NCST supports Freddie Mac’s Block by Block initiative, designed to revitalize urban neighborhoods still struggling to recover from the economic crisis. It is intended to demonstrate that a holistic, collaborative plan involving local government, housing industry partners, nonprofit organizations and the tools and resources of a prominent secondary market solution provider can help facilitate sustainable neighborhood recovery.
The initiative operates within established Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative (NSI) markets, but more localized, typically an 8-15 block neighborhood, and is complemented by other Freddie Mac-led efforts, such as renovation financing, engagement of lenders and improved access to mortgage credit for prospective homeowners, coordination with mortgage servicers, and integration of nonprofit counselors and developers.
Neighborhood marketing or rebranding, with the active involvement of neighborhood organizations, local residents, and key stakeholders will be key. The effort will focus on the importance of community vitality and appeal, seeking to uplift the physical, economic, social and psychological characteristics of the market .
How Are Neighborhoods Selected?
Block by Block is a demonstration project; that is, Freddie Mac seeks to demonstrate that a comprehensive plan involving public, nonprofit and private sector coordinated engagement can make a difference. The initial demonstration neighborhoods will likely have the following characteristics:
- Existing Project: Leverage existing neighborhood revitalization efforts.
- Tipping Point Market: An area where significant physical and economic improvement can spur revitalization.
- Nonprofit Engagement: Experienced nonprofit housing organizations can dedicate time, effort and resources.
- Manageable Size: The market is small enough that coordinated, well-conceived investments can result in measurable gains.