16 Jun Community Redevelopment, One Home at a Time
In our neighborhood, the Hallandale Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (HBCRA) is making an effective impact by helping homeowners simply paint their home exteriors. This sets off the catalytic effect of making entire neighborhoods more pleasing and inviting to residents as well as prospective homebuyers.
The HBCRA has developed a program called “Paint the Town.” The HBCRA offers a paint voucher worth up to $500, for the purchase of exterior paint and supplies for a residential property being painted by the homeowner. If the homeowner cannot undertake painting, the program also allows hiring a qualified paint company or contractor. HBCRA covers 90% of a maximum cost of $2,500 for single-family dwellings and 75% of maximum cost of $5,000 for multi-unit dwellings. Additionally, there is a free paint program (PTT) available for eligible property and homeowners.
Since its inception in 2018, the Hallandale Beach’s Paint the Town Program helped paint the exteriors of 242 homes at the cost of $648,581. While words can tell the story of the program’s objectives, seeing a newly painted home does a much better job in demonstrating the power that a simple paint job can have on a standalone home.
To create an exterior home-painting program, a community redevelopment agency or similar municipal organization must take the lead by creating a fund of monies for executing a selective and administrable program in a specially targeted neighborhood. The fund should be complemented by a clearly articulated public policy with an economic or community development focus. The program must be measurable to demonstrate accountability both in the discharge of funds as well as compliance mechanisms to ensure that payments are made directly to contractors prequalified by the administering organization.
Such programs must naturally be accompanied by certain eligibility requirements. In Hallandale Beach, the property must be located within the CRA District (the economic development zone outlined in local policy). The property must be in need of painting as determined by HBCRA staff or City Code Compliance officer (a minimum of four years must pass since the last painting). In addition, the property may qualify if it is marred by unfortunate markings such as graffiti or deterioration from unattractive peeling, chipping, or discoloration – all of which reduce the property’s aesthetic appeal. The homeowner must be current with all property taxes and utilities payments.
The results are every bit psychological as they are economical. Freshly painted homes conveys a sense of community pride – pride in property and a sense of order. When homeowners take the first steps toward neighborhood beautification others may follow: a desire for infrastructural improvements, better safety initiatives, and a closer watch against crime and other forms of neglect. Exterior home painting programs help provide property owners with a much needed push to get the ball rolling.
While words can tell the story of the program’s objectives, seeing a newly painted home does a much better job in demonstrating the power that a simple paint job can have on a standalone home. It supports the notion that we cannot rebuild our communities entirely from the top-down, but in some cases from the bottom-up, one eyeful at a time.