Goal 3: Advance Initiatives to Connect Communities, Deconcentrate Poverty & Strengthen Neighborhoods

St. Paul's Initiative

The St. Paul's area is home to the region's highest concentration of public housing with 1,674 aging units in three adjacent family public housing communities that have reached the end of their useful life. The St. Paul's area floods regularly and is further exacerbated by crumbling infrastructure. Crime and lack of connectivity to the rest of the city creates a sense of physical, social and economic isolation in the community. 

The City of Norfolk in partnership with neighborhood residents and the Norfolk Housing and Redevelopment Authority has developed a vision for St. Paul's revitalization into one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city where families and residents from all income levels, races, ages and cultures can live, learn, work, play and thrive. Learn more about St. Paul's Initiatives.

Bank On

Bank On Norfolk has been essential in advancing our resilience goals by building economic resilience throughout Norfolk, resident by resident. Bank On Norfolk was established in January 2016, when the City partnered with Bank On Hampton Roads to bring free financial education classes to Norfolk citizens, a collaboration that also aligns with the Norfolk Plan to Reduce Poverty. It is a rigorous, 10-month long course that partners students with volunteer coaches to improve their financial literacy, become fully-banked, and to develop strategies that lead participants to a brighter financial future.

The first Bank On session offered saw 11 Norfolk citizens graduate, and to date Bank On Norfolk has held 8 classes, and has celebrated over 60 graduates.

Bank On Hampton Roads depends on community volunteers to make this program available to the public at no cost. If you are interested in attending a Bank On class or becoming a volunteer instructor or coach, go to the Bank On Norfolk page for more information.

Citywide Affordable Housing Study

In early 2017, the City of Norfolk concluded a Citywide Affordable Housing Study conducted by HR&A Advisors to provide a market analysis of Norfolk neighborhoods, assess the City's housing needs, and offer realistic solutions to fulfill those needs. Based on the results of the study, two main goals were identified that form the basis of the City's Affordable Housing Strategy: Strengthen neighborhoods and deconcentrate poverty. 

To achieve these goals, a comprehensive toolbox was created with various strategies and tools that will be geographically deployed in order to strengthen the housing market in targeted neighborhoods. These collaborative efforts are driving the implementation of our third resilience goal. Learn more.

Strengthening Neighborhoods Pilot 

The final phase of the Citywide Affordable Housing Study conducted in 2016 to 2017 included recommendations for strengthening neighborhoods. Beginning this year, the City will launch a pilot in targeted neighborhoods where the housing market is showing strength, but could tip toward weakness without proper investment. In these "tipping point neighborhoods" the city will deploy a series of tools designed to increase home ownership, promote small rental revitalization, and create new rental housing.

Existing city programs such as Renovate Norfolk, will be paired with new programs, such as Small Rental Rehabilitation, with the goal of moving the housing market in a positive direction.