South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Hilltop Alliance awarded $150K for priority projects and problems


Last updated 1/13/2021 at 8:40pm

The Hilltop Alliance has been awarded a $150,000 Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credit award, to aid in economic development and community assistance programs over the next year, in south Pittsburgh's Allentown neighborhood and it's East Warrington Avenue Business District.

The tax credits are awarded under the NAP's one-year Special Program Priorities (SPP). According to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, this SPP program is designed to "target specific problems and projects which the state has designated as priorities."

For this one-year SPP, the specific project category is "economic recovery," to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hilltop Alliance will use these funds to assist businesses to safely reopen or alter operations, to maximize usage of outdoor spaces for sales and dining, and to support new business openings. Despite the pandemic, seven new businesses have opened in the Allentown neighborhood since June 2020.

Hilltop Alliance will also continue the "Fresh Fridays on the Hilltop" monthly, free fresh food distribution, which has seen the amount of people served increase 100 percent, compared with 2019. The funding also supports the Brashear Association's Neighborhood Employment Center in Allentown to assist individuals to find employment and/or connect them with social services and assistance programs.

According to Tyler J. Abbott, president of the Allentown CDC, "Covid-19 has been particularly challenging for our hard-working small businesses and the many families of the Allentown neighborhood. A majority of our residents work in the hospitality and service sectors, making it especially difficult for them to grow, prosper, and survive during this difficult time. Therefore, support resources are more critical than ever in helping the Allentown community get back on its feet and push ahead."

Aaron Sukenik, executive director of Hilltop Alliance, said the SPP will "continue the important work that we and the Brashear Association have been doing in the Allentown community since 2014, while being hyper focused on addressing economic hardships and economic opportunities brought on by the pandemic."

This SPP comes on the heels of a six-year Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP) that ended in June 2020, and which propelled the recent growth of the Allentown Business District, alongside critical home repair resources, affordable housing preservation and development, youth after school and summer programs and social services assistance.

The 2020-2021 Allentown SPP is funded by PNC Bank and Dollar Bank, made possible by tax credits awarded from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.


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