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URA Receives $600,000 in Funding for Equitable Development and COVID Relief Programs

December 10, 2020

Henry L. Hillman Foundation grant will support various assistance programs, including the Avenues of Hope Initiative

Richard King Mellon Foundation grant will support the Commercial Rent Relief Program  

PITTSBURGH, PA (December 10, 2020) – The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) announced today that it has received a $500,000 grant from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation to support equitable development programs, and a $100,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to support the Commercial Rent Relief Program.

"I'd like to thank the Henry L. Hillman Foundation and the Richard King Mellon Foundation for these generous grants. At a time when our communities need the most help to sustain through the challenges of the pandemic, we are grateful for their support so that the Urban Redevelopment Authority can provide equitable, direct assistance for people, families, services and businesses," Mayor William Peduto said.

The Henry L. Hillman Foundation $500,000 grant will support the following:

  • Centre Avenue Revitalization Fund
  • Equitable Empowerment Program: Lowering barriers to enable culturally aware development through high quality technical assistance 
  • Workforce Development: Helping to operationalize First Source Center to connect residents to major job centers 
  • Deepening URA community engagement, education and partnerships
  • Internal URA capacity for relevant equitable development projects and program delivery

“The URA is incredibly grateful for these significant grants and thanks the Henry L. Hillman Foundation and Richard King Mellon Foundation,” said URA Deputy Executive Director Diamonte Walker. “This funding will help small businesses stabilize and recover during this difficult time and play a critical role supporting equitable development programs such as those in the Avenues of Hope Initiative.”

Avenues of Hope is a place-based, people-first approach that intervenes across all layers of successful, healthy, and sustainable Main Street development in largely Black and diverse neighborhoods across Pittsburgh, focusing on seven major business corridors. This initiative seeks to invest in existing small businesses and residents, supporting the inclusive growth of these neighborhoods.

For more information on Avenues of Hope, click here.

The Richard King Mellon Foundation $100,000 grant will support the URA’s recently launched Commercial Rent Relief program.

The Commercial Rent Relief program was created to help small businesses survive the winter months. It provides a grant to landlords who are willing to temporarily reduce the rent on their tenants. The goal is to help struggling businesses survive the current restrictions on their operations by reducing their fixed costs in the short term.

Commercial Rent Relief Grant Terms

  • Total Grant Amount: Maximum of $3,000 
  • Match Structure: URA will pay for 50% of reduction in rent
  • Grant Structure: Monthly payments over 3-6 months; Minimum of $100 per month
  • Fees: No application fees

Preference will be given to retail, food and beverage businesses. The URA hopes to help at least 45 businesses with this program.

“I want to thank the Richard King Mellon Foundation and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation for their generous support,” said URA Chief Strategy Officer Tom Link. “This funding will provide some relief to those businesses struggling this winter, deepen our engagement to connect job seekers with job opportunities, and help facilitate our work to support community development." 

For more information on the Commercial Rent Relief Program, click here.

City of Pittsburgh residents and small business owners can find URA support and other resources by visiting the URA’s COVID-19 page.

About the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA)

The URA is the City of Pittsburgh's economic development agency, supporting the City’s economic development goals, which are designed to create a city of inclusive opportunity for residents, stakeholders, and communities. The URA is committed to creating more housing that is affordable to the average Pittsburgher; encouraging more entrepreneurship and small business development; promoting inclusive growth and quality job creation; expanding neighborhood and main streets revitalization efforts; and developing a talented work#force that is equipped with the skills of the future.


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