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Neighborhood Initiatives Fund will focus on Avenues of Hope

 


The application process for Round 3 of its Neighborhood Initiatives Fund (NIF) Program is open with applications due August 31.

The NIF Program makes it easier for City of Pittsburgh communities to access funding for neighborhood-scale projects. Since the beginning of the program in 2019, NIF awards have been granted to 28 projects across more than 20 city neighborhoods for a total investment of over $1.4 million.

New this round is the focus on neighborhood commercial districts with priority given to Avenues of Hope corridors.

"We are proud to continue the NIF program with a focus this round on supporting the rebuilding of Pittsburgh's Black main streets through Avenues of Hope," said Mayor William Peduto. "This next round of the NIF will allow the city and URA to invest in community-driven projects that put the community's vision at the center of development of neighborhood business districts."

The amount of funding available to Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) eligible communities for Round 3 is $500,000; Up to 10 projects will be funded.

"The Neighborhood Initiatives Program empowers community-based groups to plan and implement critical economic placekeeping projects designed to strengthen neighborhood fabric. With a special emphasis on Avenues of Hope corridors this year, we're looking for projects to unlock the vitality of our communities, while helping innovators and entrepreneurs," said URA Deputy Executive Director Diamonte Walker.

NIF Round 3 will grant up to $100,000 to nonprofit organizations or nonprofits with for-profit development partners for eligible non-housing, neighborhood projects including, but not limited to:

• Vacant property reclamation and stewardship

• Conceptual design and engineering

• Historic preservation

• Commercial district revitalization

• Construction of public space and neighborhood infrastructure improvements, such as streetscape improvements, transit and transportation-related improvements, parks and open space improvements, green infrastructure, and public art

There are two levels of funding available:

• Tier 1 funds grants between $20,000 and $30,000 with no matching requirements

• Tier 2 funds grants between $30,000 and $100,000 with a 2:1 match requirement. For every $2 of Program funds invested into a project, there must be at least a $1 match by non-URA and non-city sources.

The URA will hold virtual information sessions via Zoom from 6 - 8 p.m. June 22, July 27, and August 10. Links to the information sessions can be found at www.ura.org/pages/neighborhood-initiatives-fund. All sessions will be recorded and available on the URA website.

The program guidelines, applications and funding schedule can be found at http://www.ura.org/pages/neighborhood-initiatives-fund. For additional information, contact Josette Fitzgibbons at jfitzgibbons@ura.org.

 

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