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Award cites Blue Hill Ave. relief effort

A Boston Housing Authority Neighborhood Response Team, the Boston Police Department, and Nuestra Comunidad Development Corp. have received a first-place national award for efforts to improve the quality of life along the Blue Hill Avenue corridor.

The MetLife Foundation honored the three for tackling drug dealing, prostitution, and abandoned properties in the corridor, which reaches into Dorchester and Roxbury, the city said in a statement. In particular, the team recognized that properties left vacant in the Howard Avenue-Dacia Street area were becoming havens for crime.

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The Neighborhood Response Team and its partners were chosen for the recognition out of 540 applicants from 179 cities, the statement said.

“A real key to our success along Blue Hill Avenue was the investment in relationships,” said David Price, executive director of Nuestra Comunidad, based in Dudley Square in Roxbury.

The drug and prostitution problems in the Blue Hill Corridor have been sharply curtailed because of the partnership’s work, the city said. Police led prostitution stings and coordinated drug-treatment facilities.

The team was also credited with providing key information to help the state’s crackdown on human trafficking.

The Police Department “has long been committed to the tenets of community policing, which include forging relationships to help prevent and reduce crime,” police Captain John Davin said.

The MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to bolster the insurer’s corporate contributions and community involvement around the country.

Melissa Hanson can be reached at
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