The Prospect Village Initiative – Nebraskans for Solar Joins Over Thirty Other Local Organizations

Nebraskans for Solar’s Board of Directors are pleased to announce that our nonprofit was recently invited to be a part of the Prospect Village Initiative, joining approximately thirty other currently participating organizations.

David Thomas, Assistant Director of the City of Omaha’s Planning Department, Housing and Community Development Division, has provided the following overview:

The City of Omaha Planning Department is now involved with the most comprehensive neighborhood revitalization initiative it has launched to date. The focus of this initiative is Prospect Village (30th to 36th, Hamilton to Lake) and the intent of the initiative is to be as holistic as possible. In brief, the Prospect Village Initiative involves the following:

Housing: demolition of unsafe/unfit structures; the construction of new housing, rehabilitation of owner-occupied housing, rehabilitation of renter housing; lead-hazard control in owner and renter housing; energy conservation improvements in existing housing; health, safety and energy improvements in existing housing; “healthy homes” assessments and consultation on healthy homes improvements.

Gardening & Vacant Lot Maintenance: on lots owned by the City, a gardening and lot maintenance program.

Services: Financial management education; energy conservation and level payment plan workshops; programs, presentations and workshops addressing childhood obesity, youth employment, safety and security in the neighborhood, parenting and other life skills; etc.

Economic Development: And finally, while the initiative itself does not create jobs, there is another way in which neighborhood economic development is addressed, i.e., through the savings that results in utility and house maintenance bills. Fifty to seventy homes saving, let’s say, $40/month on utility bills is not insignificant. The result is more disposable income for the household. This plus the benefits available through financial management education (and peer support/coaching) can sum to a meaningful difference for low-income families.

Currently, there are approximately thirty organizations participating in the Prospect Village Initiative with approximately eighty specific programs available through these organizations. Part and parcel of this initiative is the need to develop a strong neighborhood association (well underway) as well as the need to develop feedback and evaluation processes that allow the neighborhood and the various programs involved to know what has been accomplished and to change course, if need be.

The overall intent of the initiative is to develop a holistic model for neighborhood revitalization, a model that can be moved from neighborhood to neighborhood to the advantage of each neighborhood it touches and therefore, of advantage to the health and vitality of the city overall.

The organizations currently a part of this initiative are:

Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance
Habitat for Humanity
Rebuilding Together
Family Housing Advisory Services
No More Empty Pots
City Sprouts
Big Garden
King of Kings
Nebraskans for Solar
Holy Name Housing Corporation
Omaha 100
Financial Hope Collaborative
Live Well Omaha Kids
Alegent Creighton Health
Center for Holistic Development
Boys Town
Nebraska Families Collaborative
The Empowerment Network
Abide Network
Compass Ministries
Compassion in Action
Restoration Exchange Omaha
Prospect Village Neighborhood Association
North Omaha Neighborhood Alliance
75 North Development
Prospect Hill Cemetery
City of Omaha Planning Department
City of Omaha Police Department
City of Omaha Fire Department
City of Omaha Parks Department
UNO Service Learning