Housing Improvement Task Force
The City of Montclair Redevelopment Agency created the Housing Improvement Task Force (HITF) in 1986 for the purpose of improving housing conditions. Since that time, the Task Force has actively pursued numerous alternatives in search of this goal. One of the successful strategies employed has been the creation of Foundation Areas. Such areas are defined as specific neighborhoods in which the Task Force concentrates its labor and financial resources. It is in these Foundation Areas that the Task Force has been successful in improving neighborhoods. The Task Force is comprised with at least one representative from the following departments: Redevelopment, Community Development, Police, Fire/Code Enforcement, and Public Works.
The Task Force's approach to effectuating lasting change in a Foundation Area neighborhood has been to work with the existing property owners to form an owners association. Once that has been accomplished, the City/Redevelopment Agency has provided the owners with common area improvements that otherwise would not be feasible. This approach has been quite successful as evidenced by the success of participating Foundation Areas: Helena Gardens, Cobblestone Village, and Montclair Meadows owners associations. The City/Agency's receipt of the 1990 Helen Putnam Award in Excellence for the Helena Gardens project has led to the Agency's approach being modeled by numerous cities statewide.
The primary goals of the Task Force are to create a sense of neighborhood, instill a feeling of security, and improve the aesthetic environment of the Foundation Areas. To accomplish these goals, several improvement and renovation plans are identified for the Foundation Areas. Participating Foundations Areas who form an Owner's Association and abide by the Association's rules and guidelines have received a combination of the following renovations in their improvement plans:
- Decorative ornamental iron fencing, with a consistent design and color in front yards.
Masonry walls constructed between buildings across common side yards for private open space.
- Landscaping and irrigation installed in front yards with a common theme and emphasis on aesthetics, security, and low maintenance. The landscaping theme includes turf and tree planting.
- Entry monument signage, themed to project name.
- Electrically controlled gates located at alley entrances with provisions made for emergency access (police, paramedic, fire, etc.).
- Asphalt resurfacing in apartment alleyways.
- Alley improvements.
- Trash-enclosure construction.
For additional information, please contact Christine S. Caldwell, Assistant Housing Director, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (909) 625-9413.