The Cavile Place/Stop Six area on the city’s east side was selected to serve as the pilot for a new program that will pump money into improving some of the city’s more vulnerable neighborhoods.
The program has been in the making since David Cooke took over as city manager more than two years ago. In a reorganization, Cooke started a Neighborhood Service Department and asked the council to commission a comprehensive study of the city that looks into such things as poverty, education and employment data.
After analyzing the data, Cavile Place, a public housing complex and the Stop Six neighborhood where it is located, were selected from a list of five neighborhoods identified as having immediate needs. The targeted area will be bordered by Rosedale Street on the north, Ramey Avenue on the south, Stalcup Road on the east and just west of Edgewood Terrace on the west.
The council has approved spending $2.56 million this fiscal year for improvements in Cavile Place/Stop Six. The money comes from a newly established fund designed to pay for one-time projects. How it is spent will be decided after community input, but it could be spent on things like removing brush and improving sidewalks, roads and streetlights.
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While the focus is public safety, improving the looks of a neighborhood is also a concern, Cooke said. Success will be determined by remeasuring some of the data, including whether residents have an increased positive perception of their community, he said.
I’m optimistic that this is a pretty exciting strategy in looking at how to improve neighborhoods. Not all of them are thriving. We’ve got some that are struggling.
Fort Worth City Manager David Cooke
“I’m optimistic that this is a pretty exciting strategy in looking at how to improve neighborhoods,” Cooke said. “Not all of them are thriving. We’ve got some that are struggling.”
If the program works, a different neighborhood will be selected each fiscal year, Cooke said.
Aubrey Thagard, director of the Neighborhood Services department who will oversee the program, said Cavile Place/Stop Six was at the top of the list when it comes to high poverty, crime and code compliance issues.
We want to make sure that the work we’re doing is maintaining a positive impact, that we come into a neighborhood, we enhance it and we find it stronger and more viable than when we came in.
Aubrey Thagard, Neighborhood Services Department director
“We can have an immediate impact,” Thagard said.
But, he said, “We want to make sure that the work we’re doing is maintaining a positive impact, that we come into a neighborhood, we enhance it and we find it stronger and more viable than when we came in.”
That includes leaving long-term strategies in place at the end of the year, Thagard said.
“Once the investment is made, that’s not the end of the city’s commitment here,” he said.
In June, the council signed a memorandum of understanding with Fort Worth Housing Solutions, the Fort Worth school district and the Fort Worth Transportation Agency, to work together in the revitalization efforts in Cavile Place/Stop Six. This pilot program will supplement those efforts.
Cavile Place, one of two public housing complexes dedicated solely to low-income people, is to be demolished by the end of 2018. It will be replaced with new development.
Other neighborhoods considered for the pilot program were Greater Como/Alamo Heights, Diamond Hill-Jarvis, Greater Hillside/Morningside and Highland Hills.