10 Mar

march 2016

Table of Contents

Member Highlight: Hazelwood Initiative

Pittsburgh Transit Frequent Service Asset Mapping

CARL Program Expanded to More Neighborhoods

Keynote Speakers Announced for the Summit

Community Leader Spotlight on Olivia Baker

March Banking Policy Update

March Events and Announcements



Member Highlight: Hazelwood Initiative, Inc.

Last modified on 2016-03-14 17:48:38 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

James Knox / Tribune-Review

Image: James Knox / Tribune-Review. Sonya Tilghman in front of the Gladstone Middle School Building.
  1. Organization: Hazelwood Initiative, Inc.
  2. Founding Date: 1994
  3. Executive Director or President or Board Chair: Sonya Tilghman
  4. Current staff size and composition: 1 full-time employee (Executive Director) 1 part-time employee (Operations & Engagement) and a partnership with PCRG through RCI for additional staff support for community engagement.
  5. What geographic area do you serve? Greater Hazelwood (Hazelwood & Glen Hazel), generally, but we also produce a community newspaper that serves Greenfield, Hays, New Homestead, and Lincoln Place in addition to Hazelwood and Glen Hazel.
  6. What is your mission statement?  The mission of the Hazelwood Initiative is to be a community-driven organization, providing a shared stronger voice for Greater Hazelwood by gathering community input to build a sense of hope, harmony and promise, and by supporting human, spiritual and community development. hazelwood
  7. What is one project or program that you are really excited about? Many people know about the plans to develop the 178 acre former J&L Steel site, but we are also excited about the redevelopment of the Gladstone School.  The school has been vacant for nearly 15 years, but will be purchased by HI from the school district this summer. In preparation for the purchase, HI and our community partners convened (and continue to convene) a series of amazingly well-attended community meetings to create the vision and development plan for the building and nearby parcels.
  8. What are some of your organization’s recent accomplishments?  We have a great partnership with Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh to implement a Discount Home Repair Program, enabling home owners to build equity in their homes, and a Rehab for Resale Program, where we rehab vacant housing stock in the neighborhood for sale to low or moderate-income buyers.
  9. Tell us what you love about your neighborhood. What is your neighborhood’s best kept secret? There are a number of beautiful historic buildings in the neighborhood including the Woods House (the second oldest building in Pittsburgh) and the former Carnegie Library building, both located on Monongahela Street in Hazelwood, and, of course, Gladstone School.
  10. What is a restaurant or business in your neighborhood that partners with your organization for events or has partnered with your organization in the past? How has it helped you?  Greater Hazelwood is a bit of a food desert, but we have some great entrepreneurs who are making their mark while serving the neighborhood: Fat Rai’s, Elite Treats, ‘Tis So Sweet, and Dylamato’s Market.  These organizations have been great partners in Hazelwood’s Summer Market as well as our community meetings, and Dylamato’s recently opened a permanent storefront on Second Avenue.
  11. List an interesting fact about your organization, leadership, history, the area you serve, or other topic.  August Wilson briefly attended Gladstone High School.
  12. What are some of your upcoming events?  On March 31 we will be having a launch party for Zip Car in Hazelwood; on April 12, we’ll have the next in our series of Gladstone visioning meetings, and we’ll soon start planning for the upcoming Summer Market.
  13. Contact information:
    1. Name of contact person for further inquiries:  Sonya Tilghman
    2. Phone: 412.421.7234
    3. Address: 5344 Second Avenue
    4. Link to Website: We’re working on it!

 



Pittsburgh Transit Frequent Service Asset Mapping

Last modified on 2016-03-14 15:29:58 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

Like many Rust Belt cities, Pittsburgh has been increasingly experiencing the negative effects that occur when development planning is disconnected from transportation planning. In dialogue with our members, community based organizations, and other activist groups, PCRG has taken steps towards increasing transit ridership and promoting interconnection between transit options. We have advocated for policies and zoning changes that encourage Transit Oriented Development, so that many more individuals can embrace a car-free or car-light lifestyle. To further support these goals, PCRG is proud to present the preliminary stages of the Frequent Service and Key Corridor Mapping Project which we hope will assist people working within all areas of transportation and land use. Below are a series of maps that preview the sort of research we will be pursuing. Map 1: Key Corridor Routes Average Frequency (in minutes) during the Week in Relation to Bike Share Stations

key corridor routes

In Pittsburgh, there are a total of 50 bike share stations and 500 bikes spread across Downtown, Oakland, the Hill District, Shadyside, Bloomfield, South Side, and the North Side. This map features Healthy Rides bike share stations in relation to the key corridor bus routes corresponding to their average frequencies (in minutes) over the course of a day. The buffer surrounding the bike share station relates to the number of buses that are in the surrounding 1000 feet, addressing the “last mile problem” associated with getting people as close as possible to their final destinations. There are only three bike share stations (Atwood and Bates station, Schenley and Frew station, and North Shore Drive station) that have either zero or one transit stops available within 1000 feet. Map 2: Key Corridor Routes Average Frequency (in minutes) during the Week in Relation to Zero Car Households

key corridor routes weekday

A wide range of types of individuals or families live in zero car households—they may be living in a mixed development community centered on multiple transit options to or they may be living under the poverty line in a suburban area. While some people have chosen to adopt the zero car approach as a lifestyle, others are not as fortunate and live in isolated communities, such as Penn Hills, with few easily accessible transit options in close proximity. This is a major challenge for those trying to get to daycare facilities, medical appointments, schools, grocery stores, or the countless other destinations that are necessary to reach on a daily basis. This map shows that 3 out of the 10 census tracts with the highest percentage of zero car households were Terrace Village (511, 81.9%), Bedford Dwellings (509, 63.7%), and Terrace Village (510, 38.6%) indicating that there is a trend through the Hill District corridor which is directly correlated to the high percentage of families living in poverty. Across the City of Pittsburgh, here are the following neighborhoods that have the highest percentage of zero car households:

Census Tract

Neighborhood

Zero Car households

511

Terrace Village

81.9%

9822

North Oakland

65.3%

509

Bedford Dwellings

63.7%

2609

Northview Heights

41.9%

1304, 1204

Homewood South, Larimer

39.5%

510

Terrace Village

38.6%

2507

California-Kirkbride

38.2%

5620, 1301

North Oakland, Homewood North

36.5%

404

North Oakland

36.4%

1113

East Liberty

34.2%

Map 3: Key Corridor Routes Average Frequency (in minutes) During the Week in Relation to Households Living in Poverty

poverty key corridor routes

According to a 2015 Forbes Magazine article “America’s Most Affordable Cities,”(1) Pittsburgh was ranked as the number 11 most affordable city across the country, where cities with 600,000 or more residents were evaluated on four metrics: housing affordability, housing opportunity index, cost of living index, and median salaries for residents with a BA degree or higher. Despite this all, there are still many areas across the City of Pittsburgh that suffers from living in poverty. While college graduates have a median income of $53,600, this is not the same for those who only have a high school education or less. Similarly to the zero car household trends in the Hill District, Terrace Village (511, 72.1%) and Bedford Dwellings (509, 68.1%) are the two highest census tracts suffering from families living in poverty.  Four census tracts (511, 509, 1204, and 1301) reoccur when the percentage of zero car households is compared to the percentage of families living in poverty. Below is a table indicating the ten census tracts with the highest percentage of families living in poverty:

Census Tracts

Neighborhood

Percent

511

Terrace Village

72.1%

509

Bedford Dwellings

68.1%

1016

Garfield

55.4%

1204

Larimer

50.0%

2503

Central Northside

44.8%

1306

East Hills

44.1%

405

Central Oakland

43.3%

1301

Homewood North

42.1%

2620

Spring Hill-City View

41.8%

5623

Glen Hazel

41.4%

Please feel free to contact Kathryn Schlesinger at kschlesinger@PCRG.org or at 412.391.6732 x.212; or Chris Sandvig at csandvig@PCRG.org,  or at 412.391.6732 x.208 with any additional questions about our work. Legend (2):

  1. Frequent Service Area, light purple ½ mile walkshed around fixed guideways: this is defined specifically by Port Authority based on their guidelines, which states that “frequent service areas are defined as having 1560 scheduled trips a week and provide service for at least 130 of the 168 hours in a week.”
  2. Average Frequency of Key Corridor Routes: there are a total of fourteen key corridor bus routes, a key corridor is defined by Port Authority’s Service Guidelines as a “network that provides frequent service in high volume corridors that are not served by Rapid Routes…serving more than 3500 passengers per weekday.” The average frequency coloration is based on heat map style, dark red (51, Carrick, 10 minutes) being the most frequent and dark blue (61C, McKeesport, 22 minutes) being the least frequent.


Mortgage Loan for Purchase and Rehab of Homes Now Available in 48 Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

Last modified on 2016-04-18 13:37:14 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

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The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) of Pittsburgh Board of Directors voted on Thursday, March 10, 2016 to expand the Community Acquisition and Rehabilitation Loan (CARL) to an additional 32 census tracts, which means CARL will be available in 48 City of Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) offers the CARL Program as a part of our mission to ensure equitable access to land and capital within the region. As a single loan product, CARL simplifies the financing process for the purchase and rehabilitation of a property by reducing the cost, time, and complexity of obtaining multiple loans. This strategy creates opportunity for homeownership while simultaneously allowing individuals and families to affordably make modern, energy-efficient repairs to create the home of their dreams. Our communities seek to greatly benefit from the renovations of its aging housing stock and increased property values, job creation, and a more robust tax base for the local economy.

“The expansion of CARL enables us to facilitate opportunities for home ownership and drive investment into more low- and moderate- income communities.” says Ernie Hogan, PCRG’s Executive Director. “Our partnership with the URA and local lenders through the CARL program allows us to provide affordable purchase and rehabilitation financing for borrowers who may not be able to access traditional lending products.”

The CARL borrower will have at least 5% plus closing costs in a down payment, and there is no mortgage insurance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000; but if the loan amount is greater than $233,000, the borrower will be required to provide equity greater than 5%. The minimum credit score is 620 and the CARL product may only be used for 1-4 unit homes in the eligible areas. There is a five-year owner-occupancy requirement for CARL borrowers.

The CARL program will be eligible in a total of 57 census tracts. These eligible census tracts are located within 48 City of Pittsburgh neighborhoods:

Allentown East Allegheny Homewood South Point Breeze North
Arlington East Liberty Homewood West Sheraden
Beechview Elliot Knoxville South Oakland
Beltzhoover Esplen Larimer South Side Slopes
Bloomfield Fineview Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar St. Clair
Brightwood Garfield Manchester Stanton Heights
Brighton Heights Glen Hazel Marshall-Shadeland Troy Hill
Brookline Greenfield Middle Hill Upper Hill District
Carrick Hays Mt. Oliver Upper Lawrenceville
Central Lawrenceville Hazelwood Mt. Washington Uptown/Bluff
Central Northside Highland Park North Shore West Oakland
Central Oakland Homewood North Perry South

 

For more information on the CARL Program, please contact Samuel K Su, PCRG’s Manager of Strategic Initiatives, at (412) 391-6732 ext. 210 or ssu@pcrg.org.



Keynote Speakers Announced for the Summit

Last modified on 2016-03-14 18:44:51 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

fixed final banner version

PCRG’s Sixth Annual Community Development Summit is rapidly approaching.  Our conference is daily taking shape—registration has opened, our list of presenters is currently being finalized, and we are setting the routes for our mobile workshops.  This year, we will be asking questions about how to empower people with the skills, resources, and capacity to transform places into equitable, healthy, and desirable communities.

We take our educational role seriously as we seek to bring the best, most relevant content to our Summit. Our success in doing so has been recognized year after year as attendees from across the East Coast and Midwest make the journey to Pittsburgh to learn from our stories as well as to bring us their own lessons of growth. Bringing in nationally recognized speakers for the Summit adds a broader perspective to the regional community development conversation.  We invite you to join us as we build relationships, learn from industry best practices, and dive deeply into the role of place and its importance in peoples’ lives.

We are excited to announce that this year, Charles Montgomery, noted author of Happy City, and Ed McMahon, Senior Fellow for Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institute, will be addressing us as keynote speakers.  Both are deeply involved in the national dialogue about the role people play in shaping and ascribing meaning to place.

Charles Montgomery’s work explores the intersection between the psychology of happiness and urban design. His book Happy City was hailed as a “brilliant” and “compelling” work offering a transformative perspective on how people can create cities that work better for everyone. Widely published and awarded, his writing has focused on urban planning, psychology, science, and culture. Montgomery has taken an educational approach to his work as a public intellectual, conducting public experiences with museums and cultural institutions in a range of cities. To find out more, visit his website.

montgomery headshot

Ed McMahon is respected internationally for his work in the area of sustainable and environmentally sensitive development practice. Prior to his appointment to the ULI, McMahon spent time with the Conservation Fund, Scenic America, and Georgetown University Law Center, giving him a strong background in the relationships between people, the environment, and public policy. In addition, McMahon has a background in economic development and community planning, having consulted in all fifty states on a variety of issues. McMahon is a prolific author who has written books and articles on conservation, urban development, infrastructure, and planning.

mcmahon-photo_high-res

We are excited to partner with these speakers as well as with our presenters to bring you our most topically diverse Summit yet. For more information about previous Summits, please visit our archive of past Summit sessions. To register, please visit our conference website.



Community Leader Spotlight on Olivia Baker

Last modified on 2016-10-12 20:43:31 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

IMG_3913

Olivia Baker has been active in her neighborhood for many years.  She is a familiar face at community clean ups and community meetings.  Ms. Baker has welcomed PCRG’s Reimagining Communities Initiative with open arms. She supports our work by encouraging residents to participate and providing a platform for community discussion at monthly block watch meetings she leads.  

How long have you lived in the community?  

57 years as a resident in Beltzhoover.

In your opinion, what makes your community special?

The history is what makes it special.  This is a community that has risen and rode on the backs of past residents.  My Father and Mother lived here and worked very hard to provide our family with great values and morals.  Our neighbors treated their family and the community the same.  Even though we had our struggles in Beltzhoover, we helped each other and were a close knit neighborhood and it felt like family outside of our homes.

How are you currently involved in your neighborhood?  

I have been facilitating the Lower Beltzhoover Block Watch since 2012 and it runs every month.  I would love to consult with a community group and community leaders.  I’m more than happy to give positive feedback as well as guidance to help make Beltzhoover strong.

What is one thing you would like to change in the community?

Beltzhoover is missing pride.  The neighborhood has fallen apart because of the past devastations that take place in all neighborhoods.  I would love to reignite the residents with their true love for our neighborhood.  We need ongoing maintenance, we need ongoing continuity, and we need short term, midterm and long term commitments.

What is your day job?  

After 37 years at Highmark I have been retired since March 2010

What is an interesting fact about yourself?

Giving back to my community is really near and dear to my heart.  It is fun for me to be a part of the Lower Beltzhoover Block Watch to get together with the residents to ensure we are on top of the safety of the neighborhood.



March Banking Policy Update

Last modified on 2016-03-10 21:06:44 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

March Banking Policy Update Banner 1_1024x512

The March 2016 banking policy update covers our work with the bankers councils, current mergers and acquisitions that will affect the region, and our upcoming trip to Washington DC.

Bankers Councils:

The bankers councils were created to increase communication between PCRG’s member organizations and the banks that invest in the Pittsburgh region. At the Midtier Bankers Collaborative Council (MBCC) and the Community Bankers Collaborative Council (CBCC), community and bank leadership meet to identify common barriers, joint opportunities and partnerships to advance the respective partners’ missions.

On Wednesday, February 24, PCRG held a joint Bankers Council meeting (combining the MBCC and CBCC) to kick off 2016. The meeting was located at a (really cool) warehouse space in Allentown; Hilltop Alliance  and RE360 are marketing this space for artists/makers and incentivizing tenants to move in by offering a 50% rent subsidy (contact siena@pghhilltopalliance.com for more information). Our Bankers Council meeting brought together 52 bank representatives and community leaders to discuss Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Pittsburgh’s programs as well as the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) proposed Duty to Serve rule.

Combined Bankers Council Picture

FHLB of Pittsburgh presented their products which banks can use in our market. These products include First Front Door (a first-time homebuyer grant of up to $5,000 for those who qualify, which can be combined with with PCRG’s CARL program), Banking on Business (gap financing and equity for small business start-up and expansion), and their Community Lending Program (low-cost liquidity and match financing for community development).

Josh Silver, Senior Adviser at National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), spoke to our Bankers Council attendees about FHFA’s proposed Duty to Serve rule during the second half of our meeting. The rule defines how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are to serve 3 underserved markets: manufactured housing, affordable housing, and rural housing. Our discussion focused on the Affordable Housing aspect of the rule. PCRG, in partnership with NCRC, intends to write a comment letter on the Duty to Serve rule to ensure that our region has a voice in the matter. If you have a comment regarding the Duty to Serve rule, please feel free to contact PCRG or submit your own comment letter.

Bank Mergers and Acquisitions Update:

Bank mergers and acquisitions offer opportunities for community input, and PCRG writes comment letters on all bank mergers and acquisitions in our region.

The current mergers and acquisitions that will affect our region are:

  • Goldman Sachs acquisition of GE Capital
  • Key Bank acquisition of First Niagara Bank
  • NexTier Bank acquisition of Eureka Bank
  • First National Bank acquisition of Fifth Third Bank’s branches in Southwestern Pennsylvania
  • Farmers National Bank acquisition of United American Savings Bank
  • Huntington Bank acquisition of First Merit Bank

PCRG signed the NCRC’s comment letters about the Goldman Sachs acquisition of GE Capital and has submitted comments and met with bank leadership concerning the Key Bank/First Niagara; NexTier/Eureka; First National Bank/Fifth Third; Farmers National Bank/United American Savings Bank; and Huntington Bank/First Merit Bank applications.

The public has 30 days after the submission of a merger application to comment. We recommend that any PCRG members affected by the bank merger provide comments to us or write your own comment letter. Any positive or negative experiences you have had with a bank may be relevant.

NCRC Conference in DC:

We are sending 13 PCRG staff and members to NCRC’s Annual Conference (March 15-19) in Washington DC to learn more about how we can better advocate for our region’s community development system. During the NCRC Conference, we spend a day (affectionately known as “Hill Day”) meeting with members of Senate and House of Representatives to share our region’s community development priorities. Please let us know if there is anything we can discuss on your behalf with our elected officials.

ncrc

For more information on our banking policy update, please contact Samuel Su, PCRG’s Manager of Strategic Initiatives, at ssu@pcrg.org or (412) 391-6732 ext. 210.



March Events and Announcements

Last modified on 2016-03-14 18:11:15 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

events

PCRG Events

MARCH

CARL Info Session

[Black Forge Coffee House, Allentown]

Wednesday, March 23

6:30-7:30 PM

PCRG Member Meeting

[Location To Be Announced]

Thursday, March 24th

6 – 8 PM

APRIL (tentative dates)

GoBurgh

Thursday, April 7th

12-2 PM

Vacant Property Working Group

Friday, April 8th

9 – 11 AM

Announcements

  • Registration is now open for PCRG’s Sixth Annual Community Development Summit, May 17th-18th, 2016. Focused on “The Power of PLACE”, the Summit will be an opportunity to connect with and learn from members of the community development field.
  • Applications are now being accepted for First Front Door Grants through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh. First Front Door Grants are offered to first-time homebuyers and can be combined with the CARL program.
  • The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority announces the Green Infrastructure grant program, which is intended to support property owners, community groups, and nonprofits as they implement green infrastructure practices.Applications will be accepted through through Wednesday, March 23, at 12pm (for the Mini Grants) or Wednesday, April 6,  at 12PM (for large scale projects). For more information, visit the Green Infrastructure Grant Program website.
  • Neighborhood Allies and LISC’s National Housing Program announce a workshop on Recapitalization Pathways for HUD-Assisted Housing. Attendees will learn how to preserve, recapitalize, and improve performance of existing affordable multi-family housing in our community. This workshop will provide property owners and other stakeholders with information, tools and resources including various HUD financing programs, Section 8 vouchers and equity sources. To register, visit the event page.

Employment Opportunities

  • Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh (HFHGP) is seeking a new Executive Director. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh is the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, (HFHI). For more information about the job and how to apply, please see the job listing here.
  • The Union Project is seeking a part-time Space Rental Coordinator. The Union Project is a non-profit organization that uses the arts to bridge gaps between communities. For more information, see the job description or contact the Union Project at info@unionproject.org.
  • The Pittsburgh Project is currently hiring a part-time Afterschool Teacher. In addition, TPP is seeking college students to staff their summer youth and construction programs. For more information about these positions, please visit their job description page or contact Julie Minton, by email (jminton@pittsburghproject.org) or phone (412.321.1678).
  • NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania (NWWPA) is currently seeking a Housing Specialist Counselor. NWWPA is a non-profit organization with the mission of financial empowerment that promotes homeownership and stable communities in Western Pennsylvania. For more information or to apply for the position, please visit Nonprofit Talent or contact Rachael Surmick at rsurmick@nwwpa.org.


For more information on this newsletter, please contact Sarah Slater, PCRG’s Communications Coordinator, at sslater@pcrg.org or (412) 391-6732 ext. 211.

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