Neighborhood Improvement Program
In 2019, the Town of Wendell kicked off a Neighborhood Improvement Program, which seeks to create healthy, safe, walkable neighborhoods through investments that will enhance infrastructure, preserve affordability, and increase accessibility for all residents. This program implements several Strategic Plan goals, including:
Goal 1 Downtown, Vibrancy, Economic Growth, and Community Character
- Identify opportunities for infill housing and commercial development in Downtown and establish a program to promote the potential development or redevelopment projects. (Top Priority Initiative)
Goal 2 Public Safety and Neighborhood Improvement
- Seek opportunities and programs to improve traffic and pedestrian safety near school sites. (High Priority Initiative)
- Conduct a comparative analysis of community improvement programs to seek a neighborhood driven solution for engagement, housing repair, and aesthetic improvement.
- Develop a pilot project for a “neighborhood clean-up day” to connect citizens in-need to resources for home and yard improvements, encourage voluntary efforts, and improve public spaces for a targeted geographic area.
- Evaluate housing stock and identify opportunities to encourage a diversity of housing types, promote infill development, and provide for connectivity, beautification, and park improvements.
Goal 3 Infrastructure, Transportation, and the Environment
- Establish a sidewalk maintenance program to implement the Pedestrian Plan.
- Identify needed stormwater projects and maintenance of existing infrastructure.
Goal 4 Parks, Recreation, Special Events and Culture
- Implementation of the Parks & Recreation Master Plan.
The Neighborhood Improvement Program divides the community into four quadrants (see above), based on US Census Block Groups, and focuses efforts on one quadrant each fiscal year, based on that area’s greatest needs. The determination of need is mostly data driven, using information such as citizen surveys, infrastructure analysis, home values and age. For fiscal year 2021, staff is focusing efforts on Zone 1 (see map here).
The two major priorities of the identified project are housing rehabilitation and infrastructure improvements. The recommended infrastructure projects have been identified by Town staff as having the highest priority in order to complete pedestrian networks, repair failing infrastructure, and protect public safety. As a result, the Town is planning to address road and sidewalk improvements on Academy, Todd, Cook and Wall Streets, drainage improvements on Short Street and ADA sidewalk improvements at the Wall Street/Todd Street intersection in Fiscal Year 2021.
To supplement the infrastructure improvements the Town has budgeted, staff has submitted a Letter of Intent to Wake County to receive funding through their redesigned Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. To address the infrastructure needs of the target area, the Town of Wendell is requesting Wake County to provide funding assistance in the amount of $886,040 for needed improvements. This includes road, sidewalk and ADA improvements on Academy, Todd, Cook and Wall Streets.
Upon full project completion, a substantial portion of area residents would be able to safely and conveniently navigate to the Wendell Blvd/Wendell Falls Parkway intersection, for secure crossing at a signalized intersection to the broader Wendell Blvd pedestrian network.
To address the housing rehabilitation needs the Town of Wendell will partner with Wake County Department of Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization, Wendell Council of Churches, and other local and regional non-profits to preserve the aging housing stock and provide cleanup in the area. This will include major home repair, minor home repair, lead hazard reduction and abatement, health and safety repairs, related home repair activities and neighborhood cleanup initiatives. Housing rehabilitation work will only be performed for those that qualify as LMI based on the HUD-CDBG income requirements.
The Town of Wendell has the following goals related to housing rehabilitation within the targeted area;
✓ Housing rehabilitation (major, minor and health and safety repairs) of 20 homes
✓ Painting and/or power washing of 10 homes
✓ Weatherization/Energy Efficiency type improvements of 6 homes
✓ Neighborhood cleanup efforts in a substantial area of the targeted zone