(Pittston, PA) Officials from NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania, the City of Pittston, the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), and Coterra Energy are excited to announce the expansion of the Beautiful Blocks program to the City of Pittston.
Beautiful Blocks is a home improvement program which provides matching grants of up to $1,000 per property to groups of residents to help them make exterior improvements to their homes. After five successful years of operations in the City of Scranton, together with three years of successful cycles in the City of Carbondale, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is pleased to partner with Pittston officials to make Beautiful Blocks available to residents of the City of Pittston.
The Beautiful Blocks program seeks to make neighborhoods throughout Pittston more attractive places to live. Eligible exterior improvements include everything from painting and mailboxes to larger projects like sidewalks and lamp posts. Grants will be awarded through a competitive application process. Applications will be judged on project impact, coordination, and the likelihood of neighbors continuing to work together in the future.
Pre-applications will open in February 2023. Awards will be announced in June, with work taking place throughout the summer. Residents must match their grant awards dollar-for-dollar, unless they meet certain income guidelines. Residents whose household income is less than 80% of the area median income are only required to provide a 20% match. For example, if a resident meets these income guidelines and receive the maximum $1,000 grant award, they must personally contribute at least $200 towards their project. Otherwise, participants must match the $1,000 grant with $1,000 of their own funds.
According to NeighborWorks President & CEO Jesse Ergott, "The Beautiful Blocks Program has had a tremendous impact on neighborhoods in Scranton and Carbondale, and we look forward to expanding that impact into the City of Pittston. We appreciate Coterra's support to help make this expansion possible, and encourage Pittston residents to take advantage of this exciting program with their neighbors.
"Our team is very excited about expanding the revitalization efforts in our neighborhoods with Beautiful Blocks to create meaningful relationships with our residents, the City of Pittston, and NeighborWorks NEPA," added Michael Lombardo, Mayor of the City of Pittston. "The Beautiful Blocks Program is another programmatic tool that will assist in improving the quality of life in the City of Pittston neighborhoods."
In the years of Beautiful Blocks to date in the cities of Carbondale and Scranton, 69 groups of neighbors participated, with more than $400,000 in grant funding awarded to 500 completed projects. This grant funding helped to leverage more than $1,000,000 in funds invested from participating homeowners. Pittston residents interested in participating in the Beautiful Blocks program can learn more about the program by visiting our Beautiful Blocks homepage. For more information, or if Pittston residents wish to be placed on a contact list for the opening of pre-applications, contact Gerard Hetman, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania Community Development Specialist, at (570) 558-2490 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo caption: (from left to right): Joe Chacke, City Administrator of the City of Pittston & Executive Director at Pittston City Office of Community Development, Redevelopment Authority & Housing Authority of the City of Pittston; Jesse Ergott, President & CEO, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania; Mike Lombardo, Mayor, City of Pittston; Bill desRosiers, External Affairs Manager, Coterra Energy; Paul Macknosky, Regional Director, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.