At the core of our community empowerment strategy is the formation and support of Block Associations. Residents achieve positive change through their Block Associations, from strengthening the social fabric in their neighborhoods to improving the delivery services through meetings with public and elected officials. Block Associations are contagious—success in one block inspires others to do the same.
The HomeOwnership Center has been instrumental in the development of over 200 active Block Associations in our area, primarily in Utica, Rome and Oneida.
In 1994, The HomeOwnership Center formed the Association of Block Coalitions (ABC) to provide a strong network of support for existing Block Associations and aid in the development of new associations. The ABC links Block Associations, Neighborhood Watch Groups, Tenant Associations, Development Associations and other community groups. The result has been one and unified voice for resident involvement and community change.
ABC members are actively involved in community issues and a wide variety of revitalization efforts. For example, the ABC was concerned about the number of property owners with codes violations. Code violations significantly contribute to neighborhood decay. The City of Utica Codes and Oneida County Health Department had three month back logs in cases, as their practice was to hear code cases only once a week for two hours. The ABC and The HomeOwnership Center initiated a letter writing campaign to institute a "Codes Court" addressing mounting code violations. The result—a new Neighborhoods Program created by Oneida County to address countywide code violations.
Members of the ABC also receive assistance from The HomeOwnership Center with beautification projects, painting projects, leadership training, newsletters and informational brochures.
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