Love Your Block

FAQs

The project leader and grant applicant must be a resident or property owner in Lincoln Park or Central Hillside (including the Central Business District from 2nd Street to I-35). Applicants may receive one grant award per grant deadline as long as any previously funded project is complete or nearing completion. Non-profit organizations and faith communities located in Lincoln Park or Central Hillside are eligible in collaboration with neighborhood residents. 

No! The Love Your Block grant money is meant to support citizens in improving their neighborhoods. The money has already been given to the city and the only thing asked in return is information about project outcomes. If you end up not needing all of your grant award, we are happy to share it with another project!

Love Your Block believes in the creativity and collaboration of Duluth residents. These funds support a range of activities as long as they are 1) volunteer led and 2) bring neighbors together to reduce blight. We encourage neighbors to work together to identify solutions.

 

These projects could look like, but are not limited to, neighborhood clean ups (e.g. trash pick-up, trimming overgrown plants), installing public art, creating a system for reducing abandoned waste (e.g. couches in vacant lots and greenspaces), or repurposing vacant lots as active community spaces.

Yes. Public or private property are both eligible project locations. Private property requires written permission from the property owner (if not the project leader) to be considered. Public property may require approval from the relevant city department or commission prior to awarding funds. Love Your Block and city staff will support applicants in navigating these steps. Have questions about where your project is located and what steps are needed to complete your project idea? Contact us at serickson@duluthmn.gov or 218-348-2165. 

The Love Your Block team coordinates the grant process, organizes city services that support resident projects, recruits additional volunteers, connects community members with each other and city staff, measures program impacts, and purchases needed project supplies. They also coach residents on developing a project plan and applying for funds.

The Love Your Block mini-grants are funded by the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation and the Cities of Service program. Duluth is one of eight cities nationally to receive this money. It can only be used as part of the Love Your Block program to support activities that will ultimately reduce blight.

Funds will be provided via check to the approved project leader after completing a W-9 form with the City of Duluth. Alternatively, the Love Your Block team can purchase needed supplies or services directly prior to the start of the project.

A committee of neighborhood residents will score the applications and decide which projects get funded. The committee will review applications after each of the three deadlines.

Clean-up tools for use on public land can be borrowed from the City of Duluth. Fill out this request form. You can also check out tools from One Roof for free! Grant funds can also be used to purchase needed equipment.

The Love Your Block team recognizes that blight is a symptom of historic and current inequities and systems. Investing money in volunteer resident-led projects in coordination with city staff is one way to repair and build relationships. These relationships and resident engagement can lead to systemic change over time.  

Street repair is an ongoing effort in Duluth. Check out the Resident Problem Reporter to report a pothole and see the progress on repairing it.

Lincoln Park and Central Hillside were selected for the Love Your Block program due to the concentration of blighted properties and abandoned waste in these locations. In the future, the program may expand to other Duluth neighborhoods.

The boundaries of Lincoln Park and Central Hillside are included in the map below.

Map of the boundaries of Central Hillside   Map of the boundaries of Lincoln Park

A blight complaint form is submitted through the City of Duluth website. Staff review the complaint. If there is a code violation (Housing, Abandoned Property, and Solid Waste) and an address provided, staff go to the location and investigate. Staff may issue a correction order at that time with a deadline for the person responsible to fix the issue. If the situation is resolved, the case is closed. If not, a warning letter is sent, followed by another inspection, and another timeline for correction. If the issue is not solved by the end of the second timeline, fines starting at $200 may be charged. Fines may increase with repeat code violations.

Love Your Block funding can be used to pay for small external home repairs. Larger repairs may be eligible for a zero interest loan from the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Duluth.

Yes! You will need the homeowner’s permission to make changes to the building and yard. We encourage renters and landlords to work together!

The Love Your Block program is a partnership between residents, community organizations, and city services. The funder requires that projects be volunteer-led. The goal is to build capacity within neighborhoods to lead change.

 The City of Duluth will provide the grant money to project leaders and/or purchase materials directly from vendors to complete the project. The Love Your Block team (which includes city staff) will support resident projects by coordinating supplies and food, arranging for dumpsters, recruiting additional volunteers, recruiting donations of materials and connecting project leaders with existing city services. This support will likely evolve as the Love Your Block program adapts to fit the needs of residents. 

Yes! Paper copies of the application form are available at: Life Safety Office (615 West First Street), Community Action Duluth (2424 W 5th St #102), Ecolibrium3 (2014 W 3rd St), and Damiano Center (206 W 4th St). Love Your Block staff are also happy to assist over the phone.

The Love Your Block grant money is meant to support connections between residents and improve the physical environment in neighborhoods. Although we understand that Duluth has many issues related to housing and food access, the money awarded to the City and residents must be used for neighborhood improvement projects as required by the funder.