With the belief that we must rebuild our communities, Pittsburgh Councilman Rev. Ricky Burgess earlier this month provided what he considers a tool to initiate the process. “Just because our communities may be poor doesn’t mean we need to live poorly. We need to transform our neighborhoods from neighborhoods of concentrated poverty to stable mixed income neighborhoods in all parts of the City of Pittsburgh,” he said. “We need our own stores, grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations and we need our own entrepreneurs. We need clean, decent affordable housing for everybody despite income levels. Everyone, if they want, deserves the opportunity to own their own home.” Rev. Burgess made these remarks during a Neighborhood Assistant Corporation of America workshop.
More than 300 people attended the HELP Initiative, NACA Home Buyers and Realtors workshop at the Kingsley Association. The four-hour Home Buyers training focused on NACA’s free home-buying counseling and community advocacy and homeownership organization. The two-hour realtors component was designed to prepare real estate agents how to participate in NACA. “Building partnerships and relationships with local agents is key for whatever area we go into,” said NACA mortgage trainer Sheila Wilson. “We have been working in Pittsburgh for a while and want realtors to be prepared to accommodate potential homebuyers.” With the large number of people attending the Home Buyers Mortgage Workshop and over 40 people participating in the Realtors Certification Workshop, she said both were very successful. Real Estate agencies represented included Keller Williams, Coldwell Banker, ReMax and Choice Homes.
Additional organizations involved in planning the event included East Liberty Neighbors, East Hills Consensus Group, Homewood Community Development Collaborative, Larimer Consensus Group, Lincoln-Lemington Consensus Group, the office of state Representative Ed Gainey and Bridgeway Capital.