To the Editor:
Our NRZ was disrespected recently and I want to set the record straight. We work hard in our neighborhood to improve it. North Oak is not being run by inmates; it is being run by residents who deserve a neighborhood where people actually want to live.
We have work groups on crime, blight and citizen education. On Nov. 18, there was a training session for community residents on how to identify blighted properties, and seven teams surveyed our streets. The Health Department will receive a list next week.
We expect the city to enforce its anti-blight ordinance against owners of unsafe buildings, abandoned houses, dangerous sidewalks, and overgrown lots. I will invite the Health Department to report on Jan. 29, 2018 on actions the city is taking to address blight and revitalize North Oak.
The NRZ is a great idea, but without help and funding, the power behind the concept is limited. According to the city budget, there is money for the NRZs. Where is the money we’re supposed to be given to help our neighborhoods?
North Oak needs more resources to make the neighborhood better. If current property owners aren’t willing to make that happen, maybe new ones need to be allowed in. We’ve worked with nonprofits that could take over blighted areas to redevelop and make those areas of our city nice again, and we need to let them. Nonprofits like Neighborhood Housing Services of New Britain, Inc., Habitat for Humanity, and Rebuilding Together have done more for our neighborhood than our city has done.
North Oak needs people to come together and join us in our fight to make our neighborhood a better place to live. You can get more information at our meeting on Jan. 29, 2018 and at the North Oak NRZ Facebook page.
A person ready for some action,
President, North Oak NRZ