DURHAM (May 30 2019) – Durham Community Land Trustees and Republic Services held a launch event to announce their partnership to build front porches, care for old-growth trees, remove yard debris, build sheds, sidewalks and driveways, and clean up yards in East Durham. The neighborhood revitalization award is one of two in North Carolina (twenty-three nationwide) funded from the Republic Services Charitable Foundation. This large grant will augment funding DCLT received from the City of Durham to renovate a suite of properties owned in East Durham.
Durham City Council representatives Charlie Reese, Javiera Caballero and Jillian Johnson were joyfully in attendance. “I deeply appreciate the work DCLT is doing in East Durham for the Latin@ community, “ remarked Javiera Caballero who has taken a stalwart lead in crafting Bull City Together’s platform for Housing Access & Affordability. Addressing workers of both organizations in attendance, Caballero said, “DCLT is moving towards not only building affordable housing, but building stronger neighborhoods. I believe in strong neighborhoods, strong public schools because they create a true sense of community.”
Jillian Johnson, Mayor Pro Tempore for the City of Durham, spoke next, “The presence of the land trust (DCLT) in my West End community has been a major reason certain houses get sold for $135,000 compared to $505,000! It has had a strong influence on keeping people in their homes and making sure anyone can live there. That’s the kind of community I want to live in, to raise my kids in. I’m grateful to the land trust for making that possible in Durham.”
“We are proud to partner with DCLT on this critical revitalization project in East Durham. DCLT’s focus on communities in Durham is a natural fit for us, as these are the same communities where many of our employees live and work,” said Joe Dehner, Republic Services general manager. “We are committed to helping build stronger neighborhoods in our local communities.”
Through this partnership, DCLT will construct porches; host “porch parties” to build better relationships with neighbors and community; build storage sheds, planting beds, sidewalks and driveways; plant and maintain trees; and organize a community-wide Make a Difference Neighborhood Promise Volunteer clean-up and tree planting Day on Saturday, October 26, 2019. “Make A Difference Day” event will engage employees and volunteers of Republic Services, DCLT, the city of Durham and partner organizations.