It’s all part of the Renaissance Block Challenge, a neighborhood revitalization effort of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) that uses small matching grants to support physical improvements and build stronger connections between neighbors.
To apply for Renaissance Block status in 2014, neighbors must form a cluster of at least five property owners who intend to make exterior home improvements during 2014. A simple pre-application listing those properties is due by March 14.
Copies of the pre-application can be found at the JRC’s Web site, www.jamestownrenaissance.org, or requested from Mary Maxwell, the JRC’s Neighborhood Project Associate, at 664-2477 ext. 224.
Since 2011, 15 neighborhood clusters with nearly 150 participating property owners have received Renaissance Block status. Those properties have invested $400,000 into eligible improvements, including painting, porch repair, landscaping, and a wide range of other upgrades. Each participant has received up to $1,000 in matching funds to offset their expenses, and access to discounts from local garden center and hardware stores.
The program has been supported in the past by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, the Lenna Foundation, Northwest Savings Bank, the Chautauqua County Housing Trust Fund, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the Darrah Fund. Businesses that have provided special discounts to participants have included Brigiotta’s, Mike’s Nursery, Chautauqua Brick, Everydays True Value, and Sandberg Kessler.