Preliminary Themes RUTLAND NORTHWEST NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION STUDY
The City of Rutland is losing population not just because of a regional economic decline, but also because it is not competing well against other towns when households decide where to live Rutland has an under-valued housing market Affordability is excellent compared to most markets nationally Excellent time to buy But people need to have confidence in the neighborhood theyre buying in 2-4 unit stock is not desired by the market; severely under- invested Key neighborhoods are seeing concentrated poverty, blight, disinvestment KEY THEMES FROM EARLIER MARKET STUDY
Focuses on the Northwest neighborhood of Rutland Recommend a detailed, property-by-property strategy for addressing blighted properties in the neighborhood Recommend revitalization strategies: Neighborhood market-building strategies to reposition the neighborhood and positively influence decisions by homeowners and homebuyers to invest in the neighborhood Strategies to engage with /support grassroots stakeholders seeking to better manage day-to-day neighborhood issues Other strategies to promote revitalization within the neighborhood Healthy Neighborhoods = places where it makes sense for people to invest their time, money and energy GOALS FOR THE REVITALIZATION STUDY
Met with City staff and toured the Northwest neighborhood Interviewed local neighborhood and housing market stakeholders Compiled, analyzed and mapped data about the neighborhood housing market PROJECT TASKS FOR THE REVITALIZATION STUDY
TARGET AREA NUMBERS 396 Total Parcels/845 Total Housing Units 32% Owner Occupied 68% Investor Owned 21 Vacant Structures 34 Properties with Tax Delinquencies greater than $1,000 10 Owner Occupied 18 Investor Owned 6 Non-Residential Uses 18 Properties with Foreclosure Filings 16 Properties For Sale
HEALTHY NEIGHBORHOOD OUTCOMES Outcomes are a way to describe how a neighborhood looks and behaves when it is healthy. Revitalization strategies for healthy neighborhoods are focused on achieving some important outcomes in four areas.
1: NEIGHBORHOOD IMAGE Healthy neighborhoods have a positive image that makes people want to stay there, and others want to move there. It makes business and government want to invest there. In healthy neighborhoods, people are confident in the future.
2: REAL ESTATE MARKET In healthy neighborhoods, home values are strong enough to get back your investment in maintenance and improvements – and strong enough that homebuyers think buying a home there is a good investment. Healthy neighborhoods attract good neighbors whether they are renters, landlords or owner- occupants, and they attract a variety of income groups.
3: PHYSICAL CONDITIONS Homes, businesses, streets and parks look like people are proud to be there – people take care of their property and do their part to keep the neighborhood looking great.
BUILD CONFIDENCE, SAFETY AND IDENTITY 1Build community, organization and skills among neighbors, including renters and landlords, to manage day-to-day issues. 2Implement safety initiatives with neighbors, but avoid making crime-fighting the image of the neighborhood. 3Build neighborhood identity around closeness to downtown and other recreational amenities, friendly neighbors and a great value for homeownership.
MOVE TO HIGHER OWNER-OCCUPANCY 1Protect, support and retain strong owner-occupants and landlords by proactively addressing problem properties around them, and designing whole block approaches. 2Put a circuit breaker into tax delinquent dispositions – avoid auction in favor of transfer to a responsible (nonprofit) developer who will rehab to an owner-occupant standard and find an owner-occupant buyer. 3Reach out to owner-occupants in danger of tax or mortgage foreclosure to help resolve or achieve smooth transition. 4Work with existing renters interested in buying a home via homebuyer education. 5Rezone to SFR.
HELP LANDLORDS BECOME AN ASSET 1Offer training to landlords on tenant screening, dealing with criminal activity, property maintenance, leases, evictions, compliance with c/o requirements, etc. 2Create a regular social networking group of landlords from this neighborhood to share best techniques. 3Low-cost loans to landlords to improve exterior conditions to pride standard, and grants to reduce density where possible. 4Engage landlords in all community building activities. 5Avoid scenarios in which undercapitalized, unskilled landlords can buy poor quality homes, make minimal investments and are set up for failure.
GET RECALCITRANT OR OVERWHELMED LANDLORDS OUT OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD 1Be aggressive about code enforcement. 2Work on receivership or other ordinances that will allow faster action on terrible properties. 3Buy out landlords with tax or mortgage delinquent properties for rehab and flip to owner-occupant. 4Find outstanding landlord(s) to buy out the recalcitrant or overwhelmed landlord(s).
IMPROVE MORE PHYSICAL CONDITIONS TO PRIDE STANDARD 1Systematically improve property values and building conditions by lending for rehab over appraised value, acquiring and rehabbing over appraised value, etc – bring values to a point where it makes sense for a private developer to acquire and rehab for flip to an owner- occupant. 2Set standards for exterior improvement that must be met in exchange for low-cost rehab – in line with existing pride standards in neighborhood. 3Support beautification efforts by neighbors with mini-grants, group buying, etc. 4Target street, sidewalk, curb, tree improvements by city.
IMPROVE MARKET CONDITIONS VIA DEDENSIFICATION 1De-densify thru demolition of very poor vacant properties with assignment of lots to adjacent homeowners and incentives to improve lots. 2De-densify with subsidy to reduce units in a building – either via loans/grants to existing landlords and homebuyers, or via acquisition-rehab-resale. 3De-densify by changing zoning to SFR.
Offer Lending Program for Owners and Investors to make improvements to their homes Engage entire block to develop block unifying project with mini-grant funds for implementation Repaving sidewalk and streets Purchase Rehab 2-family to Single Family Resale to Owner Occupant Purchase Demolish Split Lot and Landscape
IMPLEMENTATION Whole block approach where the highest and best use for each property is identified Coordinated team approach to look at and review opportunities along each block quarterly Rutland Redevelopment Authority NeighborWorks Western Vermont Building Department Tax Assessor Treasurer Realtor Collect and use updated data on Foreclosures, MLS Listings, Vacant Properties, Tax Delinquency, Neighborhood input to make decisions Acquire properties when opportunities arise even when strategy is buy and hold