Westwood Right Project, CDC

Revitalization Initiative and Getting Housing Together

Westwood Right Project, CDC

Revitalization Initiative And Getting Housing Together

Westwood Right Project, CDC

Revitalization Initiative And Getting Housing Together

westwood will shine again

Westwood, the Neighborhood

Westwood, established in the 1900s is among the largest of Dayton’s more than 70 neighborhoods. It almost forms a triangle between Gettysburg Ave., U.S. 35, and Wolf Creek. Then, it was Dayton’s newest suburb. In the 1950s and 1960s, the neighborhood became home to an increasing number of African-Americans who were attracted by opportunities for first-time homeownership. Many well-established African-American organizations and churches moved into the Westwood Community. Some of them still remain.

Westwood is known to be a family-friendly neighborhood, ideally located, has good churches, minutes from downtown, a walkable business district, an elementary school, a high school, and several colleges are on the bus line. Although there is no major grocery store in the neighborhood, Estridge Market is within walking distance of the many residents and is a small neighborhood store that has been in the neighborhood for over 50 years. Westwood also has several assets: Churches/ Congregations, Wesley Community Center, Sugar Creek Packing Co., Westwood Public Library, Adventure Central at Wesleyan Metro Park, Westwood Pre-K-8, and Mary Queen of Peace Catholic School.

In 2013, University of Dayton (The Fitz Center For Leadership in Community) compiled the Westwood Leadership in Building Communities Report. According to that report, it is clear that Westwood’s population is aging and that this demographic
transformation has not only caused problems for the elderly residents themselves but for the entire community.

** According to Westwood Census Tracks 38 and 39 there were significant changes from 2000 to 2010.

  • 27.9 % population loss
  • 33.3 % decrease in owner-occupied housing
  • 18.3 % decrease in value of owner-occupied housing
  • 1% increase in population with income below poverty level
  • 33.7% of households in the neighborhood are female householders

** sources: The University of Dayton-The Westwood Leadership in Building Commu- nities Report (2013)

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Doing nothing is not an option!!

Who We Are and Why We Exist

The WESTWOOD RIGHT PROJECT was established as a not-for-profit, 501 (C3) tax-exempt organization. We are a community development organization. We represent a diverse group of committed residents, businesses, and community partners.

OUR MISSION: To stabilize and revitalize the Westwood neighborhood.

OUR VISION: We will transform the neighborhood through our “Fight the Blight “ Initiative by restoring those blighted homes into affordable housing for low-to-moderate-income individuals and families, and also by giving them an opportunity to gain workforce training skills, ultimately making Westwood a safe, clean, vibrant and desirable neighborhood.


We were contacted by one of the senior citizens in Westwood who was attempting to clean up the neighborhood alone. Jeannette A. is legally blind and is a long-time resident of Westwood. She has been the block coordinator for years, and a real solider in her attempts to keep the area clean and safe. On many occasions, Jeannette would take her lawnmower and hedge trimmers to the bus stop at Delphos and Hoover Ave and clean up the area just so that she could sit at the bus stop. The bus stop is often covered with trash, overgrown weeds, and trees. We assured her that we would help her in her efforts to “Flight the Blight”. After reaching out to many different organizations to see if there was a plan in place to deal with these issues, there was little being done in Jeannette’s plight to “Fight the Blight”. NO senior Citizen, child, or anyone should have to live in these conditions. Therefore, we are committed to addressing the Westwood residents’ concerns (infestation of rodents, boarded-up homes, vacant lots, overgrown trees, weeds, litter) We decided this issue must be addressed through The Westwood Right Project and other community partners. DOING NOTHING IS NOT AN OPTION !!!


Existing Conditions

Although there have been some demolitions, there are currently over twenty vacant lots and dilapidated homes on Hoover Ave.

  • Vacant Lots
  • Dilapidated Homes
  • Overgrown Trees
  • Weeds
  • Trash

Our Strategic Plan

Phase 1







Being A Part

of the Change


The greatest impact is going to come from the residents. We have encouraged Westwood residents to organize, plan for, and be the spokespeople for the neighborhood and most importantly be a part of the change they want to see. First, we have used a collection of emerging models, concepts, techniques, and interventions that will assist in empowering and mobilizing residents in the community in our coalition-building efforts. We started these efforts in 2018 and we will continue with our community outreach and engagement.


We must engage our community leaders in designing, developing, and implementing a broad-based community-owned action plan. With this initiative underway, the residents can begin the early stages of branding what they are presenting to a potential homeowner or business owner.

We will employ a community development approach to empower the community to build on the strengths and competencies while looking to professionals as one of the many resources contributing to the community’s problem solving but ultimately the decisions will be made by the community.


According to the 2013 UD Leadership in Building Communities report, the current situation was:

  1. There was a limited number of active and engage leaders who can implement and plan projects,
  2. A small group of older community leaders is the most civically engaged in Westwood, and
  3. The attendance at the community meetings and other community events primarily consist of senior citizens and older community members.


The Westwood Right Project addresses these issues in Phase 1 of our strategic plan. At our last Community/ Engagement Meeting, we had over 47 participants attend that meeting and many of them were younger inspiring
leaders ready to be a part of the change they want to see. Some of our long-time residents, who have never been engaged, are now motivated to join us in our coalition building. Several of them are volunteering their time and are now serving on one of our standing committees and often participate in our transformative cleanups and other activities.

Community Well-Being

Phase 2






Curb Appeal



Safety/Cleanliness is fundamental to the health and vitality of any community. It is also a necessary part of any stabilization/
revitalization initiative. It is most important as we are wanting to draw in community-minded businesses, appeal to the current residents/homeowners to stay, and attract new residents/homeowners to the neighborhood.
The current deteriorated appearance of Westwood signals that community self-esteem is low and engagement lacking, discouraging participation by the many while encouraging bad behavior by the few.


During our series of community engagement forums, most residents identified three to four priority issues that they were most concerned about. The number one complaint from residents was the decline of the neighborhood. (dilapidated housing, vacant lots, abandoned homes, litter, debris, illegal dumping) followed by crime, lack of activities for youth.

Stop the Drop

We look to extend our community partners who are committed and dedicated to helping us make Westwood a safe, clean, vibrant, and desirable neighborhood.
In April 2021, we will launch our year-round safe and clean-up campaign, and we will continue with our transformative clean-ups. We are looking for street ambassadors to identify potential volunteers on their streets. We have partnered with many community partners to support our efforts. We will kick off this campaign with community outreach to encourage all residents and visitors to “Stop the Drop”.


In 2013, the UD report stated that Westwood had the highest rate of criminal activity within West Dayton. Regarding our safety initiative, we will partner with other organizations that have relationships and connections with probation officers, police officers, judges, and other supportive services in helping us keep crime down. One suggestion is to have a police sub-station in Westwood. Other ideas are being implemented as our strategic plan is being developed.

One of our transformative cleanups






Phase 3










According to the UD 2013 Westwood Leadership in Building Communities Report, there were 1,008 housing units out of 3,538 housing units in Westwood that are vacant (28.5 % of all housing units). Vacant housing has increased by 20.1% since the 2000 census. The number of vacant homes has since decreased due to demolition and individual private investors. However, there are still around 800 vacant lots, abandoned, and/or dilapidated homes in Westwood.

Homeownership in Westwood decreased 33.3% from the 2000 census to the 2010 census. With the upcoming census, it is more than likely the homeownership rate has decreased further due to the aging population and an increase in rental units.

Doing Nothing Is Not An Option

Many of the vacant/boarded-up homes have been in these conditions for years while posing safety, health risk, and discouraging investments. It attracts drug dealing, vagrants occupying the vacant homes, property values decline, and remaining residents move out leaving a very depressed disinvested community.

These conditions are only causing more problems for most senior citizens homeowners. Leaving these conditions for our senior citizens to live with while living out their golden years is unacceptable.

The Connector

There are currently, a combination of over 700 vacant lots, abandoned buildings, and boarded up homes. Our lot by lot, house by house, block by block approach is only the beginning of our plan. Our proposed plan will start on Hoover Avenue Hoover Ave. is a central connector to the Westwood neighborhood.

Hoover Ave

According to The Greater West Dayton Corridor Plan (2017), Hoover Avenue is primarily residential in character and has a number of community and faith-based institutions along its length. Serious disinvestment has occurred over the years, proving to be deleterious to the appearance of the street. 

The plan states that they have proposed projects to reconstruct/rebuild Hoover Avenue (within the next 8 to 10 years) and do placemaking, greening, maintenance of vacant properties. The residents of Westwood eagerly await these proposed projects.


Phase 4

















why build a brand?

Building A Brand for Westwood

Branding is, in simplest terms, knowing what you’re selling, who wants to buy it, and why. It is not signage, public relations, or marketing. These are important tools to help disseminate information about the brand itself.

But the brand has to be working before it is promoted or the promotion will be wasted.

Successful branding creates understanding, assists in decision-making by establishing points of distinction, and appeals to the consumer. This (product) is the most (or sometimes unhappily the least) desirable thing to want.

A well-regarded brand, consistently delivered, brings customers in. How- ever, the reverse is also true. A damaged brand, one negatively perceived, keeps customers (residents, homeowners, investors, businesses) away. At the moment, Westwood is a damaged brand.

The community needs to come up with some possible logos and gateway structures. But before the community of Westwood makes a significant investment in producing these items, it might be wise to engage in some problem-solving. A range of issues identified in the 2013 UD Report, most notably safe, clean, housing, crime, aging population, and the lack of appealing businesses in the neighborhood need to be addressed first. Before Westwood announces itself widely as a lively, growing, and desirable community, the community needs to make sure that it really does stand tall for visitors and residents alike.



damaged brand

A well-regarded brand

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