Community Development Block Grant
Success Stories

Virginia Beach, VA - Mayor Meyera Oberndorf

Target Neighborhood Program

In the early years of the City of Virginia Beach's CDBG program, City officials, Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation staff and citizen representatives agreed that the CDBG funds should be utilized primarily to provide infrastructure and housing improvements in 12 Target Neighborhoods having low- and moderate-income concentrations. These targeted areas, already identified in the Capital Improvement Plan as experiencing conditions which were hazardous to the health and safety of the neighborhood residents, were Atlantic Park, Beechwood, Burton Station, Doyletown, Gracetown, Lake Smith, Mill Dam, Newlight, Newsome Farms, Queen City, Reedtown, and Seatack.

Between 1976 and 1995, over $57 million in annual CDBG program funds, CDBG program income, and City funds were invested in the Target Neighborhoods. About $9.5 million of this was spent directly on housing improvements, and about $33 million went into infrastructure projects.

Virginia Beach officials believe that real estate assessments provide the single best comprehensive indicator of the well-being of a neighborhood, as they take into consideration factors such as crime, educational possibilities, neighborhood aesthetics and other indicators that affect the sale prices of properties. Assessments reflect citizen perceptions of neighborhoods and the willingness of citizens to invest in them. The City's analysis of the Target Neighborhoods indicated the following:

  • •Target Neighborhood assessments grew consistently during and following community investment; prior to investment, those assessments were static.
  • •During the slowdown in real estate assessment growth experienced in the 1990s, the Target Neighborhoods' growth rate exceeded that of the City as a whole.
  • •For seven of the 10 Target Neighborhoods studied, the rate of increase in average assessed value was greater than the City's rate overall.

Officials also believe that the Target Neighborhood Program has provided a stimulus to encourage private developers and individuals to continue to invest in the community, and that the long-term improvements resulting from these investments have contributed to the growth recorded in the Target Neighborhood assessments.

In 1998, after nearly 22 years of work, the Target Neighborhood Program was concluded. As a result of the long-term, focused effort, 10 of the neighborhoods were completely revitalized, one was removed from the program, and one awaits future planning efforts.

Contact: Andrew Friedman, Director, Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation, (757) 426-5750


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