The City of Detroit, Invest Detroit and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation – Detroit (LISC) engaged Van Dyke Horn (VDH) to help the three partner organizations manage communications for the pioneering Strategic Neighborhood Fund (SNF) and Affordable Housing Leverage Fund (AHLF). These initiatives are funded by seven-plus corporations, primarily banking institutions, to help catalyze neighborhood revitalization in 10 neighborhoods throughout Detroit by investing a total of $35 million in streetscape and park improvements, commercial corridor growth and housing development. The program was structured in a manner that paired each funder corporation with a specific neighborhood, although their investment was pooled in a general fund that was dispersed citywide.
This posed several challenges – VDH had to ensure the neighborhoods saw each corporation as a supportive partner and not a “corporate takeover,” as well as manage the community’s expectations of their assigned corporation. We also had to safeguard the corporate funders’ reputations in their given neighborhoods and make them confident their investments were being properly communicated on all levels. We also had to ensure that each partner – the City, Invest Detroit, LISC and the seven corporations – stayed informed and coordinated on media and engagement efforts in each neighborhood.
CITY OF DETROIT
LOCAL INITIATIVES SUPPORT CORPORATION