The overarching goal of the San Pablo Area Revitalization Collaborative’s (SPARC) BUILD initiative was to reduce health disparities rooted in historical disinvestment, institutional racism, and physical decline. Through a series of interviews, SPARC partners share the ways their collaboration interpreted and applied the BUILD principles as part of BUILD’s first cohort, the initiative’s results, and lessons learned over their two-year effort.

 

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SPARC worked to restore residential pride in the community through improved health, housing, economy, and partnerships. The community, which covers three neighborhoods and three census tracts in West Oakland, California, faces specific challenges that SPARC sought to address, such as high crime rates, limited amenities (such as a lack of recreational sites and a dearth of local stores with fresh and healthy food options), hypertension, and diabetes. This area is a historically African American community that has experienced recent changes in demographics and rapid gentrification.

Read more about this team’s dynamic strategy, challenges, and outcomes in this in-depth case study.

Highlights from this team’s work during the BUILD award period included:

  • The SPARC partnership engaged more than 500 residents in action plans and activities—with residents identifying key community concerns, taking part in workgroups, and gathering data about their community.
  • Through SPARC’s nonprofit partner developers, nearly 30% of the neighborhood will have deeded affordable housing by 2025.
  • The City of Oakland prioritized the San Pablo Avenue Corridor (SPC) for affordable housing development and included additional points in its Notice of Funding Availability process for affordable housing dollars if developers are SPARC partners.
  • SPARC also secured West Oakland’s first grocery store in over 10 years—an investment totaling more than $11 million. The grocery store opened in June 2019 and will create jobs and attract new business to the area.

Note: This multifaceted initiative also strategically utilized resources and funding from other partners during this time frame, which complemented BUILD’s support.