RHIC’s Neighborhood Development Program seeks to improve the range of housing options available in Reservoir Hill, stimulate investment, improve amenities, and enhance development opportunities through planning, attracting resources to the community, and organizing community opinion around development strategies.
Are you passionate about housing & development projects in Reservoir Hill?
Join the NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT Community Engagement Committee
This committee's purpose is to:
- Obtain neighborhood concerns & feedback related to zoning proposals, new development, & blight issues.
- Work with city agencies & allied organizations, i.e. Planning, Housing & Community Development, Druid Heights CDC, MRCDC, Healthy Neighborhoods, to fulfill these objectives in partnership & transparency with the neighborhood.
Contact a Committee Facilitator: Don Akchin, Wendall Holmes, & Mike Felner
In this way, WE Build a Better Neighborhood
Current Services Available
housing counseling referrals
Reservoir Hill Improvement Council (RHIC) can refer you to certified housing counseling agencies. These agencies provide a Home Buyer Workshop to learn the basics of purchasing a home – from budgeting and affordability to mortgages and real estate contracts. Completion of housing counseling is a requirement for most city and state down payment incentive programs.Are you thinking about buying a home? Reservoir Hill Improvement Council (RHIC) can refer you to certified housing counseling agencies. These agencies provide a Home Buyer Workshop to learn the basics of purchasing a home – from budgeting and affordability to mortgages and real estate contracts. Completion of housing counseling is a requirement for most city and state down payment incentive programs.
Renovation of Vacant Houses
To date, Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc. has invested $23 million dollars in Reservoir Hill in acquisition, rehab, loans, and community improvement projects. Part of our goal has been to stimulate development through investment in the community that makes others want to invest and develop. And it has had a good effect. The median closing price of houses sold in 2013 was $138,000, the highest since 2007. The community was hit hard by investor foreclosures, but that investment has started to return. For instance, a firm acquired and finished two apartment buildings at Brookfield and Whitelock, and is looking toward other projects in Reservoir Hill.
To learn more about the Neighborhood Development Program, contact Carl Cleary at 410.225.7547 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Partnering with Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc.
Healthy Neighborhoods Inc. (HNI) helps strong but undervalued neighborhoods increase home values, market their communities, create high standards for property improvements and forge strong connections among neighbors. This revitalization strategy focuses on neighborhood strengths, amenities, resident involvement and leadership to create neighborhoods of choice.
Healthy Neighborhoods offers low interest purchase and rehab loans at 1% below the Fannie Mae rate and 110% appraised value. Block and capital projects and neighborhood events are also supported by HNI financing to engage residents to forge stronger connection, attract new home buyers and create positive neighborhood images.
Here are just a few successful neighborhood projects supported by HNI funding:
- Restoration of the upper Park Avenue fountain
- Attractive iron window boxes on Newington Avenue
- Iron tree well fences on Linden Avenue
- Restoration of vacant lots
- Neighborhood festivals
How does HNI help?
- provides capital for purchase and rehab by homeowners
- provides professional advice for rehabbers
- supports community projects with positive images
- provides neighborhood marketing
- provides performance measures
- solicit partnerships
And how do we know its working?
- increased home values
- rising tax base
- decreased time on market
- increased equity investments
- neighborhood organization and activity
Past RHIC-Led Projects
Through a partnership with Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc. and Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, one of the last concentrations of vacant houses in Reservoir Hill on Callow Avenue were restored to their historic aesthetic with modern amenities.
Druid Heights CDC & SM+P Architects worked closely with Baltimore City Commission for Historical & Architectural Preservation (CHAP) to ensure proper historic preservation approaches and details. The partners used four different models for interior space planning, including a two-dwelling unit plan.
Highlights of the designs included:
full existing footprint of each house was maintained
maximal incorporation of pervious material
garden and lawn spaces
generous availability of natural lighting
Renderings for Callow Avenue were created by SM+P Associates. To view the designs, click here.
The $15 million renovation of John Eager Howard Elementary School began in 2016 with the new facility opening January 2018 as one of the first 21st Century Schools in Baltimore. The new school will merge the student populations of Westside & John Eager Howard Elementary Schools. Achieving this has been the result of a city-wide campaign organized through Transform Baltimore and Baltimore Education Coalition to modernize all Baltimore City public schools in which RHIC has been an active partner for the last four years. Today, our work in community engagement around the design of the new facility is being looked as a model for other communities.
North Avenue has long been seen as a barrier between Reservoir Hill and the neighborhoods to our south. Drawn together by Councilman Nick Mosby’s office, RHIC entered into a partnership with Druid Heights CDC, Coppin Heights CDC, Neighborhood Design Center, and Baltimore City Department of Transportation to create a streetscape plan in 2014 for North Avenue from Charles Street west to Hilton.
Baltimore Community Foundation Target Neighborhood Initiative
The Target Neighborhood Initiative is an extension of Baltimore Community Foundation’s (BCF) strategy to invest in “middle neighborhoods,” neighborhoods with underlying strengths but that have been historically undervalued—many of which are now retaining and attracting new residents and serving as critical regional building blocks.
Reservoir Hill Improvement Council was selected to be one of two initial target neighborhoods. BCF commits $300,000 plus significant staff and other human resource support over a three year period.
BCF worked closely with RHIC in developing a plan for the 5 year investment, and in incorporating issues of race, equity and inclusion into the planning process and work. A series of leadership team sessions, a Board of Directors meeting, and joint meetings of the teams, Board, and staff in May – July 2012 established a set of priorities. This constituted the core of RHIC’s planning processes for the BCF three-year investment. Sixty-five individuals participated in the process. Partner organizations represented in the leadership teams included Beth Am Synagogue, Bolton-Park Neighbors, Child First, Historic Mt. Royal Terrace Association, John Eager HowardRecreation Center, John Eager Howard School, Lakeside Neighbors Coalition, New Lens, Reservoir Hill Mutual Homes, Upper Eutaw Madison Neighborhood Association, and Whitelock Community Farm. Discussions are underway with St. Francis Neighborhood Center to better incorporate the Center into neighborhood planning.