Beltzhoover Vacant Dwellings Action Team Update

8 Aug

Pittsburgh’s Reimagining Communities Initiative has been working in the neighborhood of Beltzhoover since early 2015. Community Coordinator Shawna Russ has focused on reducing blight through a variety of programs that involve broad community participation.  The following update was written by the Beltzhoover Vacant Dwellings Action Team. Pictured below: signs recently installed around Beltzhoover by the Beltzhoover Community Forum.

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The Vacant Dwellings Action Team (Beltzhoover Community Forum), the Hilltop NeighborWorks Cohort, and the Beltzhoover Neighborhood Council are coming together to host a community-based event called Beautify Blight Day. On August 27, from 9 AM to 3 PM, we are inviting residents in our community to come out help tackle the blighted housing located on Eldora Place. Eldora Place is adjacent to the McKinley Park, a beautiful park located in the heart of Beltzhoover.

The homes we will give our attention to are homes that have been abandoned by their owners. Over time, they have been subject to extreme amounts of vandalism; in addition, the properties have significant amounts of overgrown grass. On Beautify Blight Day, we invite the community to come together and help change the face of Eldora Place. The houses will be boarded up with beautiful art painted by the residents. Most of the homeowners of Eldora Place are seniors who deserve to come out of their homes and see beauty rather than blight on the street where they have invested their lives in their communities.

During the event, we will be serving lunch to participants, playing games with neighborhood children, and removing the overgrown grass and weeds. Come to the event for fun, food, fellowship, and a resource table for residents. We have invited other neighborhood leaders to attend, in the hope that this event can be a model for other community efforts across the Hilltop!