2000 Best Practice Awards
Best of the Best Winners: Florida
Best Practice: Habijax Lot Preparation
Habijax Lot Preparation Providing Homeownership
Jacksonville, Florida. Jacksonville, Florida is a city with approximately
50,000 residents living in substandard housing, 75 percent of them children.
Many of these residents are in substandard rental units. The city of
Jacksonville was in immediate need of quality housing for low- to moderate-income
Habijax Lot Preparationa Habitat for
Humanity projectprovides homeownership for low- and moderate-income
families who are unable to obtain home financing through conventional means.
As a result of their revitalization efforts, 270 low- to moderate-income
families are able to purchase newly constructed homes.
Roslyn Phillips (c) receiving Best of the
Best award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)
Since 1997, the city of Jacksonville has provided
$900,000 of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to Habijax,
one of the most active local chapters of National Habitat for Humanity.
Since October of that year, 50 of the 270 families assisted also received
down payment assistance from the CDBG funds.
This project is being implemented in specific
neighborhoods designated Intensive Care Neighborhoods by the Mayor, which
assures that the city is implementing multifaceted revitalization projects
in each neighborhood. The project has utilized more than $8.8 million of
non-CDBG and non-state assistance, including $3.3 million in corporate
contributions, on housing construction activities.
The project employs local and county agencies,
private and public funding sources, along with the local Habitat for Humanity
office to offer assistance to its participants in the form of construction
and financial assistance. Homeowners also are required to contribute a small
amount of sweat equity to purchase their homes. Habijaxs housing construction
homeownership activities are implemented and financed through diverse volunteers
and corporate sponsorsa major component of the revitalization efforts.
Strong community support is vital for the operation of this program.
Habijax participants are committed to total neighborhood renovation as well
as improving the local housing market. Their dedication to the community
is vital to bringing the dream of homeownership to the local residents.
Contact: Roslyn M. Phillips, Phone: (904)
Tracking Number: 1299
Winning Category: Program (Community Planning and Development)
Best Practice: Cease Fire Tampa
Cease Fire Protecting Young Lives in Tampa
Tampa, Florida. Firearm safety campaigns can be more than just gun buy-back
programs. The residents of Tampa, Florida have found a way to incorporate
the whole community into a successful educational campaign about the dangers
posed by firearm violence. This community approach, called Cease Fire Tampa,
seeks to decrease the number of injuries and deaths due to firearm violence,
particularly among children.
In 1998, representatives from area hospitals,
law enforcement, private corporate sponsors, the Hillsborough County School
System and local charitable foundations formed this broad-based community
effort in Tampa.
Nancy Crane and Karen Nepenski receiving Best
of the Best award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez
Since then, the group has developed a gun
buy-back for unwanted guns, an innovative firearm safety education program
for third graders, and an evening community education program for the entire
family. Local department and grocery stores have awarded gift certificates
The most interactive and innovative component
of this program is a firearm safety curriculum for third graders, developed
by Tampa General Hospitals MORE HEALTH program and assisted by the
Tampa Police Department. In classroom demonstrations, MORE HEALTH instructors
in partnership with local law enforcement officials, use hands-on materials,
Mr. Bones the skeleton, an anatomy apron, and real x-rays to teach children
how guns can harm their bodies. Over 4,000 third graders learned about the
effects of gun violence in the 1999-2000 school year.
The third and final component of Cease Fire
Tampa involves educating parents and children together. A community
education program involves hands-on interaction between parents, local residents
and childrenwith children teaching the adults the firearm safety tips
they have learned in their classroom. At the end of this hands-on session
free gun locks are offered to each family in attendance. Saving lives from
senseless gun violence is the ultimate goal of this program. With the dedication
and commitment from local citizens and businesses coupled with the cooperation
of local law enforcement, Cease Fire is a program that can be replicated
throughout the country.
The following poem was written by Judeen Motyneaux,
a third grader at Dunbar Magnet School and a participant in Cease Fire
- A gun is no fun If you see a gun be sure
- Never touch a gun You may not see the sun
- Tell a grown up They will pick it up
- Be cool and follow these rules A gun is
a crazy tool
Contact: William J. Kalbas, Phone: (813) 228-2026
Tracking Number: 484
Winning Category: Geographic and Program (Community Builder)
Best Practice: HOPE VI
HOPE VI - More Than Housing in Durkeeville
Jacksonville, Florida. Economic redevelopment is ultimately about partnerships.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the 1996 HOPE VI grant awarded to the
Jacksonville Housing Authority to restore Floridas oldest public housing
development, Durkeeville. Built in 1936, Durkeeville had deteriorated from
a vibrant place to live into a community unable to meet the daily needs
of its aging residents. Through changing economic times residents aged,
died or left the community, and businesses began to closechanging
the dynamics of the neighborhood.
The Jacksonville HOPE VI project and its partnerships
are intended to revitalize the Durkeeville community and create economic
development by building the areas first new shopping complex full
of minority owned businesses, a Shands Medical Clinic, creation of the Durkeeville
Historical Society, and rebuilding of the main thoroughfareMyrtle
Durkeevilles has a rich history. Baseball
great Hank Aaron played baseball in the J.P. Smalls Baseball Park located
next to the housing development. Durkeeville was a vibrant community and
a stable neighborhood full of small businesses, recreation, schools and
churches. The Durkeeville Historical Society was formed in 1998, comprised
of a group of neighborhood residents, with the purpose of educating future
and present generations about their community. Trusted with the task of
establishing a sense of pride, preserving the past, documenting the
present and planning for the future, the society represents the history
of Floridas oldest housing project through pictures, oral histories,
lectures, group tours, and other memorabilia.
The Jacksonville HOPE VI grant provided $1.4
million for restoration of Myrtle Avenue, the main thorough-fare through
the housing project. The development caught the attention of the local electric
as excitement about the Durkeeville project
heightened. With an additional $2.4 million from the local electric company,
Jacksonville Electric Authority, Myrtle Avenue was rebuilt to include better
traffic access, landscaping and parking for its residents.
Economic redevelopment of the area has stimulated
the growth of a five-plex shopping strip on Myrtle Avenue with minority
ownership of the pizza delivery store, the Chinese take-out, the grocery
store, the dollar store and a Shands Medical Clinic to serve residents.
The shopping mall serves the needs of its community while providing $35,000
annually for the Jacksonville Housing Authority.
The HOPE VI project has created lasting partnerships
among its residents and local businesses. From the start of the project
the residents were involved in the planning process. It is efforts on this
grass-roots level that enable a project like this to be duplicated. These
invaluable partnerships will outlast and withstand the fluctuations of a
changing economy and maintain a legacy all too important to be forgotten.
Contact: Elaine D. Spencer, Phone: (904) 232-2627
Tracking Number: 494
Winning Category: Program (Public and Indian Housing)
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Practices 2000 Best of the Best Winners
Content Archived: April 20, 2011