a year of powerful change.

2020 Impact Report

a year of powerful change.

2020 Impact Report

All Pittsburgh residents should have equitable opportunities to thrive, while living in healthy, opportunity-rich, and safe neighborhoods of choice. To ensure the realization of this principle, we created a unifying framework for our ground-level work in neighborhoods, adapting our strategy from a respected source: the Healthy Neighborhood Approach (developed by national neighborhood strategist David Boehlke). Since 2017, Neighborhood Allies has used this modified framework to guide the implementation of our work and help us prioritize neighborhood change efforts that focus on both people and place. The elements of our Healthy Neighborhoods Framework are Market Confidence, Quality of Life, Neighborhood Image, Community Ownership, and Equitable Development. 

Below, we explore and define each element of the Healthy Neighborhoods Framework and offer “Spotlight” features to showcase how these elements are already benefiting Pittsburgh communities today.

Market Confidence

A healthy neighborhood has market confidence.

Neighborhoods with market confidence have a strong housing market for all income levels and a thriving business district that contributes to rising housing values and residential sales prices. The community manages market forces to prevent displacement of people and local businesses and the neighborhood is a place where people want to live and invest time, resources and capital.

Market Confidence by numbers

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Projects supported by CREA: 12

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Hours of Shared Real Estate Talent: 2,500

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People connected to Real Estate Resources: 300

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Dollars invested in Projects: $3.6M

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Dollars leveraged by project support: $9.5M

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Small businesses supported: 400

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Investment into Equitable Growth Guarantee Fund: $1.25MM

Market Confidence Spotlight:
Perry Hilltop + Fineview Affordable Housing

The Perry Hilltop and Fineview Citizens Councils had a successful and exciting year, making significant strides in their education initiatives, organizational capacity building, as well as their beautification, transportation, and community engagement work. Additionally, with the help of our shared real estate talent program, they have also made progress in affordable housing projects in the Perry Hilltop and Fineview neighborhoods. With added expertise from consultant Tom Hardy, the organizations were able to access $525k in funding to develop 5 affordable rental units and one commercial unit. Our Shared Real Estate Talent Program supplies critical technical assistance to CDCs, CBOs, and emerging community-driven developers to successfully complete real estate projects and find appropriate roles and partnerships in the development of projects in their communities, thus allowing them to access critical early stage expertise in evaluating a project.

Quality of Life

A healthy neighborhood offers a good quality of life for all residents. 

Neighborhoods that have a high quality of life grant residents access to the larger economy and quality neighborhood amenities. They are able to build assets, accumulate wealth and connect to economic opportunities. Their neighborhood is safe and the environment and social determinants of health positively impact the well-being of families and neighbors.

Quality of Life Spotlight:
Bank On Expansion

Neighborhood Allies, in partnership with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund), and the City of Pittsburgh’s Office of Equity, launched Bank On Allegheny County with an online event in December, 2020, providing equitable access to sustainable financial products and services to all Allegheny County residents.

The purpose of the national Bank On movement is to improve the financial stability of unbanked and underbanked individuals and families by connecting people to safe and affordable accounts, raising public awareness, conducting targeted outreach, and expanding access to financial services. The goal of Bank On Allegheny County is to increase equitable access to sustainable financial products and services. In Allegheny County, nearly 30% of residents are unbanked or underbanked –approximately 360,000 adults. Black Allegheny County residents are nearly seven times more likely to be unbanked than white residents. Those with a disability are three times more likely to be unbanked than those without a disability. Being unbanked can cost $40,000 over a lifetime due to use of costly alternative financial services for routine transactions. 

Quality of life by the Numbers

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People placed in employment: 106

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Number of clients achieving a positive financial outcome: 1,125

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Clients served at FOC & FEC: 905

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Number of Residents Served - Digital Inclusion: 2,600

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Number of Residents Served - Mental Health Access 250

Neighborhood Image

A healthy neighborhood has an image that is celebrated.

Neighborhoods with a celebrated image are places that are visually appealing and desirable to all, celebrating neighborhood pride and attracting new people and investment while retaining new and long-term residents.

neighborhood image by numbers

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Communities engaged in neighborhood improvement initiatives: 13

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Volunteers mobilized: 500

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Number of Positive Stories: 115

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Number of People participating in Grassroots Initiatives: 309

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Number of Placemaking Projects/Spaces Transformed: 20

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Number of Community Engagement/Building Events Organized: 75

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Number of LoveMyNeighbor! Grants: 48

Neighborhood Image Spotlight:
Homewood Community Image Campaign

The Homewood Experience continues to progress in developing neighborhood brand components based on community surveys, key stakeholder interviews, and community partner conversations. The official launch presenting the neighborhood logo, colors, website and soundtrack was released with much neighborhood excitement. Through our work, we’ve developed an official partnership with Visit Pittsburgh that will amplify the effort to establish Homewood as an African-American Cultural Destination while increasing the economic impact of visitation and tourism in Homewood.

Community Ownership

A healthy neighborhood has strong community ownership.

Neighborhoods with community ownership have residents, small business owners, community organizations and institutions serving as active participants and key decision-makers in neighborhood revitalization projects. Local residents and leaders have the capacity and community power to create positive change and shape the future of their neighborhood.

Community Ownership By the Numbers

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Number of people participating in Grassroots Initiatives: 309

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Dollars invested in resident led Initiatives: $359,000

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Resident leaders supported: 355

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Number of CDCs/CBOs engaged in programs: 20

Neighborhood Image Spotlight:
Love My Neighbor! By the Numbers

During the 2020 Love My Neighbor grant cycle a total of sixty-three applications were received from the following locations: Hill District (10), Hilltop (18), Homewood (7), Larimer (2), Lincoln-Lemington (11), Millvale (3), Wilkinsburg (12).

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50 Virtual Interviews were held via weekly Zoom and phone (GGC & LMN). Applicant interviews were conducted throughout April and May, while other interviewees were asked to answer GGC questions via email.

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A total of $108,687 was invested in 48 community-driven projects, creating our largest Love My Neighbor! grant cycle to date.

Equitable Development

A healthy neighborhood puts equitable development at the forefront.

A neighborhood that prioritizes equity welcomes everyone to participate in and benefit from the region’s economic transformation — especially low-income residents, communities of color, immigrants, and others at risk of being left behind. Equitable development requires an intentional focus on eliminating racial inequities and barriers and making investments that yield healthy, safe and opportunity-rich neighborhoods that reflect their culture.

Equitable Development by Numbers

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Partnerships formed: 15

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Dollars invested in equitable development activities: $3.3M

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Number of Contracts to Minority Entrepreneurs: 45

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Number of Individual/Organizations Contributing to Equitable Development: 350

Equitable Development Spotlight:
Equitable Development Growth Fund | Fifth and Dinwiddie East

Neighborhood Allies launched the Equitable Growth Guarantee Fund in 2020 and The Hillman Foundation seeded the fund with a $1.25 million investment. The fund was developed as a two-pronged loan guarantee fund that would help to close opportunity gaps in the community development financing system. The first would substitute much-needed early-stage equity that is typically used for pre-development expenses such as design fees and carrying costs. The second would help developers fill equity gaps by attracting affordable loan capital that supplements first mortgage financing and fills appraisal gaps, or is used to strengthen developer guarantees to investors. 

Bridging the Gap Development and the Fifth & Dinwiddie project represented an ideal opportunity to pilot a predevelopment loan guarantee: 

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Principal Derrick Tillman is a successful and experienced developer with multiple projects in the Hill District who is seeking to “level up” to an eight-figure development project.

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Mr. Tillman has assembled a high quality development team including GBBN architects, Michael Baker International engineers, and Auros Group sustainable design, among others.

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The project will reactivate a critical intersection in the Uptown EcoInnovation District and achieve high building performance standards, including a goal of meeting Passive Building design standards

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