Neighborhood Profiles

Middle Neighborhoods are a category of neighborhoods in US cities that are neither clearly healthy and thriving, nor overtly distressed. These communities have housing prices just above and below the median for their jurisdictions and offer a reasonable quality of life, but are in danger of falling into decline.

Community development corporations, resident associations, and other grassroots organizations provide essential services to support residents in middle neighborhoods, such as homeownership counseling, code enforcement to improve housing conditions, organizing block clubs, youth and public safety programs, and other forms of community engagement. Nearly half the US urban population lives in a middle neighborhood and they play a critical role in safeguarding the livelihood and stability of families, helping to keep them out of poverty.

Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation

Cleveland, OH

Neither trendy nor very poor, Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn neighborhood has largely been left out of the city’s conversation about its future growth. Old Brooklyn’s middle neighborhood strategy includes community health and marketing programs such as block clubs, safety programs, and brand development and management. Other work by the CDC includes buying, rehabbing, and selling single-family homes.

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Belair-Edison Neighborhoods

Baltimore, MD

Belair-Edison Neighborhoods adopted a strategic plan in 1999 as a response to the destabilizing factors of rapid racial transition, high rates of foreclosure, and a stagnant real estate market. There has been demonstrated success in facilitating homeownership loans, resident-led block projects, and large and small commercial building improvement projects.

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Triangle Neighborhood

Rochester, NY

NeighborWorks Rochester’s middle neighborhoods strategy targets neighborhoods with increasing poverty concentration that falls short of HUD’s cut-off limits. The Triangle Neighborhood’s success has been driven by a core group of active residents and members of the local merchants association who are working together to plan and implement social events, public space improvement projects, property improvement promotion efforts and neighborhood marketing strategies.

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Capitol Heights

Milwaukee, WI

Capitol Heights is working to build and strengthen social connections as a strategy for neighborhood stabilization. They are working closely with city councilmembers to bring attention to resident concerns, such as home foreclosures and public safety. The neighborhood church is also an essential partner by providing space for community events.

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Avalon Park, Auburn Gresham, Chatham and Greater Grand Crossing

Chicago, IL

Greater Chatham Initiative began as a re-branding strategy to align four South Side neighborhoods in Chicago, starting with a single point of engagement website for the collective community. Their work includes installing banners along key commercial corridors and distributing maps of over local retail and business-to-business firms. In addition to neighborhood development, Greater Chatham monitors its success through decreased unemployment and increased revenues for select businesses.

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Baltimore, MD

Midtown combines marketing and real estate development strategies to renovate homes, develop apartment buildings, and create commercial space. They emphasize the neighborhood’s historic architecture, growing arts scene, and regional cultural institutions to attract new residents, and often use federal and state historic tax credits to support their work.

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