Thursday, August 28, 2008

City calls Westwood NEP a success

The City of Cincinnati and the community of Westwood have announced the results of the recently concluded 90-day Neighborhood Enhancement Program (NEP) blitz, and they are calling it a success.

The program, which ran between May 16 and August 15, was a concentrated effort by City departments, residents, and community organizations to address quality of life issues in the community and is designed to jumpstart longer-term neighborhood revitalization and reinvestment by building community partnerships.

Services were targeted to an area roughly bounded by Robert/Cavanaugh Avenue, Westwood Northern Boulevard, Gobel Avenue/Bracken Woods Lane and Harrison Avenue, an area identified for the NEP through the analysis of building code violations, vacant buildings, calls for police service, arrests, graffiti, junk autos, litter, and weeds.

According to the City, the NEP resulted in:

  • A decrease in baseline blight index of 23 percent
  • Identifying 625 code violations on 272 properties, following the inspection of 726 properties
  • The demolition 3 buildings, with 10 more under contract to be demolished
  • 325 arrests, confiscation $6,285 and responses to 881 calls for service
  • 139 inspections for litter and weeds/tall grass
  • 876 fire inspections, fire prevention education, and proper smoke detector installation and maintenance
This year, NEP has won the National 2008 Program of the Year award at the Neighborhoods, USA annual conference, the Ohio Conference of Community Development's President's Award for excellence and innovation in the delivery of housing and community development, and the Most Outstanding Collaborative Effort by the Community Development Corporations Association of Greater Cincinnati.

It has been estimated that the NEP neighborhoods of Avondale, CUF, Northside, Price Hill and Westwood have seen an average decrease in blight of 15 percent, according to the Keep Cincinnati Beautiful Blight Index.

Beginning September 1, the program will move to Evanston's Woodburn Avenue and Montgomery Road corridors.