SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Just as Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on the I-81 Viaduct project to start in 2022, Blueprint 15 has been awarded $1 million to protect people living in that area.
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. in partnership with the New York State attorney general, will work with Blueprint 15 on customized strategies to address community displacement around the I-81 Viaduct.
The mission of Blueprint 15 is to work with community residents, local leaders, and other partners to revitalize the East Adams Street neighborhood.
In the 1950s when the highway was built the viaduct portion decimated the 15th Ward in Syracuse, the heart of the African-American community at that time.
“I’ll never forget it, Christmas season, it was just horrible practice of development in a non-inclusive way and we need to stop making that mistake,” says Syracuse Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens tells NewsChannel 9.
Blueprint 15 will work with residents and several local partners to implement three high-impact strategies, supported by $1 million committed by Enterprise, to advance housing and neighborhood stability, promote resident engagement, and prevent displacement in the East Adams Neighborhood.
“This is one tool that we’ll be able to use with multiple partners, starting with the residents in that community to help us figure out paths forward for not only preventing displacement but also having inclusive development options,” she says.
This will be accomplished Owens says through eviction prevention legal services, credible messenger communications.
“Provide accurate information, a warehouse mechanism which people feel they can come and get information in real and practical times,” Owens tells NewsChannel 9.
The monies will also help ensure people living in the neighborhoods impacted by the project have a voice in that community’s future.
“Engaging those residents in that community in the conversations and in the discussions about what development potentially looks like,” she says.
Owens says meetings are happening now to nail down exactly how these funds will be used.