Mayor Luke Ravenstahl announced today a pilot vacant lot stabilization program that gives grants to community-based organizations to spruce up some of the City’s most visible vacant lots in low and moderate income neighborhoods. The Vacant Lot Clean Up Grant Program builds off of current Mayoral initiatives that seek to improve neighborhood pride and economic development by empowering community members to turn blighted lots into “green” neighborhood assets. The City released the request for proposal (RFP) today and encourages interested applicants to learn more and apply today on the City’s Neighborhood Initiatives Updates webpage.
“We are continuing to break new ground in Pittsburgh to stabilize vacant land and utilize greening as an economic development strategy,” said Ravenstahl. “This project is not only about ‘redding up’, but about creating jobs in the neighborhoods that need them the most and empowering communities to shape their own destiny.”
Applicants must clean up pre-identified lots in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) eligible areas. They can receive up to $10,000 for the 2011 growing season, which begins May 1 to October 31. City Source Associates, Inc., the non-profit that currently cleans-up City-owned and URA-owned lots, will work with the City to oversee the grants.
The project complements the recent Mayoral announcement of “Love Your Block”, a block revitalization initiative announced in the Mayor’s servePGH plan, and the Mayor’s Green Up Pittsburgh Program which provides resources for urban greening projects. Through the Green Up program, more than 135 vacant lots have been transformed into community green spaces. These green spaces serve as community and memorial gardens, urban farms, tree parks, gateway greening and passive green space.
“This spring we will assist neighborhood groups in transforming another 11 vacant lots,” Ravenstahl said.
There will be a meeting to answer questions regarding the grant proposal on Monday, April 11th, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in the Citistats Conference Room on the 6th Floor in the City-County Building, located at 414 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Attendance for this meeting is not mandatory for applicants, but is highly recommended. The grant proposal and list of eligible vacant lots are available on the City’s website at http://www.pittsburghpa.gov/neighborhoodinitiatives/article.htm?id=827