The Planning Framework
Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals involving People, Neighborhood, and Housing.
· People: Plan for supportive services, particularly education, economic development, job training, self-sufficiency, health, and asset building activities for families that help neighborhood youth improve educational outcomes and increase economic mobility.
· Neighborhood: Create a safe, secure neighborhood with improved mobility, access to jobs, green spaces, businesses and amenities. Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in the Greater Five Points neighborhood to offer the kinds of amenities and assets that are important to families’ choices about their community.
· Housing: Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood, physically and financially viable over the long-term.
Stakeholder Involvement and Resident Engagement
The New Bern Choice Neighborhoods Planning Initiative uses a community-driven approach to neighborhood transformation that puts residents at the core of the planning process. Engagement includes both residents of public housing and the Greater Five Points grant area as well as the community at large. In-depth public housing resident surveys and needs assessments were conducted to get residents’ views on topics related to housing, neighborhood revitalization, and supportive services. Neighborhood surveys were also conducted. Survey data was discussed and validated at meetings with residents and the broader community. Residents and other stakeholders are involved in the redevelopment planning through the creation of eight working groups to address areas such as childhood education, adult education and job training, crime and safety, recreation, transportation, housing, and healthcare. The work groups are comprised of about 100 volunteers including residents, concerned citizens, and representatives of support organizations, non-profits, and local businesses. Work group meetings are open to the public. Community meetings will be held to update the community on the planning activities.
The Planning Timeline
CNI planning is carried out in four phases.
Phase 1: Where are we now? Baseline data-gathering and assessment of conditions, inputs, studies, resident surveys/needs assessments, business surveys, available services, and mapping.
Phase 2: Where do we want to go? Community and stakeholder development of initial strategies; identifying catalystic early start projects.
Phase 3: How do we get there? Community workshops to help move initial strategies into detailed concepts & financeable plans.
Phase 4: Putting together the final plan. Synthesize planning into final Transformation Plan, involving all stakeholders in process.
The Transformation Plan
The planning process results in a Transformation Plan, which is a comprehensive revitalization plan for the entire neighborhood. The Transformation Plan is our roadmap to helping New Bern achieve transformation in the three core areas of Choice Neighborhoods – People, Neighborhood, and Housing. A viable and sustainable plan will also support private sector investment and create momentum for the private sector to revitalize and rebuild local businesses. A well-written Transformation Plan may also allow New Bern to compete for a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant of up to $20-30 million.