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On February 21, 2001, the Municipal Assembly adopted the final version of the Anchorage 2020 Comprehensive Plan. Strategies to implement this overarching vision call for development of several smaller plans with a specific focus. The draft Fairview Community Plan is an implementing plan for Anchorage 2020.
Anchorage 2020 also calls for the development of functional plans that focus on a specific area or need such as the Anchorage Long Range Transportation Plan or the Housing and Community Development Consolidated Plan. These planning efforts call for the Municipality to pursue design and construction of the Highway-to-Highway Connection and the creation of a Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area, which focuses on improving the economic vitality of specific neighborhoods.
The Highway-to-Highway Connection project has obtained start-up funding and work has begun on production of an Environmental Impact Statement. Advance acquisition of right-of-way is also occurring with funds appropriated from the Alaska Legislature.
In February of 2008, the Anchorage Housing and Neighborhood Development Commission approved a Resolution (click here to view the Resolution) encouraging Municipal staff to assist the Fairview Community Council with developing a Fairview Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy for their Council area. This Revitalization Strategy effort is to be crafted concurrently with the Highway-to-Highway Connection project. The purpose is to ensure that construction of a limited access freeway through a predominately low-income area is done in such a way that the Fairview area receives significant economic and community benefits.
The following description is from the 2003-2007 Consolidated Plan.
Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA)
"NSRA" is a formal designation from HUD concerning a distressed area of a community that allows more effective targeting of community development resources. Pursuing NSRA designation presents an opportunity for Anchorage to formally recognize a distressed community area as the target for a coordinated effort to leverage funding partnerships to spur reinvestment into local human and economic capital.
The long-term goal of an NRSA is greater self-sufficiency for all of a neighborhood’s residents. The Municipality can use NRSAs as a tool for community reinvestment, provided communities document and demonstrate distress, the activities are economically feasible and use a comprehensive approach to encourage citizen participation. The Community Development Division will be willing to fund NSRAs that are well documented, economically feasible, and exhibit comprehensive citizen participation.
A successful NRSA effort must do the following:
§ Obtain commitments to neighborhood building.
§ Make neighborhoods attractive for investments, thereby creating a market for profits.
§ Generate neighborhood participation to ensure that the benefits of an economic activity are reinvested in the neighborhood for long-term community development.
§ Support the use of neighborhood organizations such as community development organizations, community development financial institutions, community housing development organizations, and religious institutions to bridge the gaps between local government, the business community, community groups, and residents.
§ Foster the growth of resident-based initiatives to identify and address their housing, economic, and human service needs.
§ Upon designation, HUD eases some of the regulatory restrictions otherwise placed on the use of CDBG funds. To receive the designation, the Municipality must:
§ Identify the neighborhood’s boundaries. All of the boundaries must be contiguous.
§ Demonstrate that the selected area is primarily residential and contains a high percentage of low- and moderate-income residents. The threshold is usually 70 percent, but may be as low as 51 percent.
§ Describe how the strategy was developed with consultation of the area’s stakeholders, including residents, business owners, financial institutions, community groups, and local non-profits that serve the neighborhood.
§ Assess the economic conditions of the area and examine the potential opportunities and problems likely to be encountered.
§ Develop a realistic strategy and implementation plan to promote the area’s economic progress, create meaningful jobs for the low and moderate income residents, and promote substantial revitalization.
§ Identify the results expected to be achieved in measurable benchmarks.