Since its formation, the Neighborhood Leaders Alliance (NLA), sponsored by the Salisbury Community Appearance Commission (CAC), has consistently advocated for cleaner and safer neighborhoods. A 2006 report to City Council of findings and recommendations from the group’s six-month study of city housing conditions eventually led to the reorganization and expansion of the City’s Code Enforcement staff and the formation of the Housing Advocacy Commission (HAC). The commission would provide peer review in housing and code compliance cases, but also serve in an advisory and resource capacity on the more complex challenges to better housing.
With these two key developments in place–code enforcement and Housing Advocacy Commission, the NLA has turned its focus from adequate staffing as it relates to better housing to a more grass-roots approach toward building accountability within neighborhoods. The design and implementation of the BLOCKWORK program is focused on community-wide participation in neighborhood improvement.
BLOCKWORK, a grass-roots program developed in 2010 by the Community Appearance Commission's Neighborhood Leaders Alliance (NLA), strives to bring residents and community volunteers together to build cleaner and safer neighborhoods, one block at a time. Working together with property owners, residents, city staff and other support groups, participants help neighborhoods establish a proactive approach with stewardship of housing resources.
Work plans are designed by key participants and include both a pre- and post- education phase. Projects include carpentry, painting, landscaping and general clean-up in a one-block area. Long-term maintenance responsibility is assumed by block property owners, residents, and neighborhood participants.
Many successful BLOCKWORK events have been held since 2010, including the initial event on South Shaver Street which earned a National Make a Difference Day award and a $10,000 prize.
1. Block must be within Salisbury City Limits.
2. Block must have a designated Block Captain (primary neighborhood contact person). This person or persons do not have to reside on Block.
3. Other neighborhood residents must commit to participate.
4. Block may include both owner-occupied and rental property.
5. Block will consist of facing sides of street from corner to corner, but not crossing intersection. It is possible that not every house on Block will be included in the BLOCKWORK action plan.
6. Adequate need for BLOCKWORK consideration must be demonstrated.
Program Criteria and Evaluation of Submittals
Neighborhoods may submit applications for consideration for an intensive work day by volunteers including carpentry, landscaping, painting and other exterior improvements. Successful applications from neighborhoods will demonstrate need and the willingness to collaborate with property owners, renters, fire, police, planning and code staff, and the volunteer work teams. Applications will be evaluated by an impartial selection committee in coordination with City staff. The work plan will be designed by the principal participants and will include a preliminary education phase.
Applications will be evaluated based on demonstrated need, neighborhood willingness to participate, and potential impact on the surrounding community. The program leaders will tour candidate Blocks with applicants and other appropriate personnel (planning, code enforcement, police, fire, public services, etc.) Program leaders and support staff will meet with property owners and renters to determine feasibility of work plan. For the program to be successful, the anticipated work plan cannot exceed the capacity of the BLOCKWORK team.
BLOCKWORK will be held on national Make a Difference Day in October.
1. Contact Alyssa Nelson, City of Salisbury Urban Design Planner, (704) 638-5235 or firstname.lastname@example.org , with any questions, or if you need assistance with application.
2. Applications must be received by the deadline indicated on application form.
3. Applications may be submitted online, by postal mail, by email: email@example.com, or hand delivered to Alyssa Nelson at the City Office Building, 132 N. Main Street.