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Revitalize CDC’s Old Hill Initiative Earns International Award

SPRINGFIELD, MASS—#GreenNFit Neighborhood Rebuild, the Revitalize Community Development Corporation’s initiative that has revitalized 191 homes in Springfield’s Old Hill Neighborhood, has been named the Bronze Award Winner in the 2019 World Habitat Awards. Revitalize CDC is one of only nine organizations internationally to win this award, and the only one in North America.

Each year the World Habitat Awards, the world’s leading housing awards organized by World Habitat in partnership with UN-Habitat, are presented to the most outstanding and innovative housing projects from across the world. In 2019, almost 200 projects and programs entered the Awards.

#GreenNFit is a community-wide project that improves the health and quality of life of low-income households by carrying out vital home repairs and revitalizing community spaces. Revitalize CDC coordinates the rebuilding of one block of homes in one neighborhood with the help of over 100 supporters and 1,000 volunteers, all in 1 day.

In the Old Hill Neighborhood of Springfield, 4,371 people have benefitted from #GreenNFit, which includes repairs to 191 homes, development of a playground and two new community gardens, the clearing of 33 vacant lots, and upgrades to five nonprofit facilities and a school for at-risk students.

According to David Ireland, Chief Executive of World Habitat, “The USA is one of the richest countries but many communities have been ‘forgotten.’ What’s inspirational about this project is that a whole community has been mobilized to work together to make their neighborhood a great place to live.”

The World Habitat Awards judging panel said, “It is impressive to see how they use returning volunteers to reduce social inequalities and destigmatize communities. The issue of aging homeowners, who cannot afford to maintain and repair their homes, is increasing and this initiative illustrates how a community can mobilize to address this and support their neighbors. It’s an interesting approach, revitalizing and transforming both homes and empty public spaces.”

In Springfield, almost one-in-three (29.7%) people live below the poverty line. The City’s housing stock is old, with a number of challenges, including moisture, cold and pest problems. 

Delores Culp, whose home was badly damaged in the 2011 tornado and received help from Revitalize CDC, said, “Trees fell on my house. I had holes in the roof where the trees came through my bedroom and water came through all of the light fixtures. My kitchen cabinets were knocked off the wall. It was a mess. Revitalize CDC came out to my house a day after the tornado to make sure I was all right. They helped me find honest contractors. Insurance did not cover all of my expenses to rebuild my house. That’s where Revitalize CDC helped me. They changed my life. All these people came to my house to help me. It was bigger than I could ever imagine. It was overwhelming to me. I started off being helped, then I became a volunteer!”

World Habitat believes that everyone everywhere has the fundamental right to a safe and secure home, and seeks out and shares the best solutions to housing problems from across the world. For more information, visit

The Gold Award Winners of the 2019 World Habitat Awards are Viviendas para las entidades sociales, Spain and Restoration of Dignity and Human Rights of Indigenous Tribal Community in Karnataka, India. Alongside the two Gold Award Winners are one Silver Award and six Bronze Awards: Discus Housing First, Netherlands (Silver); Building with EARTH, China (Bronze); Healthy Homes for Humanity, Guatemala (Bronze); Odisha Liveable Habitat Mission, India (Bronze); La Borda housing co-operative, Spain (Bronze); #GreenNFit Neighborhood Rebuild, USA (Bronze); and Dzivarasekwa Slum Upgrading Project, Zimbabwe (Bronze).

To download a brochure about the winners, visit:


About Revitalize CDC:

Since Revitalize CDC’s ( inception in 1992, the organization has completed almost 800 homes with the help of 10,000 volunteers investing $35 Million into Western Massachusetts.  In the past year, Revitalize CDC completed 61 home repair, modification and rehabilitation projects on the homes of low-income families with children, elderly citizens, military veterans and people with special needs.  Revitalize CDC focuses on making meaningful improvements on homes to help reduce energy use, save money, and create a safe, healthy and sustainable living environment for our residents and the community. 

We leverage the investments of donors, grantors and volunteers as high as 4 to 1, to make significant home repairs that stabilize neighborhoods and strengthen the tax base.  We believe in a “Safe, Healthy and Energy-Efficient Home for Everyone.” Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.