An e-newsletter published for friends of Mon Valley Initiative | March 2021

New homes await first buyers

Two of the six new homes being built by MVI on Holland Avenue are ready for their new owners to move in, and the remaining houses are rapidly nearing completion.

The Holland Avenue Homes are taking the place of parking lots once used by the former Braddock Hospital. Built by Structural Modulars of Clarion County, and completed on-site by DRS of Greater Pittsburgh, the homes are designed to blend in with the traditional architecture in the neighborhood.

Bad weather caused some delays in completing the exteriors of the remaining four homes, says Dave Yargeau, MVI real estate developer. But the last major hurdle was cleared when crews from Peoples Gas finished connecting utility lines, he says.

Each of the two-story homes includes central heating and air conditioning, and one is ADA-accessible on the first floor, for residents with limited mobility. Although list price on the homes ranges from $140,000 to $150,000, qualified buyers will receive substantial assistance with down-payments and closing costs through Allegheny County Economic Development.
  • Do you know someone who would like to live in one of these modern new homes, convenient to The Waterfront, the East Busway and the Parkway East? Call Jonathan Weaver at 412-464-4000, ext. 4008, or email Income limits apply.
Housing Counseling

Web viewers join virtual home counseling sessions

MVI housing counselor Jonathan Weaver has been running regularly scheduled “Homebuyer’s Clubs” for several years. These informal sessions allow prospective homebuyers to ask questions to experts in mortgage lending, home inspections and real estate.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, Jonathan had to discontinue in-person meetings, but shifted to online presentations. This year, MVI also began streaming the events live on Facebook.

On March 4, 35 people watched Ted George (above), a community loan officer at Huntington Bank, explain the closing process. Since the video first went live, another 87 people have tuned in. You can also find the archived video on our YouTube channel.

The next homebuyer’s club, at 6 p.m. April 8, will feature Lisa Baldwin of Re/MAX Select Realty. Anyone can view the video, but registration is required to participate in the question-and-answer session.
Workforce Development & Financial Coaching

Success Story: Nick

“Nick” (not his real name) has been enrolled in our workforce development program since May 2019 and has been struggling to find employment for more than a year.

He applied for numerous jobs, enrolled at PA CareerLink and attended our Job Clubs on Mondays and Thursdays.

Nick has had job interviews, but employers didn’t offer him work due to his criminal background. Despite being rejected repeatedly, Nick didn’t give up. Instead, he became more determined to find employment.

Nick updated his resume and completed mock interviews with his job coach.
He spent more than a year improving his skills in order to narrow down occupations that would not be hindered by his past mistakes.

In February, Nick got a lead from his MVI job coach about an opening at a manufacturing company in a nearby industrial park and he applied for a full-time position there. Within two days of submitting his online application, he got an interview.

Nick used the skills he developed with his job coach to answer the questions the interviewer asked him. After the interview he felt confident. Within a week’s time, Nick got a call from the company and was hired as a full-time production worker. His first day was Feb. 16.
  • Do you know someone who could benefit from our employment and financial coaching process? Call us at 412-464-4000, ext. 4000, or 724-565-8040, ext. 1; email; text “workforce” and your name to 412-545-3181; or visit our website.

Clairton Inn information session to be held March 25

Mon Valley Initiative will present a Clairton Inn Information Session for prospective tenants and other stakeholders at 4 p.m. March 25.

Panelists will include representatives of MVI, the City of Clairton, LGA Partners, NDC Asset Management and Mark Harvey Smith Real Estate.

The information session is a chance for the community to learn more about the project. To ask questions and participate on Zoom, you must register in advance at

The event also will be live-streamed on MVI’s Facebook page at You can text or call-in questions during the event at 412-545-3181.

For more information, contact Maddie Nagel, community outreach specialist, at

Mobile farmers’ market returning, adds new stops

Green Grocer is a mobile market that travels into 20 local neighborhoods to provide fresh, healthy food options.

Operated by Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the Green Grocer this year will add two new stops in East Pittsburgh and Duquesne.

According to Josh Anderegg, mobile markets supervisor, scheduled neighborhoods, times and days include:
  • Clairton, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month
  • Duquesne, 11 a.m. to 12 noon, 2nd and 4th Fridays
  • East Pittsburgh, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., 1st and 3rd Thursdays
  • Glassport, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., 2nd and 4th Mondays
  • Rankin, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., 1st and 3rd Tuesdays
  • West Mifflin, 11 a.m. to 12 noon, 1st and 3rd Fridays
  • Wilmerding, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., 1st and 3rd Thursdays
For exact locations, visit the Green Grocer website. The market accepts SNAP, EBT and farmer’s market checks.

Local communities slate clean-up April 24

Spring is here, and many communities are holding a clean-up day on April 24.
  • Braddock and North Braddock: Volunteers should meet at the Woodland Hills administration building, 531 Jones Ave., between 10 a.m. and 12 noon to pick up supplies. Face masks will be required and social distancing rules will be in place.
  • Clairton: City residents may dispose of hard-to-recycle items such as tires, electronics and yard debris by bringing them to the municipal building, 551 Ravensburg Blvd., from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Face masks will be required and I.D. will be requested.
  • Turtle Creek: Supplies can be picked up at the municipal building, 125 Monroeville Ave., from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
If your community is having a clean-up day, please tell our community outreach specialists, Grant Cole and Maddie Nagel, and we'll do our best to spread the news.

Moratorium on utility shutoffs ends March 31

The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over, but the year-long moratorium on utility shutoffs ends on March 31.

That means thousands of local utility customers who have fallen behind on their bills could lose gas, electric or water service, according to a report on KDKA-TV. Up to 20 percent of Duquesne Light customers are currently behind on their bills.

“There are nearly 1 million utility customers who are considered at risk, meaning they could be terminated,” said David Sweet, vice chair of the state Public Utility Commission.

Sweet is encouraging residents to contact utility companies now to arrange payment plans. Residents also may be eligible for help through the Dollar Energy Fund.

Municipal elections are coming up

This year, voters in Mon Valley communities will be choosing members of their borough and city councils, school boards and township commissions and, in some cases, mayors.

The last day to register to vote is May 3, and the last day to request a mail-in or absentee ballot is May 11. The primary election is May 18.

Pennsylvania is again allowing all residents to use no-excuse mail-in and absentee ballots for 2021. If you received a mail-in or absentee ballot for the 2020 presidential election, you will have to submit another application for 2021.

Go to You can also use the VotesPA website to verify your voter registration status, party affiliation or voting location.

Tax help offered in Turtle Creek

Every year, the Human Services Center Corp. provides free tax help to Mon Valley residents with assistance from IRS-certified volunteers.

While no in-person aid is available this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers are still available to help residents file their 2020 taxes.

Households that earned less than $57,000 in 2020 can use to file their taxes online, for free, or get help from an expert through HSCC.

And if your household did not receive a COVID-19 stimulus payment, the tax filing pros also can help find out what happened.

For more information, call 412-436-9537 or visit the HSCC website.
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