Preservation Pittsburgh, a non-profit funded by state grants, foundations, individuals and members, presented its Community Impact Project to the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group today in the Hill District. The project, now in the development phase, uses historic preservation as a vehicle for community empowerment and revitalization. The project will focus on neighborhoods that have experienced population loss, high unemployment, low household income, and low home ownership rates. Preservation Pittsburgh Executive Director Steven Paul says the first step is to identify a preservation district that includes the most important neighborhood assets, as determined by community members themselves, who may have had little say in the past.
Within the preservation district, Paul says there will be incentives for residents and businesses to rehab the buildings, together with a job training program, lasting for perhaps two years, to train residents in the preservation trades: carpentry, electrical, plastering, etc. Paul expects support from workforce development agencies, foundations, corporations, and state agencies as the project progresses.