If you have already figured out that the neighborhood association is pretty worn out then look to your neighbors. You are not the only one on this adventure. There are others that need the same thing that you do and will quickly become involved. Once you have looked around and found others like yourself you can help each other with fixer upper advice on projects and making the area nicer for everyone. You can start enlisting people to get involved.
It helps for people to become interested and involved in something if they are a part of it. You need your neighborhood to have a name. The name should be used to label the area and a logo needs to be created for this name. It probably does have a name, most places do, but giving it a logo and putting energy into it gives it an identity. You can use this logo name to label your new newsletter, website, and later promotional products. You want to get as many people as possible on an email information system. This will help with crime and other issues.
After you get the first few newsletters out you can sell some inexpensive ads to local businesses. That will get them some local advertising and you a little working capital. With that you can purchase some promotional shirts or hats to get people more excited about the neighborhood. You can also use some of the funds to cover the expense of the website. The online system of communication is important because that is how you can quickly let each other know that something is up. Use it to report lost or found dogs, or to report on strange behavior. For instance if someone knocked at your door at 11pm asking for spare change you need to tell your neighbors.
Once you get these things started you are on your way to a beautiful neighborhood. You will enjoy the safety and security of a close knit community.