Session Descriptions

 

TUESDAY, May 15: 2:30 – 3:45 PM

LIHTCs and Vouchers and Loans, Oh My!  Demystifying the Basics of Affordable Rental Housing Finance

Franklin/Greene Room

In order to provide rental units that are affordable to low and moderate income tenants, a residential property owner must either keep costs extraordinarily low or utilize subsidy.  This session will walk participants through a brief introduction to the financial math that limits the ability of affordable rents to cover typical costs associated with acquiring, developing, operating and maintaining rental housing.   Then, panelists will present examples of how various subsidy programs enable the production and economic sustainability of affordable housing, including: Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Cash-flow contingent debt, (i.e. “soft debt”), and Project Based Vouchers.  This session is intended to be both accessible to novices and interesting to established practitioners.  

PRESENTERS:

Lena Andrews, ACTION Housing
Peter Brewton, Bank of New York Mellon
Darrell Davis, Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh
Jessica Smith-Perry, Urban Redevelopment Authority

 

Creative Collaborative Community Projects: the Case of the United Hazelwood Design Team and Uber

Monongahela Room

What happens when a large global corporation puts up an eight foot tall, one mile long chain link privacy fence in a neighborhood without checking in with residents? Residents demand it be altered. Marce Nixon-Washington and Suzanne Pierce, members of the original ten member United Hazelwood Design Team, artist Edith Abeyta, Uber representative Sarah Abboud and CLP-Hazelwood branch manager, Mary Ann McHarg, share their tales and experiences of using art to repair and build relationships with a newcomer to the neighborhood by beautifying a fence. They will also discuss the success and benefits of developing a paid community design team and how this process can be used as a template for other neighborhoods.

PRESENTERS:

Sarah Abboud, Uber ATG
Edith Abeyta, Arts Excursions Unlimited
Mary Ann McHarg, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Hazelwood
Marce Nixon-Washington, United Hazelwood Design Team
Tevin Jordan-Blair, United Hazelwood Design Team

 

Why Should Community Development Care About Transit?

Sky Room

Why should community development care about transit-oriented development? What are some win/win opportunities for community development and transit partnerships and what are the tensions? This session will address places that are seeing positive community impacts around transit through the lens of equity. New investments in transit influence development patterns particularly in neighborhoods adjacent to this investment. Key institutions including neighborhood-based CDCs, local community foundations, and national organizations as varied as the Federal Reserve and community development intermediaries are stepping forward to increase the likelihood that those investments benefit longtime residents and preserve the historic culture of these communities. National and local leaders will share their perspectives on harnessing and leveraging these investments for greater community equity outcomes.

PRESENTERS:

Laura Ducceschi, Scranton Area Community Foundation
Rose Gray, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha
Richard Manson, Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Erin Mierzwa, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

 

Creating Community Capital: Engaging Diverse Stakeholders and Building on the Strength of Small Communities

Allegheny Room

Small scale community revitalization is very challenging and examples of successful approaches are hard to find. For smaller communities and neighborhoods there is often a lack of the community capital needed to “underwrite” the investment of time and effort needed to undertake successful community revitalization. Blueprint Communities is an initiative of the FHLBank Pittsburgh that focuses first on rebuilding the community capital base by engaging key stakeholders; and identifying and building on specific community strengths. The Pennsylvania Downtown Center will describe the components of the initiative, its goals/objectives and introduce two Pennsylvania communities (New Castle and the Juniata River Group) that are participating in the initiative. Community leaders will describe their Blueprint Communities experience and provide a description of what has been accomplished as a result of their participation and what remains to be accomplished.

PRESENTERS:

Bill Fontana, Pennsylvania Downtown Center
Megan Krider, First Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh
Kimberly Koller-Jones, Hoyt Art Center
Wendy Melius, Center for Community Action

WEDNESDAY, May 16, 9:45 – 11:00 AM

Equitable Development, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) and the Housing Opportunity Fund: Policy and Resource Initiatives Designed to Create a More Equitable Pittsburgh

Monongahela Room

The resurgence of investment that Pittsburgh has experienced in recent years has exacerbated housing inequality.  Housing insecurity has skyrocketed (with 1 in every 6 households paying over half of their income on housing), and vulnerable populations are being systematically displaced from their neighborhoods.  The panelists will discuss three parallel and complimentary policy initiatives that are under way to address this inequality and ensure that everyone benefits from investment in our City.  Ivette Mongalo will discuss where the implementation of the All-In-Pittsburgh recommendations stand, a City-wide effort to prioritize and implement a set of Equitable Development strategies designed to ensure that everyone benefits from Pittsburgh’s resurgence.  Helen Gerhardt will provide an overview of recommendations for legislation and policies developed by the joint City-County Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Task Force, including upcoming opportunities for community engagement for feedback on those recommendations and suggestions of other needed policies, laws, training or enforcement that could vigorously advance equitable housing opportunity and community development for historically marginalized populations and neighborhoods.  Celeste Scott will provide an overview of the recently created Pittsburgh Housing Opportunity Fund, which will provide $10 million per year to address critical housing needs, and which includes several anti-displacement and equitable development features.

PRESENTERS:

Celeste Scott, Pittsburgh United
Ivette Mongalo-Winston, Mongalo-Winston Consulting
Paul O'Hanlon, City-County Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Task Force

 

Wake Up the Vote: Seven Ways to Create Excitement Around Voting

Sky Room

This session is a call to action on how “we the people” can take the lead in increasing voter turnout. “We the people” are in control of the destiny of this country by voting but so many people do not vote—is this by design? Voting in Pennsylvania is basically a one day event. There is not any excitement, it is a bleep on the news and very few acknowledge that it is happening. Through research we have found there is no foolproof way to increase voting, short of making it mandatory. This country has a problem with voting; instead of voting increasing it has been on a decline. Allegheny County reached the second lowest voter turnout since the 1940s when the voter turnout for the May 16, 2017 primary was 17.2 percent. Voter turnout in the mid-term election in 2014 was 36%, not as bad as the primary elections but not good for a country that exemplifies democracy. Looking at what is happening with voter ID, roll purges and all types of restrictions used to stop people from voting, we can assume that increasing voting participation will not be a top down issue. Increasing voter turnout for the 2018 mid-term election starts here.

PRESENTERS:

Elaine Harris-Fulton, Wilkinsburg Family Support Center
Leigh Carlson-Hernandez, University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development
Celeste Benzo, University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development
LaTisha Jones, Life Ain’t Scripted, Inc.

 

Revitalization in Three Acts: Philadelphia, PA | Warren, OH | Homestead, PA

Allegheny Room

Community revitalization can be approached from many angles. a.m. RODRIGUEZ ASSOCIATES inc., Allegheny West Foundation, and Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership will discuss the paths to revitalization in their three respective cities including the challenges, triumphs and replicable models that practitioners may be able to use in their economic development endeavors. The session will also include information on a scattered site development, transportation-oriented development (TOD) and grassroots organizing techniques for community and economic development.

PRESENTERS:

Cassandra Clevenger, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership
Ron Hinton, The Allegheny West Foundation
Joel Patterson, Stone Sherick Consulting Group
Victor Rodriguez, a.m. RODRIGUEZ ASSOCIATES inc.
Charles Starrett III, Steel Valley Enterprise Zone
Susanne Stone, Stone Sherick Consulting Group

 

The Trail Town Program®: Lessons From a Regional Program that Became a National Leader of Bicycle-Based Tourism

Franklin/Greene

Get insights and hear success stories about the astounding progress along the Great Allegheny Passage; an economic corridor from Pittsburgh-to-Cumberland. The Progress Fund’s Trail Town Program® was the first-ever and the longest-running trail-based economic development program. The Trail Town Program and its partners will share strategies to boost bike tourism here in our region which has an ever expanding trail network. We'll share what worked, what didn't, and some surprising successes that challenged conventional norms. We'll discuss our best strategies plus a few that flopped & how we fixed them. We'll cover:

  • How we overcame startup obstacles
  • The unique nonprofit funding model that helped sustain the program
  • Supporting sustainable growth in both rural towns and urban areas
  • What makes the Trail Town concept "built to last"
  • Stories from our "test" town, and
  • Types of businesses that are thriving because of bike-based tourists.

PRESENTERS:

David Kahley, The Progress Fund
John Phillips, Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry, and Tourism

WEDNESDAY, May 16, 1:30 – 2:45 PM

What Is “Community” After All? Reevaluating Concepts of Community in the Wake of Gentrification

Monongahela Room

At the root of community development, is the concept of “community.” It is so fundamental that we rarely stop to think about what it means or the implications of our definition for our daily work. This session will examine how the historical academic conceptions of community still influence contemporary approaches to community development and how these approaches contradict what recent research tells us about urban communities. Participants will be encouraged to think outside the neighborhood paradigm and consider how larger structural systems perpetuate local inequality and poverty. We will then use Pittsburgh’s gentrification as a case study to examine the trends and impacts of larger structures on and in our local neighborhoods. We will discuss how community partnerships address both equity issues for residents and the economic effects of improving neighborhood conditions. Finally, we will strategize ways to work together to build a more equitable Pittsburgh for all.

PRESENTERS:

Junia Howell, University of Pittsburgh
Sabina Deitrick, University of Pittsburgh

 

SERIOUS FUN! Getting Stuff Done Through Playful Engagement

Sky Room

DESCRIPTION: Spirited and playful approaches to even the most serious problems can break through obstacles while uplifting communities and enlivening hard working teams. People like having fun together! And tremendous energy, inspiration, and creativity spring forth when communities and teams get to discover new solutions through playful engagement.

In this experiential workshop, we’ll take our work seriously, but not ourselves! We’ll share examples of “serious fun” in community building and community development including flash mobs in the East End designed to activate collective empathy, an essential ingredient in catalyzing support and advocacy for positive change.

As a community of spirited activists and Summit participants, we’ll engage common neighborhood problems and obstacles in fresh ways, and experience together the energy, creativity, and joy of “serious fun”!

PRESENTERS:

Ted Cmarada, Lively Pittsburgh
Jason Jablon, Lively Pittsburgh
Susan Spangler, Lively Pittsburgh
Laura Poskin, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania

 

Cooperatives: Traditionally Cutting Edge Businesses for More Resilient CommunitieS

Franklin/Greene Room

DESCRIPTION: Since 1819, cooperatives have been the vehicle for traditional business sectors, and now, digital services in Pittsburgh and western PA. Often responding to economic distress, cooperatives have provided a means to equitable livelihoods and communities despite an economy beset by an extractive approach that aggravates income and wealth inequality and gentrification while undermining democratic values. Cooperatives also present a promising opportunity for under-represented people, facilitating diverse participation in business, and increasing worker control over compensation and working conditions. Four members of various cooperatives in the Pittsburgh area will tell their story of why they “went co-op”, how it’s working for them (success and challenges), and their plans to make their cooperatives more successful and grow opportunities for more people. Special attention will be given to highlight advantages, challenges, and how existing organizations can convert to cooperative models. Business and economic development practitioners will have a new tool to improve the prospects of workers stuck in part-time employment, in industries with typically poor working conditions. We’ll show how cooperatives are creating more personal and community wealth for people with these challenges.

PRESENTERS:

Raqueeb Bey, Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Cooperative
Ron Gaydos, Pittsburgh Chamber of Cooperatives
Ben Ledewitz, Fourth River Workers Guild
Josh Lucas, Work Hard PGH
LaKeisha Wolf, Ujamaa Collective
Trevor Young-Hyman, University of Pittsburgh

 

Mobility is a Human Right: What is Community Development’s Role?

Allegheny Room

DESCRIPTION: “Where one lives determines one’s life outcomes.” Affordable transportation – or lack of it – factors enormously in that statement. It’s creating a crisis: in Pittsburgh, many families in poverty actually spend more on transportation than they do housing. True equity means that we must rethink where we decide to build, what is built – along and in the street - and how it connects to life-empowering opportunities.

This session explores why and how, policy and practice. We will share new approaches to creating equitable streets alongside equitable development. Port Authority will discuss its planned connection improvements at two major transit stations and resources can foster community-level discussion about creating transit-oriented neighborhoods. We will then share how the Urban Redevelopment Authority – working with the community – is creating mobility-equitable streets in Homewood.

PRESENTERS:

Breen Masciotra, Port Authority of Allegheny County
Chris Sandvig, Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group
Emily Mitchell, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh

 WEDNESDAY, May 16: 3:15 – 4:30 PM

Using Data to Do More Good

Monongahela Room

As communities and their residents change over time, organizations must evolve their programming and strategies to serve a variety of people with different and changing needs. While anyone working in a community can give a subjective assessment of the community's challenges and opportunities, sometimes the data tells a different story than anecdotal evidence.

Recent efforts across the Southwestern PA region have made data easier for the public to access, giving professionals working in communities a better opportunity to make data-backed decisions with and for the people they serve, but with greater access to data comes greater responsibility. This session will focus on ways individuals and organizations can access and vet data, tips on evaluating and using data, and real world examples of how communities have used data to better serve their stakeholders.

PRESENTERS:

Alison Alvarez, Blastpoint
Bob Gradeck, Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center
Sally Stadelman, City of Pittsburgh
Bob Firth, Informing Design

 

How Accessory Dwelling Units Can Make Homeownership More Affordable

Allegheny Room

At this session Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation will present on their work to design for single-family homes, which feature an accessory dwelling unit as an integral part of the structure, that can be built in Garfield. Many lots in Pittsburgh have more than one dwelling unit on their property; additional dwelling units are often crucial to keeping the costs of homeownership affordable to residents. To build these type of homes in a residential district that has been long been zoned for single-family development requires the creation of an overlay district. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about overlay districts, and how they will permit such homes to be built, from the Department of City Planning. Attendees will also see the design of three houses planned for an in-fill lot in the neighborhood, as well as examples of other possible typologies from Pfaffman and Associates and the manufactured homebuilder EcoCraft Homes, who are working with Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation to make the project a reality in the coming year.

PRESENTERS:

Elliot Fabri, Jr., EcoCraft Homes
Rob Pfaffman, Pfaffmann + Associates
Corey Layman, AICP, City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning
Richard Swartz, Bloomfield Garfield Corporation

 

District-palooza: EcoDistrict? EcoInnovation District? 2030 District?

Sky Room

This session will explore three approaches to district-level sustainability: unified by engaged citizens, neighborhood identity, and transformational goals.

1) Building on the success of Millvale’s ecodistrict, the Triboro Ecodistrict expands and adapts its concepts into neighboring Sharpsburg and Etna. Each community has its own approach, actionable projects, and is advancing community capacity –while collaborating to create a position of strength.

 2) The Uptown EcoInnovation District was the first City-led initiative holistically focused on an areas expected to have rapid change. Including Uptown and West Oakland, the EID combines traditional eco and innovation district goals that have helped to positively transform other communities across the country.

3) The Pittsburgh 2030 District supports 493 buildings in pursuing ambitious sustainability goals by 2030. The District empowers partners to strengthen their triple bottom lines while inspiring collective work to advance the region.

 PRESENTERS:

Angelica Ciranni, Green Building Alliance
Christine Mondor, evolve EA
Derek Dauphin, City of PIttsburgh

 

Sustainable Paths for Individuals Using Cross-Sector Collaboration

Franklin/Greene Room

 Individuals that face barriers and obstacles to regaining stability and self-sufficiency also face significant challenges in obtaining housing and employment. Through research and collaboration, Partner4Work has gained insight into how individuals navigate many different services and systems, creating new possibilities to help specific populations in the future. Case studies from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and Gaudenzia, Inc. will highlight how using innovative policies and funding sources can help prevent homelessness, recidivism, and re-incarceration, showing how innovation and collaboration create better outcomes and opportunities for citizens.

PRESENTERS:

Katrina Steinley, Partner4Work
Jesse Hayward, Gaudenzia, Inc.
Luis Resto, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Joel Patterson, Stone Sherick Consulting Group