The Homewood, East Hills, East Liberty, Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar, and Larimer Protection Initiative (HELP) is a comprehensive resident-driven initiative to protect, strengthen, and rebuild targeted East End communities.
THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Facilitating bottom-up community planning to ensure residents participate in the development of their communities.
Collaborating across neighborhoods to leverage the strengths of the East End as a whole.
Replacing concentrated poverty with vibrant, diverse, resource rich communities.
Avoid Displacement (Residents Protected)
Protecting low and moderate income families from being displaced during development.
According to the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania’s “Building Inclusive Communities” study, there is a severe shortage of decent, safe and affordable housing in the City of Pittsburgh. Citywide, there is a shortage of about 21,580 housing units that are both affordable and available to people living on extremely low incomes ($24,250 or less per year for a family of four). The failure of the local housing market to meet this demand is creating a domino effect that makes housing unaffordable across all lower income levels. The lack of affordable housing is a citywide problem and its ultimate solutions must therefore also be citywide. The Mayor’s Affordable Housing Task Force is investigating citywide solutions and we support this effort and look forward to its recommendations.
However, the recent controversy and media attention surrounding the redevelopment of East Liberty’s Penn Plaza Apartments and lack of affordable housing options for the residents who will be displaced underscores the need for immediate action in the City’s East End. There are several neighborhoods which must be addressed. Each neighborhood is in a unique economic and demographic position, so the solutions must also be tailored to each community. The East End of Pittsburgh has some of the City’s fastest growing development corridors (East Liberty), the largest new public housing development (Larimer-Choice Neighborhoods), one of the greatest neighborhood concentrations of African-American homeowners (Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar) along with one of the City’s most blighted neighborhoods (Homewood).
The creation of an East End multi-neighborhood affordable housing protection strategy can capitalize on both the strengths and the opportunities in the East End market. The HELP Initiative’s overall goals are to:
- Preserve and increase affordable housing choices, and
- Develop diverse, mixed-income, sustainable communities. The HELP Initiative will achieve these goals by creating and implementing community-specific strategies and solutions in our targeted East End neighborhoods.
Watch the full 20-minute version of the above video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbUAAZd60to