Acclaimed Neighborhood Enhancement Program rolls into Mt. Washington

Cincinnati's acclaimed Neighborhood Enhancement Program (NEP) will kick off its 2010 season in Mt. Washington.  According to neighborhood leaders in Cincinnati's eastern most neighborhood, Mt. Washington often struggles with a negative perception that it might be a "second-choice" neighborhood - something they hope to combat with more publicity brought to the NEP.

"We have an incredibly diverse community that is very walkable and attractive to the elderly as well as those with children," said Robert J. Hayes, Vice President of the Mt. Washington Community Council Board of Directors.  

Hayes hopes the 90-day blitz will help clean up properties owned by absentee landlords and improve quality of life issues in the neighborhood.  Neighborhood leaders also feel that the program will bring positive attention to Mt. Washington through complimentary realtor tours and programs in place.

The Cincinnati-run program was developed to partner with local business and community leaders to improve Cincinnati's neighborhoods in a concentrated effort.  Previous programs in Price Hill, Avondale, Westwood, Evanston, College Hill and Clifton Heights/University Heights/Fairview Heights (CUF) have reduced blight on average by 15 percent and recorded thousands of building inspections.

Once the program is complete in Mt. Washington neighborhood leaders there hope that the momentum will continue through ongoing initiatives started in the NEP planning stage.  Leaders also hope to make progress on the proposed traffic calming project along Beechmont Avenue.

"Mt. Washington shouldn't just be a place people travel through, it's a place they will want ot experience," said Hayes.  "Our business district has an eclectic collection of grocery stores, chain restaurants, local restaurants and wine shops, a library, post office, and funeral home.  And our location is fantastic - we're 10 minutes from Downtown, major nodes such as Hyde Park Square, Oakley Square, and even closer to Lunken Airport and Mt. Lookout Square."

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Tiffani Fisher
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