The Transformation Plan was created by community residents and invested organizations in an effort to make an inclusive approach. This is not just housing improvements, but also access to social services, schools, transportation and access to jobs.
The Plan outlines several strategies to help revitalize the area. These strategies include:
- Higher quality mixed income housing
- Better education and support for youth and families'
- Improved community conditions like increased safety and commercial activity
Accomplishment Highlights to Date (updated August 2016)
· Housing Sites: DHCD, PHA, and their partners updated the housing site plan, increasing the number of townhome units and opportunities for neighborhood economic development.
· Education: A partnership between the Norris Resident Council and Temple University provides critical after school and summer camp programming. Starting as a pilot, this unique university assisted, resident driven partnership serves over 50 elementary through middle school aged children at Norris Apartments.
· Playgrounds: The Philadelphia Water Department and Community Design Collaborative led intensive planning sessions to redesign the Duckery and Elementary schoolyard.
· Public Safety: A Crime and Safety Committee has been established. Representatives from five different police forces, as well as several City agencies, community organizations, and educational institutions convene to discuss problems and identify solutions.
· Home Improvements: DHCD leveraged housing trust fund and state funding to complete 34 home improvements for current homeowners.
· Property Acquisition: Vacant/blighted properties in and around the rail viaduct and along Germantown Avenue has been acquired for future redevelopments to be include in the Critical Community Improvements Plan.
· Maintenance: The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) began work on stabilizing, greening and maintaining an additional 36 lots in the neighborhood. The Village of the Arts and Humanities, a PHS Community LandCare group, has added an additional 100 blighted lots to their inventory to clean and green.
· Employment: 13 Norris Apartments residents were accepted into the PowerCorps PHL program, which includes six months of paid volunteer service with City Departments, followed by job placement.
· Communications: A website has been established for to provide a central location for sharing Choice Neighborhood related information. A component of the site includes a community calendar for sharing event, activities, job postings, etc.
Community supported neighborhood vision:
“Remove the physical and social barriers so that each and every Norris Homes tenant and Community resident has equal access to opportunities – within and outside the neighborhood – to make their households financially stable and healthy; their community safe and strong well into the future.”