City wins grant at conference
At the U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting in Dallas, the city of Pittsburgh won a $75,000 grant to support low and moderate income housing, and accolades for its work on climate protection.
On Sunday, June 22, Pittsburgh joined three other cities in winning a competitive Lead Safe for Kids Sake Grant from Dupont. The city will use it to work with other government agencies and nonprofit partners to assess weatherization of homes in low and moderate income neighborhoods, and check them for harmful lead.
In seeking the grant, the city’s Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment noted with more than 95 percent (or more than 104,000) of Pittsburgh’s residential units built prior to 1978, the housing stock across the city is at high risk for lead. Further, of the nearly 30,000 lead screenings administered on children ages 16 and younger in the City between 2009 and 2013, 62 percent had at least detectable blood lead levels.
The $75,000 grant will assist efforts by the city and others to help residents secure healthy, safe and more energy-efficient homes.
“This administration’s focus has always been to reverse the typical top-down development paradigm and instead empower the residents of traditionally underserved areas to take control of redeveloping their neighborhoods,” said Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin, who traveled to Dallas to accept the award on behalf of Mayor William Peduto. “And that is exactly why the Mayor instituted the new Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment, to work on the related issues of housing, small business development, workforce training and education in these communities.”
The city’s Department of Innovation & Performance also won an honorable mention from the U.S. Conference of Mayors in its 2014 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards.
The annual awards program recognizes mayors for innovative programs that increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and winners were selected by an independent panel of judges evaluating climate protection programs nationwide.
The city won for its Western Pennsylvania Energy Consortium (WPEC), which aggregates large electricity accounts for entities including the city, Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium, Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Sports & Exhibition Authority and Carlow University.