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Larimer / East Liberty Choice Neighborhoods Initiative

The Larimer / East Liberty Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is a $30M award from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to revitalize the Larimer/East Liberty Neighborhood. Revitalization includes 334 new housing units and neighborhood park.

East Liberty and Larimer Neighborhoods near the intersection of Larimer Avenue and East Liberty Blvd

For this initiative, stakeholders created a $401M transformation plan called the Vision-to-Action Plan with the goal of being a “21st Century Green Neighborhood that Works.”

This plan involved a involved a comprehensive effort to address the neighborhood, housing, and people needs of the Larimer community, including:

  • Construction of 334 housing units
  • Large neighborhood improvements and quality of life upgrades for residents
  • Construction of 3 parks: Village Green, Larimer Playground, and Liberty Green

The Housing Authority and the City of Pittsburgh were Co-Grantees. McCormack Baron Salazar and Allies at Ross Management and Development Corporation were the housing developers. Urban Strategies was the People lead. The URA managed the Neighborhood Plan and acquired City-owned and private land for the development.

Neighborhood Plan

The Neighborhood Plan consisted of six critical community initiatives:

  • Park development
  • Homeowner Assistance Program
  • Green infrastructure
  • Job creation via real estate development
  • For-sale homes strategy
  • Redevelopment of key community assets


Park Development

Liberty Green is a brand new 3.25 acre park located at the intersection of the Choice Neighborhood Initiative's East Liberty and Larimer neighborhoods. The open space system serves over 4,000 residents, who live within a five-minute walk, with health and recreation activities. Liberty Green includes urban neighborhood park conditions, as well as a more natural greenway that complements the woods, historic stream valley, and steep slope at the edge of the neighborhood.

The park is bounded by new mixed-income housing and features plaza and assembly space, open lawn and play mounds, and an extensive play area for children. Playground equipment is challenging and accessible to increase motor skills and creative play. The park incorporates significant green infrastructure that captures and manages stormwater from the park/adjacent streets, and culminates in a community-driven art exhibit. The exhibit showcases innovative solutions for stormwater management while capturing the community’s history through a design that sets an example for water stories of the future. All phases of the park were completed and opened by Q3 2021.

Choice Neighborhoods Homeowner Assistance Program

The Larimer Homeowner Residential Façade Program provided grants to Larimer homeowners to assist with property beautification and basic maintenance. This grant allowed existing residents to update their homes to reflect the look and feel of the Choice Neighborhoods development within their community.

In 2016-2020, the URA worked with 90 homeowners to provide grants of up to $20,000 to complete façade, roof, sidewalk, and other exterior repairs and improvements. The program helped to improve family safety and health, increase energy efficiency and resource conservation, create homeowner equity and wealth, and increase neighborhood market appreciation.

Housing Plan

The Housing Plan consisted of 334 units of high quality, forward looking, mixed-income housing that was built in four phases:

  • Phase I was completed in 2016 and consisted of 85 units in 18 buildings.
  • Phase II began in October 2017 and was completed in 2019, consisting of 150 units.
  • Phases III and IV were completed in 2022 with the final 99 units.
  • The housing was built to Green Enterprise Community Standards and featured a range of buildings.

People Plan

The People Plan/Resident Support Services consisted of the following programs:

  • Case management activities
  • Wellness support and health promotion activities
  • Workforce development services
  • Customized training and flexible career pathways
  • Early childhood services
  • School and community connections
  • Ready students for the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship
  • Mobility support services

Other Facts

  • Replaced the publicly assisted East Liberty Gardens housing complex and the public housing complex of Hamilton Larimer
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