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Black History Month Community Champion Spotlight: Alicia Majors

February 2024
This Black History Month, we’re celebrating community champions, who happen to be part of the talented staff and board at the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.

Alicia Majors is the URA’s Homeownership Manager. She’s been serving Pittsburgh residents at the URA for 42 dedicated years. In this time, Alicia has guided numerous individuals and families through various housing program processes, so they can live in safe, quality, affordable housing and build wealth. Hear from her:

What community impact and/or outcome are you most proud of achieving in your time with the URA?

I have remained dedicated to housing since I came to the URA; I have been involved with home improvement and homeownership projects.

In 2016, we partnered with the Larimer Consensus Group and created the Choice Neighborhoods Homeowner Assistance Program (CNHAP) as part of the Larimer / East Liberty Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, which was made possible by a $30 million award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This program offered façade grants of up to $20,000 to homeowners in the Larimer neighborhood. We saw homeowners who needed roofs, windows, siding, doors, retaining walls, front porch and sidewalk repairs, receive the help needed to update and beautify their homes. This created a lasting impression on the neighborhood overall.

Most recently, I was involved in the creation and administration of the OwnPGH Homeownership Program. After receiving over $15.6 million through American Rescue Plan Act funding, we jumped on the opportunity to design a program that would boost homeownership opportunities in the city. OwnPGH provides financing of up to $90,000 for first-time homebuyers purchasing a home within the City of Pittsburgh and since launching in January 2023, we’ve assisted 85 homebuyers through this program.

What advice would you give to your younger self or to other young Black people in Pittsburgh? 

STAY POSTIVE!!!! As a Black person in general there will be a lot of hardships you will face as people try to tear you down and discourage you throughout your life. You must believe in you. Don’t let anyone make you doubt yourself or your abilities.

What inspires you while working at the URA and with the Pittsburgh community? 

My inspiration comes from my colleagues here at the URA and the people throughout the city that we serve. During my time here, I have always been surrounded by very dedicated individuals, committed to the work we do. The people I work with, and the feeling of appreciation received from the people we serve keeps me going.

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