  • There is no funding that we have on hand for this.  We pay for it ourselves.

Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

  • It took us a while, but we finally came up with a strategy that was officially approved by each of our neighborhood partners.  It was called the Villages Neighborhood Plan, and it has to do with making housing resources more available, right of way infrastructure renovations by the City of Detroit and utilities and code enforcement.  
  • The plan itself is a starting point, and we are going to do more work on housing affordability and development.

Lessons:

  • For an organization that has one FTE, it is unreasonable to expect that one person is capable of doing everything.  In the absence of a full staff, it is critical to have board and committee members work in concert and off of an agreed upon strategy that moves the organization, and the neighborhoods we serve towards success.   
  • At the outset, progress was very, very slow.  Much of that had to do with the fact that I had a certain set of expectations, and for a very long time, the existing board didn’t share that vision.  I continued with the execution of my vision, and, over time, managed to win over a majority of the board. I believe now that once you do a fair amount of work developing the board, and there’s consensus around what should be done, it is possible to accelerate the execution of projects because you have more of a team‐oriented model that can work more quickly.   

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: General Description

  • We mentioned some of what it is that we’ve worked on, such as the quarterly engagement sessions, and we also do a summer Biergarten, or at least we have historically.  We do a Christmas event, and we do a fall fundraiser as well. Again, given how we are structured, our board are all residents as well as our committee members. I think that since we’ve gotten some of our committees (housing development, infrastructure, engagement and events) up and running, we have a much better structure that is able to work in both directions, namely, towards the implementation of projects as well as disseminating information back towards our residents.  
  • There is an appetite to get involved in the Villages, and by routing eager residents who want to contribute into committees we are able to make an impact.

Asks that come from more than one individual are much more likely to be successful.

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Partner Organizations

  • Indian Village Association
  • West Village Association
  • East Village Association
  • Joseph Barry Subdivision Association
  • North Village Association
  • Five Alive (Islandview)

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Funders

We do not have funding for this, we pay for it ourselves.

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes :

  • Bill Clinton visited us on March 5, 2016.  Originally reach out was from Jeff Ziarko, with the Clinton campaign, who asked for a small business district to go canvas.  Suggested Agnes and Kercheval businesses.  Subsequent visit generated significant conventional media and social media traffic.  
  • Resurrected the Biergarten.  Though a joint venture brought to us by Dr. Curt Wimmer, an Indian Village resident, we came up with a new structure that utilizes nonprofit liquor licenses to stage weekend biergartens.  The event has been a success, resulting in about $50,000 in infrastructure in the location (landscaping, furniture, shipping container bar, bocce courts, lighting, utilities) along with having raised $50,000 for other local nonprofits, such as Hatch Detroit, Detroit Preparatory Academy, Friends of the Detroit Public Library, and creating three seasonal part‐time jobs.  Over the past few years, our income from this has come in at approximately $12,500, as well as activated a vital community space.
  • Completed the asset mapping and document archiving with the assistance of Claire Jiang, a University of Michigan undergraduate, that we had working for us during the fall semester of 2015.  This accomplished two key objectives that former board president Tamika Mayes had desired for some time, along with a majority of the board.  Having an index of our documents, as well as a listing of all the key players in our area (civic associations, churches, schools, etc.) proved useful in the past few years, as have the relationships that the creation of this asset map has helped to catalyze.  
  • Collaborating with residents to obtain more lights from the Public Lighting Authority at Van Dyke and Agnes and along Baldwin Street for the Charlevoix Village Association.  Additionally helped on the restoration project for the Indian Village Historic Collections to restore the existing street lamps, which was a project that raised more than $200,000 from both private donors, events and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office.  Lastly, we were able to help IVHC obtain a quantity of historic poles for safekeeping for future restoration projects.  

Lessons:

  • Asks that come from more than one individual are much more likely to be successful.  
  • If we pick up every single issue that’s brought to us because it needs to be done, we’re not going to do any of it.  We need to maintain focus on what the core functions should be.
  • Nothing breeds confidence like actual success.

Economic Development: General Description

  • DTE is a very important neighborhood partner.  We have been lucky in that developing a closer relationship with them is getting more results for our residents.  From getting electric lines cleared back from the alleys in Indian Village, to helping expedite gas main renewal projects on Mack Avenue that had been going on for months too long in 2018, to getting MACC Development reimbursed for damage due to a power surge to getting DTE to help complete a house moving project, I believe that DTE will be a critical operating partner with us in the near future.  
  • Throughout the course of the past few years, we have developed a very productive  relationship with the Detroit Land Bank Authority.  That included getting more nuisance abatement enforcement on 1118 Seyburn and 3457 Iroquois, both of which resulted in sales of those structures to new owners that are making repairs to them.  We were also able to hold a local developer accountable for their 47 vacant and blighted houses in the Villages district, which has since been reduced to 40 houses.  We were able to get more regular lawn maintenance at the site of 1815 Seminole, an old church they currently own.  
  • Substantial assists to MACC Development: getting their certificate of occupancy faster than expected, getting a new tenant for D&D Storage, making intros between Craig Yaldoo and Zeke Harris, helping with zoning matters on the parking lot, reviewing the site plan for said parking lot and making changes to reduce maintenance costs as well.
  • Getting the City to complete the East Jefferson project and fix the overall buildout of bike lanes in the city by obtaining the cooperation of Municipal Parking Department, the Detroit Police Department, and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.  Our lobbying for DPW to complete the project in the spring of 2018, along with getting Municipal Parking Department enforcement to ticket and tow, Detroit Police Department to enforce traffic violation, and Detroit Water and Sewerage Department interventions with respect to storm drains so that the bike lanes would drain properly throughout, were all critical to the overall success of the project.  
  • NSP3 conclusion and oversight.  We successfully lobbied the City for a few years to have them reimburse the US Housing and Urban Development Department to take 1450 and 1813 Seyburn out of the NSP3 program, which allowed us to obtain funding to get one renovation under way, which will be done this spring, at which point the house will be sold at market rate.  The next house will be done later this year.  We have held onto all of our original tenants, done a superior job of maintaining the structures as well as keeping rents substantially below market rates.  
  • Commercial Corridor Developments on Kercheval and Agnes Avenues.  In conjunction with Comcast, the Detroit Police Department, the West Village Business Association and Invest Detroit, we were able to secure funding to offset the installation and ongoing operating costs of Project Greenlight, a surveillance system, along Agnes and Kercheval Avenues.  Thus far, we have targeted about 11 businesses, and three have signed up (Kercheval Three, the Garland Building and the Coe).  It is anticipated that more will sign up in 2019 to make this a more robust presence in the new year.  Honoring a very old commitment we had made to Tour de Troit, we installed five new bike racks along both thoroughfares, and repaired and re‐installed a West Village sign that had been hit in a car accident.  Lastly, we were able to secure MDEQ funds to complete an environmental assessment at the site of the Kercheval‐Parker pocket park, which revealed the presence of a leaky underground storage tank, which will be remediated in the summer and spring of 2019.  
  • The Villages CDC Neighborhood Plan was born out of supporting projects that helped to repair, renovate or install existing and new infrastructure in the form of storm drains, sidewalks, lighting, clearing out approximately ten alleys in both Indian Village and Islandview, and asking for more neighborhood services such as pickups of illegal dumping, board ups of vacant houses open to trespass, along with requesting demolitions of buildings that were either dangerous or too badly damaged for repair.  All of these asks were paired with bringing an awareness to the City for the need for more resources along with asking for code enforcement to eliminate blight in our core neighborhoods.  This plan was worked out throughout the course of 2017, and it has the bonus of having been actually ratified by the following neighborhood groupings: Indian Village Association, the West Village Association, Five Alive (Islandview), the North Village Association, the East Village Association and Jos. Berry Subdivision, the dates of the approvals from each of those meetings are clearly labeled on the cover of said plan.  Going forward, this can provide a substantial plan with how the City can help renew our neighborhoods.  It is our wish that this becomings the operating template for the SNF districts.  
  • Collaborating with residents to obtain more lights from the Public Lighting Authority at Van Dyke and Agnes and along Baldwin Street for the Charlevoix Village Association.  Additionally helped on the restoration project for the Indian Village Historic Collections to restore the existing street lamps, which was a project that raised more than $200,000 from both private donors, events and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office.  Lastly, we were able to help IVHC obtain a quantity of historic poles for safekeeping for future restoration projects.  
  • Again through a collaboration with the Indian Village Historic Collections, assisted with the raising of funds for Mollicone ($25,000 from Wayne County, $180,000 from the City of Detroit) that led to the installation of a play scape, boulders as a border, a walking path, benches and decorative brick walking path.  This was a project that was similar to other matters that we’ve helped support int the past, namely, that it was driven by residents, but guided and supported by providing oversight and advice with how to proceed with respect to asking for funding, lining up resources, and ensuring that the project went smoothly.  
  • Helped get the WVA Sustainability Committee Eco‐D designation, by making the pitch that the West Village was uniquely situated by having both strong residential and commercial components that were capable not only of helping lead and initiate sustainability projects, but also to weave them into the fabric of the city.  Meaning, it’s not just about building new houses and attracting new residents, but having those sustainability practices picked up by businesses and residents so that they become normal operating procedure here, such as composting programs, universal recycling and helping unstick the permit issuance process for the green alley project on the south side of Kercheval.  
  • Substantial financial practices overhaul, including new creating bank accounts for events operations (Biergarten and fundraiser), offering fiduciary services for resident groups (including Jos. Berry Subdivision for their lighting project and Detroit Vegan Soul for a vegan food event that never came to fruition), insurance policies (including a BOD policy, and a crime policy, all at vastly reduced premiums from what the previous policies had been quoted at, retaining of new accountants that also charged one half what we were originally paying when I first came on ($350 a month versus $150 a month).
  • Resurrected the Biergarten.  Though a joint venture brought to us by Dr. Curt Wimmer, an Indian Village resident, we came up with a new structure that utilizes nonprofit liquor licenses to stage weekend biergartens.  The event has been a success, resulting in about $50,000 in infrastructure in the location (landscaping, furniture, shipping container bar, bocce courts, lighting, utilities) along with having raised $50,000 for other local nonprofits, such as Hatch Detroit, Detroit Preparatory Academy, Friends of the Detroit Public Library, and creating three seasonal part‐time jobs.  Over the past few years, our income from this has come in at approximately $12,500, as well as activated a vital community space.
  • We will be developing affordable housing and trying to make a case for how to retain as many residents in place as possible.

Economic Development: Partner Organizations

Focusing on actual housing affordability is critical and can have a beneficial economic impact.

  • Friends of Detroit Public Library
  • Detroit Preparatory Academy
  • Hatch Detroit
  • Detroit Vegan Soul
  • Jos. Berry Subdivision
  • Charlevoix Village Association
  • City of Detroit
  • North Village Association
  • West Village Association
  • East Village Association
  • Five Alive (Islandview)
  • West Village Business Association
  • IVHC
  • Invest Detroit
  • Indian Village Association
  • Municipal Parking Department
  • Detroit Police Department
  • MACC Development
  • Detroit Land Bank Authority
  • DTE

Economic Development: Funders

  • The Kresge Foundation for their support towards the development of our affordable housing plan.

Economic Development: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

  • DTE is a very important neighborhood partner.  We have been lucky in that developing a closer relationship with them is getting more results for our residents.  From getting electric lines cleared back from the alleys in Indian Village, to helping expedite gas main renewal projects on Mack Avenue that had been going on for months too long in 2018, to getting MACC Development reimbursed for damage due to a power surge to getting DTE to help complete a house moving project, I believe that DTE will be a critical operating partner with us in the near future.  
  • Throughout the course of the past few years, we have developed a very productive  relationship with the Detroit Land Bank Authority.  That included getting more nuisance abatement enforcement on 1118 Seyburn and 3457 Iroquois, both of which resulted in sales of those structures to new owners that are making repairs to them.  We were also able to hold a local developer accountable for their 47 vacant and blighted houses in the Villages district, which has since been reduced to 40 houses.  We were able to get more regular lawn maintenance at the site of 1815 Seminole, an old church they currently own.  
  • Substantial assists to MACC Development: getting their certificate of occupancy faster than expected, getting a new tenant for D&D Storage, making intros between Craig Yaldoo and Zeke Harris, helping with zoning matters on the parking lot, reviewing the site plan for said parking lot and making changes to reduce maintenance costs as well.
  • Getting the City to complete the East Jefferson project and fix the overall buildout of bike lanes in the city by obtaining the cooperation of Municipal Parking Department, the Detroit Police Department, and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.  Our lobbying for DPW to complete the project in the spring of 2018, along with getting Municipal Parking Department enforcement to ticket and tow, Detroit Police Department to enforce traffic violation, and Detroit Water and Sewerage Department interventions with respect to storm drains so that the bike lanes would drain properly throughout, were all critical to the overall success of the project.  
  • NSP3 conclusion and oversight.  We successfully lobbied the City for a few years to have them reimburse the US Housing and Urban Development Department to take 1450 and 1813 Seyburn out of the NSP3 program, which allowed us to obtain funding to get one renovation under way, which will be done this spring, at which point the house will be sold at market rate.  The next house will be done later this year.  We have held onto all of our original tenants, done a superior job of maintaining the structures as well as keeping rents substantially below market rates.  
  • Commercial Corridor Developments on Kercheval and Agnes Avenues.  In conjunction with Comcast, the Detroit Police Department, the West Village Business Association and Invest Detroit, we were able to secure funding to offset the installation and ongoing operating costs of Project Greenlight, a surveillance system, along Agnes and Kercheval Avenues.  Thus far, we have targeted about 11 businesses, and three have signed up (Kercheval Three, the Garland Building and the Coe).  It is anticipated that more will sign up in 2019 to make this a more robust presence in the new year.  Honoring a very old commitment we had made to Tour de Troit, we installed five new bike racks along both thoroughfares, and repaired and re‐installed a West Village sign that had been hit in a car accident.  Lastly, we were able to secure MDEQ funds to complete an environmental assessment at the site of the Kercheval‐Parker pocket park, which revealed the presence of a leaky underground storage tank, which will be remediated in the summer and spring of 2019.  
  • The Villages CDC Neighborhood Plan was born out of supporting projects that helped to repair, renovate or install existing and new infrastructure in the form of storm drains, sidewalks, lighting, clearing out approximately ten alleys in both Indian Village and Islandview, and asking for more neighborhood services such as pickups of illegal dumping, board ups of vacant houses open to trespass, along with requesting demolitions of buildings that were either dangerous or too badly damaged for repair.  All of these asks were paired with bringing an awareness to the City for the need for more resources along with asking for code enforcement to eliminate blight in our core neighborhoods.  This plan was worked out throughout the course of 2017, and it has the bonus of having been actually ratified by the following neighborhood groupings: Indian Village Association, the West Village Association, Five Alive (Islandview), the North Village Association, the East Village Association and Jos. Berry Subdivision, the dates of the approvals from each of those meetings are clearly labeled on the cover of said plan.  Going forward, this can provide a substantial plan with how the City can help renew our neighborhoods.  It is our wish that this becomings the operating template for the SNF districts.  
  • Collaborating with residents to obtain more lights from the Public Lighting Authority at Van Dyke and Agnes and along Baldwin Street for the Charlevoix Village Association.  Additionally helped on the restoration project for the Indian Village Historic Collections to restore the existing street lamps, which was a project that raised more than $200,000 from both private donors, events and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office.  Lastly, we were able to help IVHC obtain a quantity of historic poles for safekeeping for future restoration projects.  
  • Again through a collaboration with the Indian Village Historic Collections, assisted with the raising of funds for Mollicone ($25,000 from Wayne County, $180,000 from the City of Detroit) that led to the installation of a play scape, boulders as a border, a walking path, benches and decorative brick walking path.  This was a project that was similar to other matters that we’ve helped support int the past, namely, that it was driven by residents, but guided and supported by providing oversight and advice with how to proceed with respect to asking for funding, lining up resources, and ensuring that the project went smoothly.  
  • Helped get the WVA Sustainability Committee Eco‐D designation, by making the pitch that the West Village was uniquely situated by having both strong residential and commercial components that were capable not only of helping lead and initiate sustainability projects, but also to weave them into the fabric of the city.  Meaning, it’s not just about building new houses and attracting new residents, but having those sustainability practices picked up by businesses and residents so that they become normal operating procedure here, such as composting programs, universal recycling and helping unstick the permit issuance process for the green alley project on the south side of Kercheval.  
  • Substantial financial practices overhaul, including new creating bank accounts for events operations (Biergarten and fundraiser), offering fiduciary services for resident groups (including Jos. Berry Subdivision for their lighting project and Detroit Vegan Soul for a vegan food event that never came to fruition), insurance policies (including a BOD policy, and a crime policy, all at vastly reduced premiums from what the previous policies had been quoted at, retaining of new accountants that also charged one half what we were originally paying when I first came on ($350 a month versus $150 a month).
  • Resurrected the Biergarten.  Though a joint venture brought to us by Dr. Curt Wimmer, an Indian Village resident, we came up with a new structure that utilizes nonprofit liquor licenses to stage weekend biergartens.  The event has been a success, resulting in about $50,000 in infrastructure in the location (landscaping, furniture, shipping container bar, bocce courts, lighting, utilities) along with having raised $50,000 for other local nonprofits, such as Hatch Detroit, Detroit Preparatory Academy, Friends of the Detroit Public Library, and creating three seasonal part‐time jobs.  Over the past few years, our income from this has come in at approximately $12,500, as well as activated a vital community space.
  • We finished renovating two rental duplexes on Van Dyke Avenue which we still own.
  • We finished renovating and sold a detached, single family home on Seyburn Avenue.
  • We will do more in the area of housing development once we finish our market study and be able to come up with a compelling case to funders about how we’ve improved capacity as well as come up with the correct plan with appropriate levels of affordability.

Lessons:

  • Focusing on actual housing affordability is critical and can have a beneficial economic impact.

Resident Support: General Description

  • I largely engage through the structure of neighbor leadership.  This means that residents have a tendency to take their concerns to association or block club leaders who, in turn, bring it to me.    
  • A lot of this has to do with regular constituent services, such as getting a sidewalk fixed or getting dumping removed.
  • Some agencies in the City are getting better at delivering services (such as the Department of Public Works and the General Services Department) while others still have a lot of work to do (Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department).

Nothing breeds confidence like actual success.

Resident Support: Partner Organizations

  • Mostly City of Detroit agencies

Resident Support: Funders

  • There is no special funding in place for this.

Resident Support: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

  • Collaborating with residents to obtain more lights from the Public Lighting Authority at Van Dyke and Agnes and along Baldwin Street for the Charlevoix Village Association.  Additionally helped on the restoration project for the Indian Village Historic Collections to restore the existing street lamps, which was a project that raised more than $200,000 from both private donors, events and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office.  Lastly, we were able to help IVHC obtain a quantity of historic poles for safekeeping for future restoration projects.  
  • DTE is a very important neighborhood partner.  We have been lucky in that developing a closer relationship with them is getting more results for our residents.  From getting electric lines cleared back from the alleys in Indian Village, to helping expedite gas main renewal projects on Mack Avenue that had been going on for months too long in 2018, to getting MACC Development reimbursed for damage due to a power surge to getting DTE to help complete a house moving project, I believe that DTE will be a critical operating partner with us in the near future.  

Lessons:

  • Asks that come from more than one individual are much more likely to be successful.  
  • If we pick up every single issue that’s brought to us because it needs to be done, we’re not going to do any of it.  We need to maintain focus on what the core functions should be.
  • Nothing breeds confidence like actual success.

Community Planning and Advocacy: General Description

Community planning:

If we pick up every single issue that’s brought to us because it needs to be done, we’re not going to do any of it.  We need to maintain focus on what the core functions should be.

  • Completed the asset mapping and document archiving with the assistance of Claire Jiang, a University of Michigan undergraduate, that we had working for us during the fall semester of 2015.  This accomplished two key objectives that former board president Tamika Mayes had desired for some time, along with a majority of the board.  Having an index of our documents, as well as a listing of all the key players in our area (civic associations, churches, schools, etc.) proved useful in the past few years, as have the relationships that the creation of this asset map has helped to catalyze.  
  • Completed the strategic plan with assistance from Molly Redigan, a University of Detroit — Mercy graduate student in their community development program in 2016.  She was a Kellogg Fellow, and she selected the Villages CDC over five other CDOs.  In conjunction with CityForm Detroit, led by Virginia Standard, we were able to come up with a community plan that was approved by the board in January 2017.  The labor that Molly provided us with got us a $20,000 product for a fraction of the cost, given the fact that Molly was able to work very well with Virginia, given the fact that Virginia was her professor and advisor at UDM.  
  • The Villages CDC Neighborhood Plan was born out of supporting projects that helped to repair, renovate or install existing and new infrastructure in the form of storm drains, sidewalks, lighting, clearing out approximately ten alleys in both Indian Village and Islandview, and asking for more neighborhood services such as pickups of illegal dumping, board ups of vacant houses open to trespass, along with requesting demolitions of buildings that were either dangerous or too badly damaged for repair.  All of these asks were paired with bringing an awareness to the City for the need for more resources along with asking for code enforcement to eliminate blight in our core neighborhoods.  This plan was worked out throughout the course of 2017, and it has the bonus of having been actually ratified by the following neighborhood groupings: Indian Village Association, the West Village Association, Five Alive (Islandview), the North Village Association, the East Village Association and Jos. Berry Subdivision, the dates of the approvals from each of those meetings are clearly labeled on the cover of said plan.  Going forward, this can provide a substantial plan with how the City can help renew our neighborhoods.  It is our wish that this becomings the operating template for the SNF districts.  

Advocacy:

  • Reducing the Belle Isle Grand Prix load in period by over 50%.  The lease that had been signed by the City during the Kilpatrick administration provided for a load in period that was not being observed by the Grand Prix organizers.  It took me a few months to obtain the executed copy of the lease.  This was in 2015, when they were beginning the load in period in January of that year.  After locating the lease, and notifying the relevant authorities (Michigan DNR, City of Detroit), race organizers reduced the load in period to the term authorized in the lease, which was 60 days.
  • Getting the City to complete the East Jefferson project and fix the overall buildout of bike lanes in the city by obtaining the cooperation of Municipal Parking Department, the Detroit Police Department, and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.  Our lobbying for DPW to complete the project in the spring of 2018, along with getting Municipal Parking Department enforcement to ticket and tow, Detroit Police Department to enforce traffic violation, and Detroit Water and Sewerage Department interventions with respect to storm drains so that the bike lanes would drain properly throughout, were all critical to the overall success of the project.  
  • NSP3 conclusion and oversight.  We successfully lobbied the City for a few years to have them reimburse the US Housing and Urban Development Department to take 1450 and 1813 Seyburn out of the NSP3 program, which allowed us to obtain funding to get one renovation under way, which will be done this spring, at which point the house will be sold at market rate.  The next house will be done later this year.  We have held onto all of our original tenants, done a superior job of maintaining the structures as well as keeping rents substantially below market rates.

Community Planning and Advocacy: Partner Organizations

  • Detroit Police Department
  • Detroit Water and Sewerage Department
  • Municipal Parking Department
  • Michigan DNR
  • City of Detroit
  • University Detroit — Mercy
  • University of Michigan
  • West Village Association
  • CityForm Detroit
  • North Village Association
  • East Village Association
  • Jos. Berry Subdivision
  • Five Alive (Islandview)

Community Planning and Advocacy: Funders

We do not have special funding for this.  

Community Planning and Advocacy: Important Outcomes or Lessons

Outcomes:

  • Developing a more robust relationship with the Kresge Foundation, including working on their cohort to improve CDO operating capacity, by obtaining $90,000 in funding from them ($30,000 per year for three years) and working with them to pioneer certain projects such as coming up with a mechanism to help them pay for housing market studies for each of the Strategic Neighborhood Fund districts.  
  • Reducing the Belle Isle Grand Prix load in period by over 50%.  The lease that had been signed by the City during the Kilpatrick administration provided for a load in period that was not being observed by the Grand Prix organizers.  It took me a few months to obtain the executed copy of the lease.  This was in 2015, when they were beginning the load in period in January of that year.  After locating the lease, and notifying the relevant authorities (Michigan DNR, City of Detroit), race organizers reduced the load in period to the term authorized in the lease, which was 60 days.
  • Getting the City to complete the East Jefferson project and fix the overall buildout of bike lanes in the city by obtaining the cooperation of Municipal Parking Department, the Detroit Police Department, and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.  Our lobbying for DPW to complete the project in the spring of 2018, along with getting Municipal Parking Department enforcement to ticket and tow, Detroit Police Department to enforce traffic violation, and Detroit Water and Sewerage Department interventions with respect to storm drains so that the bike lanes would drain properly throughout, were all critical to the overall success of the project.  
  • NSP3 conclusion and oversight.  We successfully lobbied the City for a few years to have them reimburse the US Housing and Urban Development Department to take 1450 and 1813 Seyburn out of the NSP3 program, which allowed us to obtain funding to get one renovation under way, which will be done this spring, at which point the house will be sold at market rate.  The next house will be done later this year.  We have held onto all of our original tenants, done a superior job of maintaining the structures as well as keeping rents substantially below market rates.
  • Completed the asset mapping and document archiving with the assistance of Claire Jiang, a University of Michigan undergraduate, that we had working for us during the fall semester of 2015.  This accomplished two key objectives that former board president Tamika Mayes had desired for some time, along with a majority of the board.  Having an index of our documents, as well as a listing of all the key players in our area (civic associations, churches, schools, etc.) proved useful in the past few years, as have the relationships that the creation of this asset map has helped to catalyze.  
  • Completed the strategic plan with assistance from Molly Redigan, a University of Detroit — Mercy graduate student in their community development program in 2016.  She was a Kellogg Fellow, and she selected the Villages CDC over five other CDOs.  In conjunction with CityForm Detroit, led by Virginia Standard, we were able to come up with a community plan that was approved by the board in January 2017.  The labor that Molly provided us with got us a $20,000 product for a fraction of the cost, given the fact that Molly was able to work very well with Virginia, given the fact that Virginia was her professor and advisor at UDM.  
  • The Villages CDC Neighborhood Plan was born out of supporting projects that helped to repair, renovate or install existing and new infrastructure in the form of storm drains, sidewalks, lighting, clearing out approximately ten alleys in both Indian Village and Islandview, and asking for more neighborhood services such as pickups of illegal dumping, board ups of vacant houses open to trespass, along with requesting demolitions of buildings that were either dangerous or too badly damaged for repair.  All of these asks were paired with bringing an awareness to the City for the need for more resources along with asking for code enforcement to eliminate blight in our core neighborhoods.  This plan was worked out throughout the course of 2017, and it has the bonus of having been actually ratified by the following neighborhood groupings: Indian Village Association, the West Village Association, Five Alive (Islandview), the North Village Association, the East Village Association and Jos. Berry Subdivision, the dates of the approvals from each of those meetings are clearly labeled on the cover of said plan.  Going forward, this can provide a substantial plan with how the City can help renew our neighborhoods.  It is our wish that this becomings the operating template for the SNF districts.  

Lessons:

  • Asks that come from more than one individual are much more likely to be successful.  
  • If we pick up every single issue that’s brought to us because it needs to be done, we’re not going to do any of it.  We need to maintain focus on what the core functions should be.
  • Nothing breeds confidence like actual success.

Convening/Facilitating/Collaborations: Frequency Rank

2

Resident Engagement/Empowerment: Frequency Rank

2

Economic Development: Frequency Rank

3

Resident Support: Frequency Rank

3

Community Planning and Advocacy: Frequency Rank

4

Do we have your permission to publish this information?

Yes

 

This information is current as of 4/14/2019


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