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Homewood, Brushton Set to Receive Sustained URA Funding

Pittsburgh City Council is poised to direct $1.75 million toward the redevelopment of Homewood and Brushton over the next five years.

The bill from Councilman Ricky Burgess would dedicate $350,000 per year toward the dilapidated East End areas. The money would be administered by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Burgess said the funding would be used largely to hire staff for a local community development group.

"In these very depressed communities, there's no indigenous community organization that has the capacity, that can buy or even understands the process of how to revitalize a commercial district," said Burgess.

The East End Councilman said other parts of his district have benefited from recent investments, including the Highland Building and Bakery Square redevelopments in East Liberty.

"We have to take that investment, that development and now move it east into Homewood, into Larimer, into Lincoln-Lemington so that those depressed communities can receive the benefit of that process," said Burgess.

Council unanimously approved the legislation for final passage at a committee meeting last week. It's likely the bill will be sent to the mayor's desk after the full Council meets this Wednesday.

Councilman Bill Peduto said by providing money to hire redevelopment staffers, the city is allowing Homewood to help itself out of stagnancy.

"The old adage, 'If you give a person a fish, they eat for one day; if you teach them how to fish, they eat for a lifetime,'" said Peduto. "They can help Homewood/Brushton to get those types of programs going, so this $150,000 dollars will leverage that two million dollars."

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