New State Funding Will Support 43 Restoration, Façade, and Housing Projects Throughout PA

PA Department of Community & Economic DevelopmentHarrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced the approval of funding through the Keystone Communities program to support 43 community revitalization projects across the commonwealth.

“This administration is committed to making our communities better places to live and do business,” Governor Wolf said. “From restoring community cornerstones to beautifying downtowns to helping people with disabilities make crucial accessibility improvements to their homes, these projects will have profound impacts for local residents and business owners.”

Administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), the Keystone Communities program is designed to support local initiatives that grow and stabilize neighborhoods and communities, encourage the creation of partnerships between the public and private sectors in the community, and enhance the overall quality of life for residents.

Since January 2015, the Wolf Administration approved more than $22 million through the Keystone Communities program to fund 131 projects statewide, including façade grants for businesses, accessible housing projects, public infrastructure improvements, and other projects to strengthen communities and downtown districts.

“In order for our economy to thrive, we need to help build strong communities,” DCED Secretary Dennis Davin said. “Strong communities attract businesses that create jobs, and strong business environments attract new residents to the area and grow the local economy. That’s why these projects are so vital to the areas in which they’re located.”

The commonwealth strongly encourages community-based organizations, public agencies, business leaders, private developers, financial institutions, and private citizens to work in partnership with local government to develop a comprehensive approach to address community development and housing needs. These partnerships create more attractive places to live and will encourage business and job expansion and retention in Pennsylvania.

Projects totaling more than $5.5 million in state support, including the following regional projects:

City of Pittsburgh: $402,000 for improvements and repairs to the Jefferson Recreation Center, which provides a safe place with free programming and support to youth in the Central Northside neighborhood. The project will include a new roof, windows, doors, masonry restoration, and ADA upgrades to the recreation center, as well as new playground equipment and basketball court upgrades.

Coraopolis Community Development Foundation, Inc.: $175,000 to renovate the Coraopolis Train Station, including replacement of the slate and metal roof to protect the structure from damage while further renovations are planned that will support a teaching kitchen and cafe and community center. Once operations are in place, all proceeds will benefit community crisis and support the food pantry and community garden.

FCP Services, Inc.:
$67,579 to replace the roof of the Depot building, a blighted building in Tarentum. When fully renovated, the building will serve as an anchor building to spur further development in the blighted central business district.

Oakland Planning and Development Corporation: $50,000 for a façade improvement program that targets low income homeowners who fall at or below 120 percent of AMI. The proposed façade grants will impact 10-15 income-qualified homeowners in the neighborhoods of west, south, and central Oakland who wish to improve the exterior façade of their home.
Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh: $100,000 to continue a business storefront façade program encompassing the entire city. The program currently has 20 projects in the pipeline and an additional 35 projects are expected to be completed in 2018.

Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation: $200,000 for restoration of the Wilkinsburg Train Station to provide an adaptively reused, transit-focused civic space that can be used by residents and daily commuters alike.

Kittanning Borough: $50,000 for façade improvements to at least 10 buildings located in the Central Business District.

Ebensburg Borough: $50,000 to implement a facade improvement program in the downtown business district of Ebensburg to enhance the appearance of the downtown area.

Johnstown Industrial Development Corporation: $282,000 for improvements to the 6,000-square-foot Parkview Building in the central business district. Once renovated, the building will house Creator Square, a studio-based, multi-use development that will include up to four maker spaces and gallery space.

Redevelopment Authority of Cambria County: $60,000 to provide owner-occupied accessibility renovations to approximately 20 structures located throughout the county.

City of Sharon: $15,000 to assist with a business improvement district feasibility study and the development of a five-year revitalization action strategy for downtown Sharon.

Somerset, Inc.: $50,000 for implementing a façade improvement program that will renovate 10 or more facades for buildings in the central business district.

City of Washington: $196,420 for the development of the Washington Trust Company Building across the street from the County Courthouse, including converting the building from an under-performing office building into a mixed-use structure featuring commercial offices, retail, and 24 affordable housing units.

Self-Determination Housing Project of Pennsylvania: $250,000 to continue implementing its state-wide accessible housing modifications program, which will serve approximately 25 individuals with necessary accessibility modifications to their homes.