To learn more about the NeighborWorks America ""Neighborhood Marketing Program"":http://www.nw.org/newsroom/NetNews07252012.asp, _DS News_ asked Ascala Sisk, Senior Manager for Community Stabilization at NeighborWorks, a few questions about the effort. The new program is one of many initiatives from the nonprofit to rebuild communities.[IMAGE]
*Q.* In what ways will this initiative help hard-hit communities?
*A.* The NeighborWorks America Neighborhood Marketing Program provides funding and technical assistance to help communities hard-hit by foreclosure. The national program, which launched in June 2012, rebuilds market demand by improving the neighborhoods' image and brand in their regional housing markets.
Under the program, ""16 communities"":http://www.stablecommunities.org/marketing#nwos will receive assistance to market their best attributes, such as great parks, in order to attract new owners and renters, while encouraging current residents to invest and become even more engaged in their communities.
NeighborWorks America's aim is to capture the lessons learned from this program and share them with other communities working on community stabilization.
*Q.* What brought about the idea?
*A.* The Neighborhood Marketing Initiative is a natural extension of our existing leadership in helping residents, local nonprofits, and other businesses respond to the foreclosure crisis and build strong communities.[COLUMN_BREAK]
In our work to support local efforts to address the negative impact vacant and foreclosed homes have on communities, the NeighborWorks America Stable Communities Initiative provides support to nonprofit organizations working to buy, rehab and sell, or rent vacant and foreclosed homes.
We saw that our partners working locally were rehabbing or building high-quality, affordable homes in neighborhoods with less than stellar reputations. When you move beyond the perceptions, the reality is that though there are challenges, these communities also have a lot of positive attributes, and on top of that, significant investment is being made by the NeighborWorks network and their partners to make them even better communities.
With the Neighborhood Marketing Program, we are helping communities to promote their best attributes. Under the program the organizations will build a brand identity that is built on the positive. When people think positive things about a place they are likely to invest in the future of that place, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s that investment by current and future homeowners and by businesses that leads to stabilization.
*Q.* How is this initiative different from other efforts to address the impact of the foreclosure crises on neighborhoods across America?
*A.* The Neighborhood Marketing Program is unique in that it is a national program that allows for local innovation and approaches that are appropriate for each neighborhood. A lot of response to the foreclosure crisis is hard work targeted at families and homes, of preventing foreclosures and putting back to productive use homes that have been foreclosed.
The NeighborWorks America Neighborhood Marketing Program works to improve the communities where foreclosures are taking place. This program provides funding to support comprehensive community stabilization efforts that leverage foreclosure response work and engage current residents and stakeholders in securing the future of their neighborhood.