City of Fort Myers: Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area Application

Report National Resource Network Fort Myers, Florida February 18, 2017 Community Development + Housing

In 2016, the National Resource Network and the City of Fort Myers, Florida, partnered to pilot an approach to address the long-standing effects of foreclosure and increase the impact of neighborhood stabilization and community development initiatives in the city.

The Michigan-Dunbar neighborhood, a strategically located neighborhood between the city’s revitalized River District, Midtown, and other historic neighborhoods, provided a focal point for much of this work. While home to many assets, several trends within Michigan-Dunbar suggest residents living in the area experience a set of interrelated challenges, such as unemployment, low educational attainment, and housing insecurity. The city planned to re-focus its community revitalization efforts, including neighborhood stabilization, in this neighborhood.

The Network helped the city develop an application for a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) as one way to implement a more comprehensive, targeted approach. The Network assisted the City of Fort Myers in convening a working group of diverse local stakeholders to develop the goals and actions for the application. The Network developed a brief that provides an overview of housing and economic conditions within the Michigan-Dunbar neighborhood and discusses key initiatives, projects, and other assets that could be leveraged to advance economic opportunity and improve the overall quality of life for neighborhood residents.

The Network’s brief outlines economic empowerment actions and related benchmarks to achieve three interrelated goals within the NRSA:

  • create housing opportunities for a variety of individuals;
  • improve education, income, and health; and
  • promote safe neighborhoods.

The Network’s engagement team in Fort Meyers was led by Enterprise Community Partners, with additional support from the Center for Community Progress.

City of Fort Myers: Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area Application