Love Your Neighborhood: Mesa pilot program aims to revitalize parts of the city

MESA, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- A pilot program to breathe new life in some old Mesa neighborhoods is seeing some success.

The program, called "Love Your Neighborhood", has been providing Federal funds to help give some neighborhoods some TLC. Based on certain criteria, the program is helping people revitalize their homes and provide services such as roofing, new windows and fresh paint. Many of the neighborhoods are located west of the East Valley city's downtown area, and west of Country Club Drive and Main Street.

"Mom and dad bought this place," said Rene Ramirez, who has lived in his Mesa neighborhood for his whole life. Ramirez will be the first to say the neighborhood has seen better days.

"Once upon a time, it was real vibrant," said Ramirez.

Ramirez and his girlfriend, Lorrie Rowe, were struggling with the upkeep that comes along with owning a 95-year-old home until they got a letter from the City of Mesa.

"They put flyers on the door and I thought, 'what the heck, I'll give them a call'," said Ramirez. "I'm on a fixed income, and see what they can do."

"We addressed four issues, mainly crime, graffiti, code compliance issues and vacancies," said Raymond Thimesch, the Housing and Revitalization Administrator for Mesa.

Based on that criteria, city managers identified a number of neighborhoods in which to allocate the Federal grant money, in an effort to help give the neighborhoods a bit of a boost.

"Everything we've seen has been very positive," said Thimesch.

Ramirez and Rowe said they're blown away with the outcome, and hope more neighbors see them as an example.

"To have this neighborhood, or this area back the way it was before would be wonderful, it would make such a difference," said Rowe.