Established in 1989, Northwest Detroit Neighborhood Development (NDND) is a non-profit 501(c) (3) neighborhood-based organization dedicated to the revitalization of northwest Detroit's Brightmoor community. NDND is the official community housing development organization (CHDO) assigned to the area and is committed to building affordable housing for low and moderate-income residents in Brightmoor.
Brightmoor is a four-square-mile area (bordered by Puritan on the north, Fullerton on the south, Telegraph on the west and Evergreen/Westwood on the east). The area has lost over 37 percent of its housing stock to arson, abandonment and neglect. Home values are extremely volatile and can dramatically change from one street or even one block to another. Less than 40 percent of the homes are owner-occupied, absentee landlords are renting sub-standard facilities and more than 75 percent of the families are headed by single parents.
NDND is committed to involving the community in the planning and revitalization process. The development of affordable and decent housing in targeted areas and the improvement in the quality of life and economic development issues are the key focus of the organization’s goals and objectives.
NDND has built 231 new three and four bedroom affordable homes and renovated a 23 unit apartment complex in the Brightmoor area through the low income tax credit program concentrating on the needs of families in the 30 to 60% range of median income. Residents pay subsidized rents according to their income. Over 30 units are set aside for families with special needs.
An additional 126 homes were developed for homeowners (66 new construction homes and 60 through major rehabilitation efforts). They are all affordable homes targeting homeowners who are below 80% of median income.
Collaboration and the fostering of community leadership development and training has been central to NDND's efforts to rebuild Brightmoor. NDND is committed to organizing block clubs and working with community residents, schools, grass-roots groups, houses of worship, businesses and institutions. NDND is a founding member of the Brightmoor Alliance. Established in 2000, the 45 member coalition focuses on establishing effective lines of communication, coordinating services and planning reinvestment strategies within Brightmoor. The Brightmoor Revitalization Strategy was unanimously adopted in October of 2001 that is used as the blue print for land-use development within the area.
NDND sponsors and coordinates the efforts of multiple volunteer groups (over 500 participants yearly) to clean up vacant lots, plant flowers, clear debris from illegal dumping sites and assist in chores for elderly residents in need of a helping hand. A greenway is being established on Lyndon between Stoepel Park and Eliza Howell Park with the help of volunteers and foundation support.
The community has been involved in numerous data collection and need assessment studies, with the help of several universities and private developers, to design future projects to improve the commercial and economic development opportunities for the area. Brightmoor has been targeted for revitalization efforts as part of the City’s Next Detroit Initiative; LISC’s Strategic Initiative Area (SIA) to engage residents in planning and partnership efforts; Skillman’s Good Neighborhoods, a 10 year commitment to address youth issue; and a target for Neighborhood Stabilization Funds to deal with foreclosures and vacant land problems.
As a result of the studies and community input, NDND continues to develop specific plans to improve the community. Innovative ideas are forming to redevelop the business strip of Fenkell; develop a town square concept with a mixed-use of housing, public gathering spaces and commercial opportunities; plan for the re-use of closed schools for job and entrepreneurial training, college prep classes and urban farming site.
NDND successfully promoted the “farming” of multiple lots in Brightmoor over the last two summers with the help of Michigan State University, master gardeners from the community and neighborhood volunteers. An acre of potatoes were planted in Eliza Howell Park that produced a great crop for local food pantries and residents of the area.