SHORE Affordable Homeownership Initiative | Ownership Opportunity Available in the Hill District

Nov 7, 2023

Partners: PHDC’s Rich Snipe and Neighborhood Allies’ Shad Henderson

Good housing projects are only possible when there is good collaboration among housing partners.”

-Rich Snipe, Pittsburgh Housing Development Corporation (PHDC)

Through the power of partnerships and perseverance, another homeownership opportunity is available in the Upper Hill/Schenley Heights neighborhood of the Hill District. Although the pandemic caused significant project delays, 819 Shawnee Street, a 1,670 square foot home with a listed sales price of $235,000, is now on the market. A buyer may qualify for homebuying assistance, including down payment and closing costs and financial assistance through the through the URA’s OwnPGH Homeownership program which will bring down monthly mortgage payments and the overall home purchase price. The completion of the 819 Shawnee Street rehab project builds off the momentum of other redevelopment efforts in the neighborhood including the 818 Shawnee Street home that recently sold for $235,000. 

“With the Schenley Heights Collaborative total gut rehabilitation program, we like a potential 80-110 % AMI buyer to walk in and immediately see not just a nice house, but rather a new home ready for their move in. Thanks to grant funding through Neighborhood Allies we were able to open the rear wall of a house, add a basement walkout patio and a first-floor deck — both of which contributed additional usable space and much natural interior lighting!”

-Mrs. Phillis Lavelle, Schenley Heights Collaborative

Neighborhood Allies became actively involved and made strategic investments into these homeownership projects through the SHORE (Schenley Heights Organized Revitalization Effort) initiative. SHORE formed in the spring of 2018 as a collaboration of community-based partners such as the Schenley Heights Collaborative, the Hill CDC, FOCUS Pittsburgh (now the Neighborhood Resilience Project), Amani Christian Community Development Corporation, Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh and Neighborhood Allies to help accelerate, scale and sustain the great revitalization work already happening in the Schenley Heights neighborhood. The Pittsburgh Housing Development Corporation (PHDC), was also a key strategic partner in providing technical assistance with the acquisition and redevelopment of these properties for affordable homeownership. 

The task of transforming Pittsburgh’s vacant housing stock into quality affordable homeownership opportunities presents no shortage of challenges. From crumbling structures, to labor shortages and rapidly escalating costs, we’ve ran the gamut. These projects were no different. The key to our success was, without a doubt, our partnerships. The Schenley Heights Collaborative, Hillman Foundation, and Neighborhood Allies all stepped up to provide the crucial support needed. We all share the same passion and drive towards the betterment of our communities. At the end of the day, two additional low-to-moderate income families are able to purchase assets that can serve as the foundation for long-term stability, wealth, and well-being for themselves and their families. That’s the chance all deserve.”

-Justin Belton, PHDC

We look forward to working within community partnerships such as SHORE to expand affordable homeownership opportunities throughout Pittsburgh.

Top Header Image Photo Credit: Prototyping Larimer Stories by artist John Peña, photo by OPA