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At Home in Duluth: Building Sustainable Communities

Duluth Veteran's PlaceWhat are Sustainable Communities? These are places that offer the positive environments needed to ensure that all residents of varied income levels are provided the opportunities and tools to build assets, to participate in their communities, and to become part of the mainstream economy. They are, in effect, the embodiment of both community and development — places where human opportunity and social and economic vitality combine with a continuous process of growth, adaptation, and improvement.

Launched in 2007, LISC’s Building Sustainable Communities strategy has proven to be a promising agent of change, one that is flexible, innovative and responsive to local conditions. It reaches into every corner of a community’s life with a comprehensive approach that can help change the trajectory of disadvantaged neighborhoods.

How does this play out in practice? In Duluth, LISC implements the Building Sustainable Communities Initiative through At Home in Duluth a collaborative of 25 city agencies and non-profit organizations working in the target neighborhoods of Morgan Park, West Duluth, Lincoln Park, Central Hillside and East Hillside. The At Home members collaborate with each other and with the City of Duluth on comprehensive neighborhood revitalization: affordable housing development and rehabilitation, redevelopment of historic properties, neighborhood planning, commercial corridor development, resident engagement, asset and income building strategies, foreclosure remediation and workforce and educational initiatives.

Ours is no longer just a vision or hopeful plan. Building Sustainable Communities offers neighborhoods a way forward to developing stability and promoting growth. It helps transform streets marked by chronic poverty and stagnation into good places to live, work, do business and raise families.

The Building Sustainable Communities Strategy has five goals:

Expanding Investment in Housing and Other Real Estate

Increasing Family Income and Assets

Stimulating Economic Development

Improving Access to Quality Education

Supporting Safe, Healthy Environments and Lifestyles