Through the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, Habitat for Humanity will serve more families by responding to community needs with an expanded array of products, services and partnerships, enhancing the quality of life for all.
—Sarah Brachle, executive director, DuPage Habitat for Humanity (Ill.)
The housing need in the United States is significant—and growing.
According to The State of the Nation’s Housing 2010  (JCHS), roughly one in six Americans is in need of a decent, affordable place to live.
Our nationwide economic crisis is creating financial difficulties for entire communities. They face not only foreclosures, abandonment and home-maintenance issues, but also the variety of problems that surface as a result. In short, families and communities are suffering.
What role can Habitat for Humanity play in holistic—and significant—community revitalization, addressing not only housing needs but also residents’ quality of life?
The Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative helps fulfill Habitat’s mission.
Local Habitat affiliates have an important role in neighborhood revitalization efforts. They know the needs of their community and the transformative effect safe, decent housing can have on a family.
They also know that just one decent home in a blighted neighborhood, while a good start, is not the only help the community needs.
The Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative was designed to help U.S. affiliates as they work to transform neighborhoods using a holistic approach. Habitat affiliates are joining residents, nonprofits, businesses, local governments and communities of faith to create and implement a shared vision of revitalization.
Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative affiliates tailor work being done in each neighborhood to meet its specific needs.
Our affiliates, in partnership with community organizations and agencies, will decide what work needs to be carried out in their community. A wide array of housing services can be tapped to help transform communities in need, such as:
- New, energy-efficient house construction.
- Rehabilitation of vacant and foreclosed properties.
- House repairs for existing low-income homeowners, through A Brush with Kindness  and critical home repairs.
- Weatherization to make existing houses more energy efficient  and affordable.
Habitat for Humanity is just one part of a communitywide solution.
Collaboration with other local groups is an essential ingredient of the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. This includes:
- Working with residents and other significant stakeholders in the community to develop a common plan of recovery and vision for the future.
- Forging both formal and informal partnerships and alliances at the local level.
- Joining or forming community coalitions.
- Rallying active neighborhood support.
- Advocating public policy for local housing initiatives.
Together, Habitat for Humanity, neighborhood residents and local partners can change the face of neighborhoods and the lives of the families who live there—forever.