COMMUNITY NEEDS SURVEY
2020 & 2021 RESULTS
In late 2020, Sanford Place Block Association and Friends conducted a Phase 1 Community Needs Survey. Homeowners identified their main quality of life priorities:
Public Safety (40%)
COVID-19 Education, Prevention, and Resources (30%)
Arts & Cultural Enrichment (20%)
The survey also illustrated how demographic and socio-economic factors within the community can affect our quality of life.
Our mixed-use residential area contains an ethnic blend of minorities from over twenty countries.
Seventy percent of residents range in age from 50 to 94
Unemployed homeowners are dependent primarily on unemployment benefits
Many residents are seniors with incomes below $18,000
A follow-up survey in 2021 asked homeowners a series of questions about key challenges that impact them. Respondents identified three key challenges.
Challenge 1: Home/Neighborhood Deterioration and Unsafe Living Conditions
Properties in Upper Vailsburg neighborhoods in Newark, NJ urgently need repairs and maintenance. Most of these homes were built between the early-1930s and 1940s, which means proper upkeep is of utmost importance in order to maintain and sustain them.
Because of job losses resulting from the Covid pandemic as well as long-standing low incomes, homeowners are experiencing hardship which impacts the ability to maintain their home.
One in five homeowners reported safety-related needs such the removal of mold, asbestos, and lead-based paint from their homes.
Other concerns included the need for home repair and property maintenance.
The cost of repairs exceeds the financial ability of even some moderate-income homeowners.
From the survey, 80 homeowners expressed a need for some kind of home improvement. Urgent needs included:
Mold remediation in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements
Asbestos removal from basements
Re-painting of homes with lead-based paint
Other needs included
Replacement of missing siding, sidewalk and step repair
Removal of fallen trees and stumps in yards
Maintenance of property overgrowth
Not addressing these issues will undoubtedly further impact the community’s quality of living and viability. With a grant, for example, we could help these residents maintain a beautiful and safe neighborhood.
Challenge 2: Crime
Sanford Place Block Association is located in an area where 1/10th of all crimes in Newark occurs. The opening of the 6th Precinct in Vailsburg provided a welcomed community partnership between police officers and our block association.
Relative to other Newark, NJ neighborhoods, crime statistics are lower. However, there has still been an uptick in robberies and auto thefts in our area.
The 6th Precinct has made their presence known by being on our monthly calls, attending our events, and patrolling efforts; all of which have helped to improve our community safety. However, there is more that we can do together such as attending 6th Precinct-sponsored events, joining our neighborhood watch, and sharing helpful safety information with our residents.
Challenge 3: COVID
Nearly 1/3 of residents cited COVID education and safety as their #1 concern.
COVID-19 has taken a physical, economic, financial, and emotional toll on our residents. Our community is a more mature community, so its isolation has exposed the inequities in technological ability and connectivity. We continue to strive to find ways to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our residents from an educational and resource standpoint as it pertains to COVID, vaccination, and supplemental resources needed to survive the pandemic (food deployment, financial assistance programs, information hubs, etc.).
However, we need additional support to enable us to continue to ensure our residents are prioritized and that the outreach to them is personalized, based on our knowledge of our residents and their knowledge of (and trust) of our neighborhood association.
SUPPORT OUR NEIGHBORHOOD
BE SAFE, BE WELL, & MAKE A DIFFERENCE
"Where every block that touches ours is safe and sound" has been the mantra for our community since the inception of our block association.
A Sanford Place Block Association & Friends 2021 community survey uncovered that our residents have safety and blight challenges with their homes. Many residents do not meet City of Newark income requirements to qualify for assistance. They are also not able to cover costs of extensive and needed repairs, nor do their ages and abilities permit them on their own.
Your gifts matter. Your partnership matters. Your participation matters. The safety and wellness of our community depends upon them.