path to equity

2021 Impact Report

revitalize neighborhoods

Our approach to neighborhood revitalization work is centered around co-creating resident-focused solutions that impact affordable housing, small businesses, and placemaking efforts. We believe genuine revitalization only occurs when both a geographic place and its people see positive change.

path to equity

2021 Impact Report

revitalize neighborhoods

Our approach to neighborhood revitalization work is centered around co-creating resident-focused solutions that impact affordable housing, small businesses, and placemaking efforts. We believe genuine revitalization only occurs when both a geographic place and its people see positive change.

Long-Time Hill District Resident and Business Owner Puts Down Roots With the Help of the Centralized Real Estate Accelerator

Mr. Thomas Boyd has rented the location for his barbershop, Big Tom’s, at 2042 Centre Ave. for 14 years. In 2019, he connected with Neighborhood Allies and shared his vision to relocate and expand his business and footprint in the community he grew up in. 

Big Tom’s utilized the full suite of resources Neighborhood Allies has to offer to help make Mr. Boyd’s dream a reality. We have provided over 450 hours of intensive technical assistance to bring Mr. Boyd’s project to life which includes help with budgeting and due diligence, selection of a general contractor, and oversight of the design process. Our team also helped navigate the URA disposition process and helped complete the fundraising for the project, successfully applying for $750,000 in grant funds, enough hard and soft debt to complete the $1.75 million project.

Tom was able to purchase a 4,100 square foot, three-story, brick building located at the corner of Centre Ave. and Kirkpatrick St. – the eastern gateway to the core of the Hill District’s commercial corridor. Mr. Boyd will also own and rent the upper-floors as residential apartment units. A lifelong Hill District resident and long-time business owner, Mr. Boyd is poised to own a key corner parcel in his neighborhood and dramatically increase his net worth over the coming years. 

Dollars Leveraged by Project Support

Projects Supported by The Accelerator

Dollars Invested in Projects

Hours of Shared Real Estate Talent Provided

Small Businesses Supported

Invested into Equitable Growth Guarantee Fund

how we help revitalize neighborhoods

Centralized Real Estate Accelerator

 The Centralized Real Estate Accelerator empowers early stage for-profit and nonprofit developers and property owners to achieve their vision by improving technical capacity, increasing financial readiness, and building professional networks. The Accelerator focuses on community-based organizations, resident developers, and small business owners with the goal of creating more opportunities for community ownership in Black and Brown neighborhoods, as well as a pipeline of investable projects. The overall goal of this program is to generate system-wide change in Pittsburgh’s community development field to create more equitable outcomes for communities and people of color.

Real Estate Co-Powerment Series

 Co-created and launched in early 2017 by Neighborhood Allies and Omicelo Cares, the Co-Powerment Series is an education platform that demystifies the real estate development process, explains its associated terminology and brings to light the productive role community members and organizations play in the real estate and economic development inside their neighborhoods. An overarching goal of the education series is to shrink the technical proficiency gap that exists between real estate developers and community leaders that are involved in local development projects.

Schenley Heights Organized Revitalization Effort (SHORE)

The Schenley Heights Organized Revitalization Effort (SHORE), is a collaborative of  community based organization, public agencies, nonprofit institutions, and private entities who are working together to increase the number of affordable homeownership opportunities in the Upper Hill. In addition, we work with existing homeowners to help stabilize their properties and engage with residents to help improve the overall quality of life in the neighborhood.

Equitable Empowerment Fund

Created by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Equitable Empowerment Fund was designed to assist small organizations and businesses to respond to the URA’s request for qualifications to develop parcels along Centre Avenue in the Hill District. With support from the URA, Neighborhood Allies and our Shared Real Estate Talent Team provided technical assistance and professional support to applicants. Respondents meeting the criteria were eligible to receive help with items such as RFQ language/packet development, budget and proforma development, site analysis, feasibility analysis, and general project support to ensure that the vision for the parcel is feasible and fit within the community plan.

Get Online and Grow Online (GOGO)

The COVID-19 pandemic deeply challenged the future of our communities and economy. That’s why we launched a program in partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Get Online and Grow Online to aid our local small businesses in implementing new, creative ways to reach their customers. Participants receive up to 10 hours of free technical assistance to help them enter the digital marketplace, receive personalized ecommerce solutions, refine their marketing and outreach, and network with the local business community.

Homewood Experience

The Homewood Experience offers a blended approach to community engagement, business development, sustainability, cultural integrity, all under the guise of an authentic branding narrative that preserves the history and pride of the Homewood Community. Over the past year and always in collaboration with community members, The Homewood Experience Team has worked with local artists to bring together an Art Walk, created a neighborhood Walk of Fame, worked with youth from the YMCA Lighthouse Project to develop a community soundtrack, and even produced a documentary that provides a grassroots context to the evolution of Homewood, its history as well as the vision and interpretation of the future for Homewood.

Equitable Growth Guarantee Fund

The Equitable Growth Guarantee Fund is a game-changing tool of the recently launched Centralized Real Estate Accelerator that aims to help real estate developers of color, and community-based developers, raise private capital for their projects.

Public Art and Communities

The Public Art and Communities (PAC) program is a partnership between Neighborhood Allies, the Office of Public Art, and the Borough of Millvale that supports the development of place-based strategies and temporary artworks that are responding to both the COVID-19 pandemic and its intersection with other critical public health issues. PAC engages artists to collaborate with communities to address their needs through public art and creative placemaking practices aimed to reenergize and reshape how residents imagine their neighborhoods.

Social Impact Design

Our Social Impact Design Program builds the capacity of both designers and the community by providing project management and schematic design support. This newly launched program works to increase the flow of public and private community development capital to low-income communities, building a network of equity-focused designers and community leaders, while elevating the voices of marginalized leaders in architecture and development, especially in our Black and Brown communities.