Driving Change and Transforming Lives Together

2023 Impact Report

Driving Change and Transforming Lives Together

2023 Impact Report

Dollars Leveraged in Project Support

TA Hours Provided to MWBE Developers, Small Business Owners & Nonprofit Organizations

Invested in Real Estate Projects

Residents Involved in Community-Led Design Engagement

Neighborhood Capital Fund Kicks off with Investment into innovative, minority-led real estate projects.

In 2023, we officially launched our Neighborhood Capital program to make equity and equity-like investments in Black-led community-based real estate projects. The Neighborhood Capital Fund provides a combination of technical assistance and patient, flexible capital that encourages prudent risk-taking and promotes equitable outcomes for businesses and residents. With an unprecedented $2 million dollar grant from McAuley Ministries, we forged new partnerships to support the development of several transformative projects throughout the Greater Hill District. In addition, we have also invested in developments in other priority neighborhoods, such as Homewood.

We are proud to showcase the work of two Black women in real estate – Alicia Volcy of Studio Volcy and Tina Daniels of Concrete Rose Construction – in the project features below.

RHYTHM Live + Work

Located along the Centre Avenue corridor in the heart of the Hill, RHYTHM Square by Studio Volcy aims to provide a space for urban living and entertainment and a hub for minority artists and business owners. Once finished, the development will include 16,000 square feet of commercial space including retail shops, artist studios, micro-restaurants, live-work space, as well as 5 units of affordable housing.

Rendering of RHYTHM Live + Work space. A drawn up picture of what the development is meant to look like.
“Collaborating with Neighborhood Allies on this project has been a true pleasure. They have proven to be valuable partners, connecting us with the right people and identifying opportunities for synergistic collaboration. As someone who typically works independently and occasionally engages consultants for support, I have found their assistance with funding and grant applications to be an enormous asset. Their administrative efforts have been instrumental in helping us achieve our goals, allowing us to focus on what we do best – bringing our vision for RHYTHM Square to life.”
Alicia Volcy

Founder and CEO, Studio Volcy, LLC

Neighborhood Allies collaborated with Alicia Volcy to provide 40 hours of technical assistance, ultimately helping her to leverage $1.5M towards the RHYTHM Square project. Read more.

Benedict Dwellings

In 2022, Tina Daniels, founder of Concrete Rose Construction, embarked on her first multi-unit, multi-phase redevelopment project – sixteen units of affordable housing in Homewood. We’re proud to have partnered with Tina for nearly two years and excited that construction began in 2023! Phase 1 of the project, called “Benedict Dwellings,” will culminate in four units of newly constructed affordable housing on Bennett Street.

Image of Neighborhood Allies staff and other partners with Ms. Tina at Benedict Dwellings. They are standing in front of the gate to the property.
Illustration of what Benedict Dwellings will look like when completed. Two town-home-esque apartments. One is yellow and the other read. Two apartments in each.

Our investment in Benedict Dwellings at a glance:

  • $260,000 total dollars invested.
  • 80 hours of technical assistance provided.
  • $500,000 additional dollars leveraged towards the project.
  • 12 hours of technical assistance provided through our Get Online Grow Online (GOGO) program to help small business owners with their online presence. Tina focused on social media development.
“Neighborhood Allies has been integral to this project. I appreciate them so much.”
Tina Daniels

Founder, Concrete Rose Construction

We continue to partner with Tina on Phase II of the project, called Anderson Estates, along Hermitage Street in Homewood by providing ongoing technical assistance. Read more.

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.

Neighborhood Capital Fund

With an unprecedented $2 million grant from McAuley Ministries, our Neighborhood Capital Fund is supporting transformative real estate projects in the Greater Hill District through patient, flexible capital that encourages prudent risk-taking and promotes equitable outcomes for businesses and residents. Through this fund we provide grants for predevelopment costs including architectural fees, engineering fees, environmental studies, surveys, legal fees, etc. We also provide loan guarantees and other forms of credit enhancement as well as direct injections of project equity. This fund is our solution to address a major dysfunction in the community development system–the lack of wealth in the Black community that makes real estate ownership and development more difficult.

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.

Get Online 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 Grow Online to aid our local small businesses in implementing new, creative ways to reach their customers. Participants receive up to 12 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.

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.

Perservation Working Group

The Preservation Working Group  is a dedicated network of policymakers, community stakeholders, and responsible nonprofit and for-profit owners and developers interested in the preservation of existing, privately-owned affordable housing over the long-term. The goals of the working group are to:

  • Identify at-risk existing affordable housing through data analysis and the deep community and market knowledge of working group members;
  • Advocate for local, state, and federal policies and programs that will increase affordable housing preservation in the Pittsburgh region, and for new and flexible capital sources; and
  • Activate opportunities for preservation by attracting responsible, qualified buyers, positioning properties for acquisition and recapitalization, and connecting developers to capital and other resources.