Youngstown, Ohio is a classic example of a city where its physical footprint does not fit its current market.
Built to support a population of 250,000, the city’s population topped out at 170,000 in 1930, when the city was fifth in the nation for homeownership earning it the nickname the “city of homes.” Today, the city of homes has a vacancy rate 20-times the national average. Clearly, new strategies are needed to better match the city’s built environment to market demand.
The Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC), in cooperation with the city of Youngstown and local and national partners, is working on a strategy to do just that. After conducting a citywide vacancy study, YNDC created five neighborhood market types – ranging from stable to extremely weak – to help guide their response strategies and strategically focus resources. The effort has helped decrease vacancy and crime across the city and is one of the many programs highlighted during the recent Forum on Rebuilding Markets hosted by NeighborWorks America’s Stable Communities Initiative on May 22, 2014 in Louisville, KY.
The Forum engaged over 100 practitioners representing more than 40 NeighborWorks organizations in a robust, daylong exchange on ways to stabilize and strengthen communities through strategic, market-oriented approaches. The Forum explored how organizations from across the country are analyzing market trends, diagnosing critical issues, adapting strategies to changing conditions, and promoting positive community transformation. The program featured presentations from:
- Teresa Lynch of Mass Economics
- Alan Mallach
- Diane Sterner with New Jersey Community Capital
- Ian Beniston of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation
- Rebecca Brady of The Greater Louisville Project
- Bill Bynum with Hope Enterprise Corporation
The day also included afternoon tours of community stabilization efforts in Louisville, coordinated by New Directions Housing Corporation.
To read the full story at stablecommunities.org, click here.