Page 51 - Network Magazine Spring 2019
P. 51

 they are located, but costs to rent these very same properties are quite high, making the homes very attrac- tive for investors. Tenants are not likely to heavily invest in homes they do not own, and unfortunately, the vast amount of investors are not going to infuse the amount of capital improvements needed into this older housing stock to revitalize a neighborhood. Municipal leaders are now targeting these more transient, destabilized areas for revitalization.
Middle-income neighborhoods need to market them- selves to who they were originally built for in order to survive: working-class residents and middle class. Unlike 50 years ago, they cannot be marketed only to families with children. Empty nesters looking to downsize, first-time homebuyers who are looking to establish roots in a true community, potential residents attracted to
the unique geography and offerings of the area are all potential targets for any middle neighborhood revitaliza- tion. Providing a way of communicating the good things
Historic Bethlehem
MUSEUMS & SITES
going on in these areas is critical to restoring confidence in the neighborhood and attracting long term homeown- ers and quality investors. Municipalities, neighborhood associations, and realtors need to tout the benefits of sustainable homeownership for families – less school transiency, better educational attainment and stronger social ties to their communities. Even those communities who have realized that these neighborhoods are no lon- ger attractive to homeowners must implement policies that promote stable, responsible landlords purchasing properties and put investors on notice as to acceptable property standards. Providing quality municipal services to property owners, fostering a sense of community and allowing residents to participate in shaping the future of these neighborhoods will all allow the middle neighbor- hood to again be a sturdy, stable base of a postindustrial city.
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