The Allegheny County Department of Economic Development has launched its 2015 Side Yard and Blighted Structure Program through its Vacant Property Recovery Program, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said on Monday in Pittsburgh.
This program lets individuals, businesses, nonprofits or government entities submit applications with the county to buy vacant properties in 37 municipalities at a reduced price. This year’s deadline is June 30. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and only five will be accepted from each municipality to encourage equal access for all communities. A maximum total of 60 applications will be considered.
“We’re proud to play a part in helping municipalities redevelop and revitalize their neighborhoods,” Robert Hurley, director of Allegheny County Economic Development, said. In the last two years, Hurley said that out of nearly 400 applications submitted, 151 for properties and 117 for conveyed parcels were accepted. “This effort can also improve the safety of neighborhoods, eliminate maintenance costs to municipalities and encourages community reinvestment,” Hurley said.
The 37 municipalities in the program are Baldwin Borough, Braddock Hills, Carnegie, Collier, Dravosburg, East McKeesport, Edgewood, Elizabeth Township, Forward, GreenTree, Harrison, Heidelberg, Liberty, McCandless, Millvale, Moon, Munhall, Neville, North Fayette, North Versailles, Oakdale, O’Hara, Penn Hills, Plum, Ross, Scott, South Versailles, Swissvale, Turtle Creek, Versailles, West Deer, West Homestead, West Mifflin, West View, Whitaker, White Oak and Wilkins.
As the third annual program gets underway, Fitzgerald commended its progress to date, noting that 12 new municipalities joined the program in 2014, and another one came aboard since Jan. 1. Funding for the program is provided via Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, county general funds and applicant payments.
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