Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

Asheville, NC - Mayor Leni Sitnick

Hill Street/Cherry Street Project

The Hill Street/Cherry Street Project was created to construct infrastructure, make public facility improvements, acquire land, demolish dilapidated structures and rehabilitate substandard structures - all in order to revitalize and preserve the historic character of a declining neighborhood known as Montford Community, and to maintain the affordability of the neighborhood for low-income residents.

From 1987 through 1998, the City invested $5,260,880 in CDBG funds to rebuild crumbling streets and sidewalks, replace a failed storm drainage system, remove blighting influences such as illegal liquor houses, provide relocation assistance to displaced families, rehabilitate 105 houses, and assemble and provide sites for the construction of in-fill housing. Private investment in the community has ensured the success of the project.

The Montford Community was declared an historic district at the start of the project. As a result of the use of historic preservation techniques in the rehabilitation of the structures, and the construction of new homes to reflect the historic character of the area, property values in the neighborhood increased more than 85 percent over a seven-year period; the increase for the City overall during this period was 40 percent. The rehabilitation assistance provided to low-income families enabled them to remain in the neighborhood - to avoid being displaced by the "gentrification" that so often occurs when neighborhoods are revitalized.

Montford is now one of the urban neighborhoods most in demand in Asheville. Community pride is evidenced in the care residents now give their homes and in the interest of residents in community issues.

From the beginning, the Project involved the neighborhood residents. A Neighborhood Advisory Board was established to serve as a liaison between the neighborhood and the Housing Authority which served as the redevelopment agency, making the infrastructure improvements and performing most of the rehabilitation. The redevelopment plan was the result of many hours of work by the neighborhood volunteers on the Board.

Neighborhood Housing Services completed rehabilitation in the fringe areas of the neighborhood and for other-than-low-income residents, and constructed the in-fill housing in the area.

Contact: Charlotte Caplan, Community Development Division, (828) 259-5721

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Telephone (202) 293-7330, FAX (202) 293-2352

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