Benton Harbor, Michigan Benton Harbor Neighborhood Plan

The City of Benton Harbor and the Berrien County Land Bank were co-recipients of Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) funding from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, intended to improve neighborhoods and stabilize local housing markets in the wake of the "foreclosure boom."

As part of the program, the City and Land Bank competitively selected McKenna to prepare a neighborhood plan that contained the following components – 1) residential market analysis, 2) marketing plan for NSP properties, 3) graphic area redevelopment plans with recommendations for public improvements and re-configuring of lots and public space, 4) public participation, including major employer focus groups, and 5) a graphic "stand alone" implementation matrix for ease of use.

McKenna’s analysis was designed to help the City and Land Bank understand how to competitively market the NSP2 neighborhoods so that potential buyers and renters would consider the NSP2 areas when making housing choices. The plan also provided a guiding policy for the expenditure of grant funds and personnel resources in carrying out the mission of revitalizing Benton Harbor’s declining neighborhoods.