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City Officials Pledge To Invest Directly In Historically Black Neighborhoods

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Ariel Worthy
/
WESA
City, county and state officials gathered in Larimer for the announcement of Avenues of Hope.

The city of Pittsburgh announced plans to invest new funds in its Black communities through an initiative called “Avenues of Hope.” The plan is to directly invest in small businesses and residents of seven historically Black neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.

Homewood, Larimer, Centre, Perrysville, Chartiers, and Warrington avenues will be prioritized, as will Irvine Street in Hazelwood. Councilor Ricky Burgess represents the Larimer neighborhood, where the announcement was made. He said this initiative is a step that proves “Black Pittsburgh Matters.”

"Avenues of Hope will build black wealth, increase affordable housing and begin to reduce the lack of opportunity, which is the root cause of Black violence and hopelessness," he said.

Mayor Bill Peduto said he has heard from leaders that investment should be more direct.

"There’s been this resounding call: the investment needs to come directly into the community, that there doesn’t need to be a third parties or developers," he said. "But the investment needs to occur directly into the neighborhoods."

Avenues of Hope will partner with the Urban Redevelopment Authority to ensure more “high quality” affordable housing will be built in the neighborhoods.

The city has not yet determined the size of the investment in the initiative.