The Stevens Square Community Organization will host a neighborhood meeting to explain its Neighborhood Revitalization Program Phase II plan and seek comments Wednesday, Sept. 18, 7 p.m., at the Van Dusen Mansion, 1900 LaSalle Ave.
SSCO has developed a $2.6 million, 5-year plan, organizing spending under the broad headings of Housing and Development ($1.5 million), Outreach ($455,000), Arts and Greening ($338,000) and Safety ($253,000).
The neighborhood group will use the 5-year plan to develop its NRP Phase II plan, said Executive Director Doug Kress. SSCO could expect to get roughly $1.6 million in the next round of NRP, according to the NRP website.
Big-ticket items in the 5-year plan include $500,000 for a residential rehabilitation loan fund and $500,000 for a new commercial loan fund. Small-ticket items include $10,100 to encourage the installation/adoption of window boxes.
SSCO will redraft the plan based on public comments, Kress said. It plans to bring a final plan to a neighborhood-wide vote in October. If residents OK the plan, it would go to the NRP Policy Board and City Council for final approval.
The Stevens Square/Loring Heights neighborhood borders are Franklin Avenue, Lyndale Avenue, I-94 and I-35W. It is a neighborhood with a high concentration of renters.
The City Council has put a premium on funding affordable housing in NRP Phase II.
The SSCO 5-year plan has more money for housing initiatives than it might appear, Kress said. In addition to the $500,000 residential rehabilitation loan fund, the $500,000 commercial loan program is intended to support mixed-use development along Nicollet Avenue — including both rental and home ownership opportunities.
Yet Stevens Square needed to add safety and commercial corridor development in addition to housing, Kress said.
"We need to be viable as a neighborhood for the residents," he said. "There needs to be places for people to shop and patronize, so we can welcome people — so we can compete with other communities."
The 5-year plan includes money for SSCO staff: $199,000 to carry out the housing and development plan; $175,000 for the safety coordinator, and $75,000 for the outreach and events coordinator. Those positions make up 17 percent of the $2.6 million budget.
Other items in the proposed 5-year plan include:
For more information, call SSCO at 871-7307.