About Us

Fulton Neighborhood Revitalization Program

The transition from a stable community to today’s Fulton didn’t happen overnight. It has taken decades and is the result of tens of thousands of small decisions: whether to stay or move; whether to paint the house this year or next; whether to rent out grandma’s house after she passes or sell it; and many more.

Houses are inanimate. They don’t maintain themselves. They don’t fall into disrepair on their own. They improve or decline solely because of who owns or lives in them. So, the place to intervene is wherever it is possible to reimagine and grow a community’s capacity to return to high standards, to exhibit pride, and to become civically re-engaged.

That’s Where We Come In

The Fulton Block Challenge is a neighborhood revitalization program that encourages clusters of neighbors to collaborate on exterior improvements to their properties in order to build confidence in Fulton’s neighborhoods and inspire others to reinvest.

Benefits of Participation

Neighbors who apply for and receive designation as a “Building Block” will have access to resources that will accelerate their home improvement projects and their neighborhood revitalization, including:

  • Matching funds for exterior improvements (dollar-for-dollar match, up to $1,000)
  • Houses on corners of intersections may be eligible for a bonus
  • Access to discounts from sponsoring hardware stores and garden centers

Examples of Eligible Improvements:

  • Painting
  • Porch repair
  • Soffit repair
  • Sidewalk repair
  • Mailboxes
  • Exterior lights
  • Front yard landscaping
  • Front doors/screen doors
  • And more
Fulton NY

How is the Challenge Supported?

Foundation and corporate sponsors provide funding for matching grants. Sponsoring businesses offer special discounts to participants, and Fulton Block Builders administers the program and helps facilitate coordination with the City of Fulton.

You Can Make It Happen

You can be a part of restoring this wonderful community. Improvements will start in summer, 2018!

We have received some funding from local business and industry to help get us started.  Your tax-deductible contribution to Fulton Block Builders —a 501 (c)(3) organization—will keep the project going and return neighborhood and city pride.

FAQ

How can I participate?

  • Neighbors who apply for and receive designation as a “Building Block” will have access to resources that will accelerate their home improvement projects and their neighborhood’s revitalization, including:
  • Matching funds for exterior improvements (dollar-for-dollar match up to $1,000)
  • Houses on the corners of intersections may be eligible for a bonus
  • Access to discounts from sponsoring hardware stores and garden centers
  • Find Your Color bonus for approved homes

Click on the links below to download:

Paint Fulton Application 

Find Your Color

How does the $ for $ match work?

  • Each participating property owner in a Challenge Block is eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar match on exterior improvements (visible from the street), up to $1,000. If $500 is spent, a $250 match will be made. If $2,000 or more is spent the match will be $1,000 (minus taxes). If $5,000 is spent, the match will be $1,000.

Challenge Components:

  • Exterior improvements completed by participating property owner (or their chosen contractors) during the summer/fall of 2018
  • Events, such as block parties, organized by the participating neighbors to celebrate the completed work
  • Signage to show that your block is part of the program

What are examples of eligible improvements?

  • Painting
  • Porch repair
  • Soffit repair
  • Sidewalk repair
  • Mailboxes
  • Exterior lights
  • Front yard landscaping
  • Front doors/screen doors

Do I have to get 50% of my block to participate?

  • Although at least 50% of households on the same block are required to participate, that is just the minimum. Competitive applications have 60-75% of homes participating on the same block. It is important that these houses are on the same street. If many more houses are recruited, but they are scattered around other blocks/streets, this will weaken the application. Houses on other streets must be encouraged to form their own group application.
  • A Block can be made up of both sides of one street, or a Block can be made up of the contiguous area within 4 streets.
  • Properties that are physically close together will create more of an impact that properties that are scattered. Applications where the property improvements are occurring in a concentrated area are more likely to be funded than applications where houses are separated by great distances.
  • If there are vacant properties on your block, indicate that on your application. These will not be considered part of the 50% participation.
  • If there are absentee landlords that you cannot find to communicate with on your block, indicate that on your application.

Is there a limit of homeowners in a Block?

Yes - 10 properties maximum per Block.

If I want to be a Block Leader, are there resources I can get to help organize my group?

  • Yes, there are sample letters and postcards that you can use.
  • Contact your Community Ambassador
  • Go to the Website or Facebook
  • Call Linda Eagan at (315) 529-9181.

Do we have to have a Block Leader?

Yes. Every block must identify a Block Leader who is responsible for recruiting neighbors, compiling the final application and communicating throughout the process.

What do I have to do?

  • First and foremost, you must complete the Neighborhood Prequalification form.
  • Next, meet as a group -after the pre-qualification is submitted - with your Community Ambassador to learn about the final application process
  • Then complete the Final Application and be approved for a Block Challenge Grant.
  • All work must be completed by Oct 31, 2018.
  • To receive the matching funds, participants must submit all receipts and invoices at the conclusion of their project, even when the participants invested more than required by the matching grant.
  • Fulton Block Builders will review the receipts and picture of the completed work, and deliver a reimbursement check to the participant.
  • Each homeowner must list the physical improvements they would like to complete as part of the Challenge on the Final Application
  • Each homeowner is asked on the Final Application to consider: improvements that do not require much time or money. Separate from the project listed homeowners should indicate
    • One small thing they will add to their property to strengthen their neighborhood. Examples of small things to add: hanging flowers, edging the lawn, putting out a new welcome mat, adding a porch flag, etc.
    • One small negative condition they can remove from their property. Examples of negative conditions that can be removed: junk/clutter on front porch or lawn, garbage cans that are routinely visible from the street, routinely tall (unmowed grass), unused satellite dishes on roof, etc.

What kind of work will the matching grant cover?

  • All work must be approved by submitting a "Final Application" and the block must receive an award letter of a "Block Challenge Grant."
  • All work must be seen by the street.
  • Examples include: front doors, soffits, gutters, landscaping, paint, windows, shutters, flower boxes, lighting, etc.

Are there things the Block Challenge will not cover?

Yes, this list is not exhaustive. Fulton Block Builders will not fund projects that remove greenspace, or trees or the loss of architectural features or application of new vinyl siding, (if siding is currently on your home, FBB will support washing and repair) without prior approval.

Can I put on a new roof? Can I put in a new driveway? Can I add a porch? Can I take down a dead tree?

These kinds of activities may or may not change the architectural features of a property; therefore, each must be discussed on an individual basis and have prior approval.

Where can I go to get discounts on materials I buy for my project?

In addition to matching funds, participants will be eligible to receive special discounts from sponsoring hardware stores and garden centers. (A list of sponsors and the applicable discounts will be available when the Challenge Blocks are designated.)

Can Landlords participate?

Yes.

Can renters participate?

No. You must be the property owner to apply. You can, however, encourage your landlord to get on board with this.

How does Paint Fulton (Find Your Color) work?

  • Paint Fulton provides City of Fulton residents with a selection of historic color schemes to use for painting their homes. In 2018, ANY HOMEOWNER in the city will be eligible for grant awards that use these historic colors. Homeowners can fill out a simple application, and if the project is completed by October 31, 2018, will receive up to $500 reimbursement check. Awardees will have a photo of their home featured on the Fulton Block Builders website and Facebook page.
  • Susan Arena, the Historical Architect that has put the colors together for the city of Fulton, is available for consult. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Susan Arena, susan.arena@gmail.com.
  • Homeowners must have approval from Susan if they want to mix or add paints from the approved palettes in any way.
  • Paint Fulton Applications must be submitted at the time the Final Application is submitted.
  • Homeowners that are NOT a part of a Block Challenge can apply for Paint Fulton as a stand alone.

I've heard there may be a bonus for houses on corners or very large houses, is that true?

  • Yes. There could be a bonus to homeowners that are located on corners or will make a large "impact" on the city due to their size. The amount of the bonus will be determined by the Application Selection Committee and homeowners will be notified of the amount when the Block Challenge Award letters go out.
  • Homeowners are asked to state that they are on a corner or one of the city's large homes on the final application. Pictures are encouraged.

Will my taxes go up because of the improvements I am making?

NO! The city has repeatedly stated that taxes will not be raised due to these improvements unless you do something that increases the square footage of your home.

Is this a Government program?

  • No, there are NO government funds to support Fulton Block Builders (FBB).
  • The Fulton Community Revitalization Corporation handles the donations and payments for FBB, but they are not a funder or a decision maker for the program.

Where does the money come from?

The money comes from local businesses, foundations and individuals that care deeply about the future of Fulton. Foundation and corporate sponsors provide funding for the matching grants. Sponsoring businesses offer special discounts to participants. Fulton Block Builders administers the program and helps facilitate coordination within the City of Fulton.

Is there an income requirement?

No, anyone can apply.

What's the catch?

  • There is no catch in the traditional sense. You do not have to pay the money back or live in your home for a certain number of years.
  • You do, however, need to agree to completing the work, let FBB use your pictures for advertising, keep up your improvements, and display a FBB lawn sign in your yard.

Who does the work?

You are the boss. You hire anyone you like and trust - the work is being done on your property and we are not responsible. We just need signed and dated receipts once the work is completed.

What are the Selection Criteria?

The number of blocks designated in any given year is based on resource availability and the quality of applications received. The following criteria will be taken into consideration during the process of designating “Fulton Building Blocks” in 2018:

  • Number of participating properties: Proposed neighborhood clusters should have at least 50% participating properties on the same block or street. Clusters may include homeowners and landlords.
  • Organization: Proposed clusters should demonstrate a commitment to cultivating strong communication between neighbors and a shared sense of identity so that momentum gained in 2018 can be carried forward.
  • Strategic value: Proposed clusters in the 2018 Target Areas will receive special consideration (Announced in the Valley News, January, 2018).

When will I be told if my Block is approved?

The first two weeks of May.

When does the work need to be done?

  • All work must start after you are notified and approved (around May 15th).
  • All work must be completed by October 31, 2018.

Where else can I find information about the program?


How do I Apply?

  1. Recruit neighbors to participate in the Challenge with you.
  2. Fill out the pre-application and submit to the Fulton Block Builders. (Pre-application form)
  3. Meet with the Community Ambassador. Your cluster will get an assessment of your block, ideas for neighborhood activities, and application assistance.
  4. Fill out and turn in the final application. (Final Application Forms-coming soon) Your cluster will have to outline the scope of work at each house, how you propose to complete the work, other resources you can provide, and how you plan to develop and sustain a neighborhood identity.
  5.  Read our tips for a competitive grant application. (Below)

Click on the links below to download:

Pre-application form

Neighbor block challenge sample letter

Tips for making you application more competitive

Key Dates:

  • City wide informational meeting at River Vista on Wednesday, January 17, 2018
  • Target areas announced and pre-applications available Wednesday, January 17, 2018
  • Pre-applications due by Friday, March 16, 2018
  • Final applications due by Wednesday, April 18, 2018
  • Awards announced Tuesday, May 1, 2018
  • Improvement projects and events: Summer and Fall 2018
 

Contact Us

Fulton Block Builders
Linda Eagan
Ph:  (315) 529-9181

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