Neighborhoods Revitalization Strategy

A City-Wide Strategy for Neighborhood Revitalization and Community Development

Eau Claire community leaders realized that a forceful and coordinated effort was needed to reverse declines in housing conditions, household incomes and rates of home ownership. 

Ideas for a city-wide neighborhoods strategy were sparked through a “summit meeting” of private and public leaders, residents and property owners.  Ten highly experienced and effective leaders from public, private and non-profit organizations in Wisconsin and Minnesota addressed the task force, describing what works in their neighborhoods. 

The work being conducted in other cities was inspiring and came with this advice: 

-- Eau Claire will have to chart its own unique course
-- Getting started is the most difficult part
-- Local leaders are needed
-- Profitable private investment is essential and central
-- The perception of private risk must be reduced
-- The private and public sectors must work together. 

The recommended actions were organized among (1) current actions that need improvement, (2) current actions that are being performed well and (3) recommended future actions. 

One of the most significant ideas was to create a non-profit, public-private neighborhood development corporation with funding from banks, industries, the City and the County.  This organization would work in the space between the private and public sectors to build and remodel housing, provide financing for ownership and rehabilitation, and offer counseling on mortgages, personal finance and house repairs. 
Other ideas were:

-- Begin a rental registration and inspection program
-- Amend the City tax increment financing regulations
-- Target City capital and operational spending
-- Boost image and marketing with the arts
-- Improve city services and facilities such as alley maintenance.  
-- Enforce more proactively the existing regulations on housing maintenance, yards and vehicles
-- Focus the efforts of several community development and educational organizations. . 

Click here to see the report Neighborhoods Revitalization Strategy.