Arlington's New Neighborhood Enhancement Team Partnering Residents to Make a Difference
By Susan Schrock, Office of Communication
Posted on September 20, 2019, September 20, 2019

The City of Arlington’s new Neighborhood Enhancement Team is partnering with residents to improve curb appeal, protect home values and build community pride in neighborhoods across The American Dream City.

The Arlington City Council approved the creation of the Neighborhood Enhancement Team, which launched in January, as part of its priority to Champion Great Neighborhoods. The team, which includes city employees from code compliance, police, fire and library, uses data such as the volume of code compliance complaints and police calls for service to strategically select neighborhoods where additional city resources and assistance will be offered over a 12-month period.

“The information helps us identify neighborhoods where this innovative collaboration is most likely to provide an immediate and lasting change for the better,” Mayor Jeff Williams said. “By proactively engaging with our residents and providing these targeted city resources, we are continuing our efforts to keep Arlington beautiful and create safe, stable and attractive neighborhoods that our families are proud to make their home.”

Recently, the Neighborhood Enhancement Team collaborated with residents to host a cleanup day in the Phillips Park neighborhood, which is part of the Heart of Arlington Neighborhood Association in Downtown. Property owners, volunteers from the nearby Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church, the Heart of Arlington Neighborhood Association, and city employees worked together to improve the appearance and quality of life in the Phillips Park neighborhood. Republic Services provided two large dumpsters for residents to dispose of trash, old furniture, fence panels, tree limbs and other household items cluttering their properties. City employees from Code Compliance, Library and Police also assisted five residents in cleaning up their yards.

Afterward, participants celebrated the results of their hard work. The City brought the Block Party Trailer with tables, chairs, games and other items needed to host a lunch for about 30 residents who helped in the cleanup. Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church provided bounce houses for the neighborhood children.

“This is a great way to connect with your neighbors while taking advantage of the resources provided by the City and community partners to cleanup your property and neighborhood,” said Neal Lucas, Code Compliance Services field operations manager.

The Neighborhood Enhancement Team, headed up by Senior Code Compliance Officers Curtis Jones and Sergio Erazo, will continue visiting Phillips Park property owners over the coming months. Planned outreach efforts include providing educational resources and materials to residents, working with property owners to promptly address new code violations, and developing relationships with Phillips Park residents.

The collaboration is already producing positive results. During the initial inspection in July, Code Compliance officers found that 158, or 60 percent, of the 264 properties in the Phillips Park neighborhood had code violations, Lucas said. In all, 309 violations were noted. After weeks of face-to-face communication and proactive outreach by phone and mail, Code Compliance officers found during a follow-up inspection at the end of August that the number of remaining code violations had been voluntarily reduced by the residents to only 28 percent.

Click here to learn more about common code concerns, such as dilapidated fences, high weeds and grass and nuisance vehicles. Residents can help the City keep neighborhoods clean and safe by reporting concerns to the Action Center at 817-459-6777 or through the free Ask Arlington app.

Community members can suggest a neighborhood to partner with the Neighborhood Enhancement Team by sending an email to [email protected] or [email protected].

Click here to visit the Neighborhood Enhancement Team website and learn about how to become a community volunteer or cleanup day sponsor. 

Champion Great Neighborhoods, Neighborhood Enhancement Team
News, Government, Code Compliance