WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) announced it is joining with NeighborWorks America as a partner in leading the Middle Neighborhoods Initiative, previously housed at The American Assembly at Columbia University. This initiative brings attention to neighborhoods across the country that have long been stable communities for middle- and working-class families, but that today are at risk of either decline or displacement from gentrification. By bringing attention to middle neighborhoods, this initiative supports the continued health and vitality of these neighborhoods so that they can remain safe, affordable communities that offer a high quality of life and access to opportunity.
“We are delighted to announce that NeighborWorks America and NCST will be leading the fight for America’ middle neighborhoods. Both of these organizations have a track record of supporting practitioners working to strengthen and rebuild neighborhoods across the country,” said Nedra Sims Fears, Executive Director of the Greater Chatham Initiative in Chicago, IL. Fears is a member of the National Middle Neighborhoods Steering Committee and a co-chair of the Middle Neighborhoods Community of Practice.
Going forward, NCST will coordinate national Middle Neighborhoods activities, including conducting research on neighborhood dynamics and developing policy proposals for supporting and investing in middle neighborhoods. NCST will also lead a communication effort focused on the importance of devoting resources to middle neighborhoods. The Steering Committee will continue to advise NCST on the direction of the initiative.
NCST President Julia Gordon stated: “Strong, stable middle neighborhoods offer a high quality of life, affordable housing, and access to opportunity for their residents, many of whom are households of color. The fate of middle neighborhoods matters immensely for racial and economic equity, and NCST is excited to bring its commitment and experience in fighting disinvestment and blight to the Middle Neighborhoods Initiative.”
NeighborWorks America will support the Middle Neighborhoods Community of Practice, which brings city officials and neighborhood-based organizations from across the nation together with policy makers, academics, financial institutions, and foundations interested in these efforts. The Community convenes for peer-to-peer learning to share local best practices for supporting middle neighborhoods.
“We are excited to connect local stakeholders who are focused on stabilizing and revitalizing middle neighborhoods with their peers from across the country, said Paul Singh, Vice President of Community Initiatives at NeighborWorks America. “Through the Community of Practice, we hope to expand the toolkit for practitioners who are working to build strong and vibrant middle neighborhoods.”
In the coming months, the Middle Neighborhoods Community of Practice will redouble its efforts at recruitment, communication, and collaboration among practitioners and will also catalogue how communities are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. NCST will publish new research on the dynamics and importance of middle neighborhoods and develop policy agendas for supporting and investing in middle neighborhoods.
About NCST: The National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) strengthens communities by facilitating the redevelopment and reuse of vacant, single-family homes by providing community-based buyers an opportunity to acquire distressed properties through its REOMatch™ platform and by advocating for policies that prevent neighborhood blight, promote stable communities, and support affordable homeownership.
About NeighborWorks America: For more than 40 years, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., a national, nonpartisan nonprofit known as NeighborWorks America, has strived to make every community a place of opportunity. Our network of excellence includes nearly 250 members in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. NeighborWorks America offers grant funding, peer-exchange, technical assistance, evaluation tools and access to training, as the nation’s leading trainer of housing and community development professionals. NeighborWorks network organizations provide residents in their communities with affordable homes, owned and rented; financial counseling and coaching; community building through resident engagement; and collaboration in the areas of health, employment and education. In the last five years, our organizations have generated more than $40 billion in investment across the country.