Cause Areas


Thu Aug 02, 2018 - Thu Aug 01, 2019


5125 Second AvePittsburgh, PA 15207


Development without displacement: Help Hazelwood residents build equity in their homes and businesses before external development spurs displacement.

Hazelwood Initiative (HI) is seeking a talented individual to dedicate a year of AmeriCorps VISTA service (americorps.gov/vista) to promote "development without displacement," helping residents and stakeholders of Pittsburgh’s diverse Hazelwood neighborhood build equity in their homes and businesses before externally-driven development takes hold in the next decade. The VISTA will work closely with HI’s Director of Real Estate to increase the output and effectiveness of housing and commercial real estate programs. The VISTA will collect data and create systems to streamline existing processes of acquiring, rehabilitating, and selling homes to low to moderate income families. This is an ideal position for a college graduate looking to gain a broad exposure to economic development while supporting residents of a neighborhood where significant growth is likely ten years away.

In addition to providing a resume, you must also create an application on the My AmeriCorps Portal and apply to the PCRG - Hazelwood Initiative Real Estate Development VISTA listing (my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?id=80569). For instructions on how to create an application, go to www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/americorpsvista/start-your-application. If you have any questions, contact David Brewton at dbrewton@hazelwoodinitiative.org or (412) 421-7234. Note that the VISTA's term will begin on August 2, 2018 and conclude on August 1, 2019.

Assignment Responsibilities

  • Utilize baseline data, recommendations from existing studies to implement systemic improvements to HI’s Discount Home Repair, Rehab for Resale, Homeowner Education programs
  • Research best practices, funding models, innovative forms of home ownership and rental housing as well as primary data from Hazelwood residents to help create ten-year affordable housing action plan to prevent displacement of low income residents.
  • Maintain directory of current business and commercial property owners
  • Organize, provide resources to existing business owners for revitalizing Hazelwood’s business district
  • Research and help identify owners of new businesses to fill vacancies in the business district.

Required Experience/Qualities/Skills

  • Interest in leveraging, developing technical skills associated with economic and community development
  • Capacity to communicate effectively to residents and stakeholders from diverse backgrounds
  • Familiarity with Excel, basic formulas for creating financial spreadsheets
  • Demonstrated ability to compose professional documents, correspondence

Preferred Experience/Qualities/Skills

  • Relevant academic, professional experience in economic development or real estate
  • Record of grassroots organizing to support community engagement
  • Awareness of laws and practices concerning reuse of vacant and abandoned land
  • Proficiency with GIS software packages

Benefits of AmeriCorps VISTA

  • Living Allowance: Receive a modest bi-weekly living allowance of $472.22 to cover basic living expenses.
  • Relocation Allowance: If you move 50+ miles from your home to a new community, you receive relocation travel assistance up to $1,000 (based on the federal mileage rate) and a settling-in allowance of $550.
  • End of Service Award: Choose between a $5,920 Segal Education Award to pay for a range of education expenses or a $1,800 cash stipend.
  • Health Care: Enroll in either out-of-pocket reimbursement ($7,150 medical, $1,000 for dental, $200 for vision) for healthcare or a healthcare plan. Dental and vision are also included, as are telehealth services.
  • Non-Competitive Eligibility: Qualify for Non-Competitive Eligibility, a unique hiring path that makes it easier for federal agencies to hire you.
  • Professional Development: Attend in-person and virtual professional development sponsored by AmeriCorps VISTA and Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group.
  • Child Care: You may be eligible to receive up to $400/month for child care if you have children under the age of 13.

About Hazelwood Initiative

Founded in response to Mayor Tom Murphy’s call to organize maintenance task forces throughout city, Hazelwood Initiative (HI) has brought together businesses, residents, and grassroots organizations for the betterment of Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood since 1994. HI’s activities fulfill both an ongoing need for reinvestment in the face of prolonged decline and an imperative to preserve equity and diversity as the neighborhood nears the precipice of major socioeconomic change. By stabilizing the housing stock, reinvigorating the neighborhood business district, and increasing home ownership, HI aims to promote inclusive development in this uniquely diverse and historic community. Find out more at www.hazelwoodinitiative.org.

About Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group VISTA

This project is part of Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group’s (PCRG) VISTA program, which sponsors seven VISTA members working at six sites for a more prosperous and equitable region. As the area’s foremost convener of grassroots organizations, PCRG aims to prepare Greater Pittsburgh’s next generation of community leaders. The proximity of these groups to the people they serve enables VISTAs to tackle poverty head on as they confront the rapidly changing landscape of Pittsburgh-area neighborhoods and municipalities.

In some areas, rapid growth threatens to displace low to moderate income residents, while other neighborhoods suffer from long-standing decay and under-investment. PCRG VISTAs placed with PCRG and its community partners aim to build the programming, resources, and organizational capacity necessary to capitalize on these changes. Not surprisingly, their assignments reflect the remarkable diversity of Greater Pittsburgh, concerning issues as varied as urban blight, affordable housing, and entrepreneur development. To support these goals, PCRG VISTAs formulate policy recommendations, implement community engagement strategies, write grants, manage volunteers, and much more. To learn more about PCRG VISTA, visit www.pcrg.org/programs/americorps-vista or contact Aaron Salituro (asalituro@pcrg.org, 412-391-6732).


  • Program Management
  • Basic Computer Skills
  • Grant Writing / Research
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Community Outreach

Good Match For


Requirements & Commitment

  • Must be at least 18
  • Full-time

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