Making a More Competitive Block Challenge Grant Application
Block Challenge grants are competitive. It is expected that the number of applicants will exceed the available funds each year. Therefore, priority for funding is made on the criterion below.
1. Location in a Target Zone
Clusters of properties that are located inside, or within a block of, the target zones will be more likely to be funded that clusters outside the target
2. Close Proximity of Clustered Properties
Properties that are physically close together will create more of an impact than properties that are scattered. Applications where the property improvements
are occuring in a concentrated area are more likely to be funded than applications where houses are separated by great distances.
3. High Numbers of Participating Properties
Although at least 5 households on the same block are required to participate, that is just the minimum. Competitive applications have 10 or even 15 houses participating on the same block. It is important that these houses are on the same street. If many more houses are recruited, but they are scattered around other blocks, streets, this will weaken the application. Houses on other streets must be encouraged to form their own group application.
4. Teamwork on Projects
All things being equal, groups that demonstrate specifically how they will work together and assist each other in their block improvements are more
5. A Plan to Sustain the Momentum
This is a significant factor in the competitiveness of an application. Block Challenge grants are designed to do more than improve homes. The ORA seeks to partner with residents to revitalize whole neighborhoods over several years. This is accomplished both through physical improvements and -- just an
importantly -- stronger connections among neighbors. A strong grant application will indicate future plans for how the neighbors will work together to improve
their block - not only physically, but socially as well. Having your group meet with a Resident Leader to discuss your neighborhood, and get
ideas on how sustained revitalization can be sustained, will likely strengthen the application. Please contact the ORA to set up an appointment.