December 16, 2020
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Assistant Secretary of Public and Indian Housing R. Hunter Kurtz announced a $450,000 planning grant award to the Fineview Citizens Council (FCC), the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP), the City of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Dwellings community that will stimulate affordable housing and economic development in the neighborhoods of Fineview and Perry Hilltop.
Allegheny Dwellings Tenant Council President Cheryl Gainey agreed on the scope of the impact, saying that, “This will be a great opportunity to engage our neighbors and plan for a better future in our community.”
The grant is one of 11 awards totaling $4,910,000 million funded through HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, which helps local leaders craft comprehensive, homegrown plans to revitalize and transform neighborhoods across the country. HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming neighborhoods struggling to address the interconnected challenges of distressed housing, inadequate schools, poor health, high crime, and lack of capital.
“We’d like to thank HUD for the generous grant and thank our community partners in Allegheny Dwellings and Fineview and at the Housing Authority for their hard work to bring this investment to their neighborhood,” said Mayor William Peduto. “HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative has brought such success to the redevelopment of our communities in Pittsburgh because it puts the community at the center of community planning and development so that the development meets their needs.”
“The Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant is great news for the residents of Allegheny Dwellings and the surrounding community,” said HACP Executive Director Caster D. Binion. “The award demonstrates the shared commitment of the HACP, Mayor Peduto & the City of Pittsburgh, the Fineview Citizens Council, The Buhl Foundation/ One Northside Coalition, HUD and an entire network of community stakeholders throughout the neighborhoods of Allegheny Dwellings, Fineview and Perry Hilltop.”
“This network – which I like to call ‘Team Pittsburgh,’” Binion continued, “came together to develop a cohesive plan and to secure the funding needed to advance our goals. Now that we have secured HUD’s support, the real work is about to begin and I’m confident that we are up to the task. I look forward to continuing to build upon our successful redevelopment of Sandstone Quarry and working with the winning team that helped pull together to earn this award.”
Choice Neighborhoods is HUD’s signature place-based initiative and its vision builds on the work that has been done by the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, an interagency partnership between HUD, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, and Treasury, since 2009. Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals:
- Housing: Replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing that is well-managed and responsive to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood.
- People: Improve educational outcomes and intergenerational mobility for youth with services and supports delivered directly to youth and their families.
- Neighborhood: Create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families’ choices about their community.
Joanna Deming, Executive Director of Fineview Citizens Council said, “We are looking forward to working with Allegheny Dwellings Tenants Council, residents and other key partners to re-imagine our communities in a truly inclusive way, prioritizing the retention of long-term residents and providing support before displacement can occur. We’re thankful that HACP, the City of Pittsburgh, Buhl and HUD share that vision, and we’re ready to get to work.”
Regarding the collaborations that made this possible, President of the Buhl Foundation Diana Bucco stated, “This significant moment moves us closer to ensuring that all residents of the Northside will have access to quality, affordable housing. A partnership that includes our Mayor’s Office, the Housing Authority, Fineview and surrounding neighborhoods exemplifies what is possible when government agencies work alongside residents to make communities better. This is a huge win for our communities, and will place residents at the center of a significant investment into their neighborhoods that focuses not only on housing, but the issues of education, employment, health and safety that are core to our One Northside Initiative.”
Through the Choice Neighborhoods planning process, local governments, housing authorities, residents, nonprofits, tribal authorities, private developers, school districts, police departments, and other civic organizations create a common vision and develop effective strategies to revitalize their neighborhood. The resulting Transformation Plan and locally-driven Action Activities lay the foundation for revitalizing the distressed public and/or assisted housing units, transforming the surrounding neighborhood, and promoting opportunities for families.
Contact: For more information, contact Michelle Sandidge, Chief Community Affairs Officer, at email@example.com or 412-456-5058