Empowering Communities to Empower Themselves:
The Fairmount Heights Neighborhood Association
ULEC has always worked be a powerful ally and advocate for the individuals, families and communities that we serve. In 2008, The League realized that to catalyze long term positive change in its "home" neighborhood of Fairmount Heights, there needed to be a network of people and resources dedicated to advocating for and acting as champions for the best interests of the community.
In that same year, it founded the Fairmount Heights Neighborhood Association (FHNA) to fulfill that role. For the next year, FHNA's founding board members engaged in education and training to further develop their leadership capacity and knowledge of strategic community organizing.
2010, with FHNA as its outreach partner, ULEC led a two-year, community-wide initiative to create a strategic neighborhood revitalization plan. The completed plan was supported by The League working with funders to secure resources to move its strategic neighborhood plan from aspiration to reality.
Today, you can see the positive impacts of FHNA at work in the development of the Fairmount Switching Station Art Wall and community benefits that include new green spaces, park revitalization, and the development of a new community center. The organization is well on its way to being a recognized contributor and integral partner in policy and development initiatives that happen in Fairmount - Our home, our hope, and our neighborhood.
Building Better Neighborhoods: The Model Block Initiative
In 2012, Littleton Avenue was known as a run-down, high crime block. in keeping with its vision of transforming blighted areas into thriving and desirable "neighborhoods of choice", The League built four new, affordable homes on the block. From there, the agency took on the role of catalyst - bringing knowledge, partners and resources.
Through ULEC's community outreach and organizing, the new development acted as a lever of positive change - bringing home owners, residents and stakeholders together and generating private investment and other neighborhood improvements.
ULEC's block revitalization model leverages all aspects of improvement, including skilled job training and employment. This initiative also provided a group of motivated reentry candidates with paid on-the-job experience in construction trades.
Today, the "Littleton Model Block" is recognized as a desirable neighborhood, with new sidewalks, decorative lighting and welcoming landscaping. Not only is the neighborhood off of the "crime hot spot" map, but has one of the lowest records of reported crime for the entire area.
Real Estate and Economic Development in Fairmount Heights
ULEC's vision of thriving urban communities is supported by our Real Estate and Economic Development Division. Our mission in this area is to encourage and support community development, promote community stability, and combat neighborhood deterioration.
An ample supply of quality low and moderate income housing is key to achieving our goals. To this end, we work with government, for-profit and non-profit partners and residents to strengthen local neighborhoods; provide quality, affordable housing and the opportunity to build individual and family wealth and stability.
Revitalizing Neighborhoods With New Homes
The League is working to breathe new life into the places we call home. Since 2012, ULEC has worked to acquire, rehabilitate and develop abandoned and foreclosed properties to remove blight from our community.
Through the generous support of its partners through the National Revitalization Tax Credit program, ULEC will rehabilitate and build up to 17 new multi-family homes in Newark's West Ward.
These units will expand and enhance affordable housing options and be built to the highest energy efficiency and environmental safety standards - ensuring safe, healthy homes to raise a family in.