Pennsylvania Downtown Center Selected as Lead Partner for FHL Bank’s Blueprint Communities® Initiative in PA
Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) a statewide community development nonprofit organization, is pleased to announce that they have been selected by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank) to be the lead partner for the Blueprint Communities® initiative in Pennsylvania. As the lead partner, PDC will be looking for communities to assemble their team and apply to become a Blueprint Communities® program.
Blueprint Communities is an FHLBank program that supports investment and revitalization of communities and neighborhoods in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Created by FHLBank in 2005, the initiative prepares and supports Blueprint Communities teams as they develop and implement a revitalization plan for their chosen initiatives. These teams receive a series of support over 18 months to help them prioritize initiatives, utilize and share expertise, build a plan of action, and access implementation resources. Plans are designed with community input to address locally identified needs. Past plans have included strategies to increase tourism, develop quality affordable housing, support the local business community, and redevelop historic buildings; overall, these plans have helped communities leverage approximately $500 million in public and private funding.
As partners, FHLBank and PDC intend to combine resources and knowledge with the joint mission of the organizations to build capacity and revitalize communities in Pennsylvania. This current round will focus on communities in the eastern part of the Commonwealth. Whether rural or urban, many of the needs and opportunities are similar. Details on eligibility and the application process for Blueprint Communities will open on September 27 with the deadline for submittal December 1. Two informational webinars will be offered: October 12 and November 8. For more information, please visit PDC’s website.
“As we travel the commonwealth, we see traditional anthracite towns in Carbon and Schuylkill Counties, as well as historic neighborhoods and business districts in Allentown or Reading struggling to engage their businesses, residents, and local stakeholders into finding solutions for their community,” said Julie Fitzpatrick, executive director for the Pennsylvania Downtown Center. “The Blueprint Communities initiative can be a catalytic first or next step to move the community from a needs-based to an asset-based community and economic development strategy for today while preparing for tomorrow.”
PDC will be partnering with Penn State Extension and others to support community teams through the training and planning process. Along with FHLBank, a variety of regional, state, and national partners will be accessible to the community teams, supporting them during the planning and implementation phase of the program. Upon graduating from the training portion, participating communities receive a Blueprint Communities designation for up to 10 years, providing them with continued connection to resources and support as they implement their plans.
FHLBank provides reliable funding and liquidity to its member financial institutions. FHLBank products and resources help support community lending, housing, and economic development. As one of 11 Federal Home Loan Banks established by Congress, FHLBank has been an integral and reliable part of the financial system since 1932.
PDC is the only statewide nonprofit dedicated solely to the revitalization of the commonwealth’s core communities. As the state partner with the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) for the Keystone Communities Main Street and Elm Street programs, and as the state Coordinator for Main Street America, PDC accomplishes its mission by engaging local community leaders and volunteers to advance the sense of place, quality of life and economic vitality of their downtowns, neighborhood business districts and nearby residential areas.
“Blueprint Communities” is a registered service mark of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.”