PITTSBURGH, PA - (June 30, 2014) Pittsburgh’s Larimer neighborhood is poised for rebirth with the award of $30 million in funding the U.S. Department of Housing and Economic Development, Mayor William Peduto announced today.
After competing against 40 other cities, HUD said Pittsburgh is the winner of a Choice Neighborhoods Initiative implementation grant that could transform the long-struggling community, strengthen its ties with neighboring East Liberty and provide new mixed-income housing units. The estimated $400 million overall development will lead to the construction of 350 mixed-income housing units, support 2,000 jobs and create one of the greenest housing developments in the United States.
The city, in collaboration with the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and Larimer/East Liberty community groups submitted an application for the grant last year. As a councilman Mayor Peduto helped broker a deal to finalize the city’s funding for the project, which was key to signaling the community support behind the grant.
The Mayor met and discussed the Larimer initiative this year with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan while on trips to Washington D.C. He also worked hand in hand with U.S. Sen. Bob Casey on the effort.
“For too long, Larimer has suffered while its neighboring communities have experienced booming growth,” Mayor Peduto said. “Largely due to hard work by community groups and other stakeholders in Larimer, today we are a step closer to making this proud community join in the successes around it.”
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency awarded more than $1 million in tax credits to the Larimer initiative in February and today’s move by HUD continued the positive momentum. The Mayor was joined at the announcement with HUD Assistant Secretary for Housing Carol Galante, U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh Executive Director Caster Binion and Kingsley Association Executive Director Malik Bankston.
"This development shows what happens when leaders -- from government, nonprofits, developers, the faith-based community, and most importantly the neighborhoods -- work together to make our region better," said County Executive Fitzgerald.
The city competed with 40 other cities to receive the grants and they were awarded only to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Columbus and Norwalk, Conn.
“HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative supports local visions for how to transform high-poverty, distressed communities into neighborhoods of opportunity,” Secretary Donovan said in Columbus. “By working together, with local and state partners we will show why neighborhoods should always be defined by their potential – not their problems. Together, we will work to ensure that no child’s future is determined by their zip code and expand opportunity for all.”
Larimer has suffered for generations and currently has more vacant lots than occupied homes. Centering on a community at East Liberty Boulevard and Larimer Avenue, the Larimer/East Liberty Phase I development would include housing upgrades, support businesses in the corridor, and reestablish ties to East Liberty and other neighboring East End communities.
HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program supports public-private projects that replace distressed public housing with better-quality mixed-income units; improve education and social services; and improve safety and commercial activity.
Monday, June 30, 2014
City of Pittsburgh
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