A friend just got divorced and had to move in with her sister in Springboro with her kids. She was a “Dayton lifer/City girl” through and through.
The big new house isn’t her style, the commute sucks, but here is the key: her kids, 5 and 9, can run down the street to play without worries. There is a pool for the plat-not a “spray park” where we can wash the great unwashed- but can’t teach them a life skill of swimming. The schools aren’t great- and are almost broke from supporting the huge influx of escapees from Dayton and the first ring suburbs.
How do we solve our population drain?
First- build on strengths: Neighborhoods like South Park are 8/10ths of the way there. Make sure people don’t speed through the community with constant ticketing. Guarantee the whole neighborhood will go to a quality school- k-12. Enforce yard and trash standards- provide assistance for exterior repairs through low interest loans and utilizing neighborhood resources for work crews (including job retraining).
Look at building “neighborhood pools” not supported by the city- but by community ownership. Same things with daycare centers, senior daycare and after school student enrichment programming. The city would provide neighborhood organizing assistance- things like setting up the 501c3’s for taxing purposes (this whole area of tax law needs to be simplified) and neighborhood organization leadership training. Empowerment of communities is the first step to re-populating them.