Hazelwood Initiative (HI), Inc. is a nonprofit Community Development Corporation dedicated to fostering a stronger Hazelwood through inclusive development. HI adheres to the principle of Development without Displacement, and assists lower- and middle-income households in home repairs, affordable homeownership, and the creation and preservation of over 100 units of permanently affordable rental housing. Since 2014, more than 200 households have benefited from HI’s programs. HI actively addresses social and racial inequalities through intentional inclusivity across all aspects and roles, including the board, volunteers, staff, and beneficiaries. The adoption of the Greater Hazelwood Neighborhood Plan in 2019 was the culmination of a community-centered 3-year process led by HI. Working with E3, HI will enhance energy efficiency and electrify hot water heaters during scheduled replacements in their rental housing.

The East Hills Consensus Group (EHCG), a Registered Community Organization, collaboratively addresses community concerns and actively participates in PCRG’s Reimagining Communities Initiative, fostering development capacity with meaningful inclusion. EHCG’s primary goal is to enhance the East Hills community’s image by addressing resident issues, including improving quality of life, beautification, public safety, and youth engagement. EHCG partners with E3 to enhance energy efficiency in neighborhood homes, spearheading a campaign to upgrade attics and replace gas-powered water heaters with electric heat pumps.

The Sharpsburg Neighborhood Organization (SNO) is a nonprofit organization uniting residents and stakeholders to enhance their neighborhood through volunteer projects and initiatives. SNO developed a Community Vision Plan in 2019 and became an Ecodistrict in 2021. SNO believes that additional funds and assistance should be made available to households in their municipality that require the most support in their energy-saving projects. In Buildings Upgrade Challenge, SNO’s role, similar to East Hills Consensus Group, is to co-create and run neighborhood-wide campaign for energy use reduction and beneficial end-of-life equipment electrification.

Rising Tide (RT) Partners collaborates with neighborhood organizations and residents to implement their community visions through restorative real estate practices. RT focuses on the wealth building and stability of residents who have been affected by systemic injustices in land-use decisions. As a land recycling nonprofit, RT takes on real estate risks to secure site control for redevelopment and to prevent displacement. Through partnerships, RT develops an inventory of properties, enabling scalability of revitalization efforts. RT has established full community partnerships with governance structures in Hazelwood, Homewood, East Hills, Garfield, Perry Hilltop, Fineview, and the broader North Side. Using services provided by E3, they will pilot enhanced efficiency and electrification in their rehab projects.

CONNECT, Congress of Neighboring Communities, provides support and facilitates policy and sustainability initiatives across its 41 member municipalities. As an innovator and incubator for local government policies and programs, CONNECT offers resources, research, relationships, and a platform for collective action. In the Buildings Upgrade Challenge, CONNECT will assist in developing community-centered campaigns and expanding the initiative to other environmental justice municipalities beyond Sharpsburg and the City of Pittsburgh. They will also serve as a platform for disseminating information.

Mincin Insulation (MI). As a reputable employer of Building Performance Institute (BPI)-certified installers, and with 45 years of experience, Mincin Insulation is dedicated to implementing a building science-based, whole-house approach to weatherization. Currently, the MI team consists of 15 skilled individuals, and they successfully complete approximately 500 insulation jobs each year. In line with the Buildings Upgrade Challenge focus on neighborhoods, MI proposes holding recruitment fairs during community events organized as part of this innovation. MI is fully equipped to provide on-the-job training and commits to hiring interested individuals from these neighborhoods, contributing to the local workforce.

The City of Bridges Community Land Trust (CBCLT) builds community ownership to preserve the permanent affordability of homes, empower individuals, and ensure responsible growth. CBCLT collaborated with E3 in 2021-22, taking advantage of Home Energy Scores and energy audits to gain insights into improving the renovations of their homes for sale. They are also the first nonprofit developer to engage E3 in their home rehab, specifically the Ashton Ave project in Hazelwood, since the availability of Buildings Upgrade Prize funding for energy efficiency and home electrification.

Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh (RTP) rebuilds homes for low-income individuals with an emphasis on seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities. Through their home repair work, case management, and partnerships with valued service agencies throughout Allegheny County, they improve the quality of life and revitalize neighborhoods. RTP helped E3 initiate a 2021-22 study of energy efficiency in finished affordable housing rehabilitation, leading to important insights on how these home rehabilitations could be improved. A joint project with Tri-Cog Land Bank proved the concept of using measurement, modeling, and verification in E3’s approach.

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