Norristown NR Zone

 

Habitat Montco has been building homes in Norristown since 1991. In 2013, Habitat Montco established an 11-block NR zone encompassing Cherry St, Elm St, Powell St, Wayne Ave, Oak St, and Chestnut St. Habitat Montco works with 320 households through its NR work in Norristown.

Activities:

  • Home Buying Program
  • Critical Home Repair Program
  • A Brush with Kindness Program
  • NR Committee
    • Committee of community leaders and organizations started in July 2015 that meets bi-monthly to help guide and bring resources and information to Habitat Montco’s NR Program.
  • Kids Club
    • Started in May 2015, Habitat has facilitated a Kids Club in Cherry St Park during the summer and at Gotwals Elementary School during the school year
    • Held every Friday from 5-7pm
    • Habitat Montco has worked with 56 neighborhood youth ranging in age from 2 to 16
  • Rock the Block
    • Annual community clean-up day with community residents and volunteers. In past Rock the Blocks, community residents and volunteers have repaired homes, painted porches and stoops, revitalized Cherry Street Park, repaired a community church, painted the Norristown Library, picked up trash, weeded and mulched, and installed smoke detectors 
    • The next Rock the Block is scheduled for September 17, 2016
  • Porch and Stoop Contest
    • Contest held in May 2015 with residents sprucing up their porches and stoops; prizes awarded for most dramatic before and after change
  • Community Meetings
    • Held bi-monthly to identify local assets and challenges, work towards solutions, and facilitate resident leadership
  • Physical Property Assessments
    • Annual assessments of the physical condition of homes, commercial property, and vacant property within the NR zone to identify issues and measure progress
  • Community Resident Surveys
    • Annual surveys to measure residents’ quality of life, track progress, receive feedback, and capture residents’ challenges and aspirations for their neighborhood

Accomplishments:

  • Habitat Homes: 25
    • The Norristown NR zone has a 19% homeownership rate
    • 47% of homeowners in the NR zone are Habitat homeowners
  • Critical Home Repairs: 11
  • External Preservation Projects (ABWK): 73
  • Rock the Blocks: 2
  • Blighted Property Review Committee
    • There are 18 visibly vacant properties within the NR zone
    • In July of 2015, Habitat Montco advocated for the reinstatement of the Blighted Property Review Committee to be able to blight abandoned properties and turn them over to the Redevelopment Authority
    • In July of 2016, Habitat Montco worked with residents and the Blighted Property Review Committee to get the 1st abandoned property in the NR zone declared as blighted

Partners:  

  • Norristown Municipal Council
  • Norristown Police Department
  • Norristown Fire Department
  • Norristown Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
  • Christian Network Outreach United Church of Christ
  • Gotwals Elementary School
  • Norristown Islamic Society
  • Norristown Friends Meeting
  • Feed the Burbs
  • Greater Norristown PAL
  • Montgomery County Library
  • Carver Center
  • The Norristown Project

To learn more or get involved with Habitat Montco’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program, please contact Michelle Spada, Director of Family Services, at mspada@habitatmontco.org or 610-278-7710 ext 109.