Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hill District Program Looks to Revitalize Neighborhood

The Hill District Neighborhood Partnership Program is entering its first year of operation. Over $495,000 in funding has been provided by BNY Mellon to the organization to launch nine community revitalization projects over the first year of the six-year effort. $3 million will be provided over the length of the program. First-year efforts include:

* Granting scholarship money
* Addressing school achievement gaps
* Increasing financial services for residents
* Helping with those struggling with drug addiction
* Rehabilitating homes
* Violence prevention
* Increasing Green Spaces

The groups that will receive the initial funding are: ACORN, Center for Family Excellence, Central Outreach Resource and Referral Center, Find the Rivers, Freedom Unlimited, the Hill District Federal Credit Union, House of the Crossroads and One Vision One Life. The Hill House Association will also receive $50,000 for administration of the Hill District NPP.

Terri Baltimore of the Hill House says this effort will have tangible results. "This is not a paper partnership... As somebody who's been a part of the process, I can say 'Yes, it has served the good of the neighborhood,'" says Baltimore.

The Neighborhood Partnership Program was started statewide by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in 2005; the Hill District-specific program began in 2007, when the One Hill CBA Coalition formulated a "Blueprint for a Livable Hill." The DCED offers tax credits to corporations that invest in distressed neighborhoods; BNY Mellon decided to sponsor the Hill District.

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