In early January, the Bloomfield Development Corporation (BDC) received a grant from the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG). The funding, which was awarded through PCRG’s Reimagining Communities Initiative, will be used to create a much-needed housing program in Bloomfield. The program will address housing issues in the neighborhood including repair and maintenance issues, as well as focusing on wealth building among residents.
Rising property taxes and other expenses often mean that homeowners on a low or fixed income have to prioritize other needs over home repairs or maintenance. In addition, rising property values mean that low to moderate income people aren’t able to afford a house in the neighborhood.
In response to these issues, PCRG, along with BDC staff and volunteers, will take an inventory of properties in Bloomfield. The inventory, which will begin in April, will identify renters at risk as well as properties that could benefit from repairs. The inventory will continue through the summer. Additionally, BDC has partnered with First Commonwealth Bank to create financial health workshops focusing on budgeting and home ownership, as well as investing and estate planning. The classes will be presented as a series of two classes held twice in 2016 in the spring and fall.
With the grant from the Reimagining Communities Initiative, BDC will be able to engage the community in the inventory process and use the information it acquires to help individual homeowners build equity and maintain their investment – their homes. Ultimately, the goal is to help Bloomfield residents increase their wealth and remain in their neighborhood.