In 1957, Mayor David Lawrence and Philanthropist Richard King Mellon established a new organization to address the region's most pressing housing issues. They called the organization "Allegheny Council To Improve Our Neighborhoods - Housing" and while we've since dropped the acronym, our guiding mission hasn't changed: "Improve Our Neighborhoods."
Through the years, how we improve our neighborhoods has taken on many different forms. Most visibly, ACTION-Housing, Inc. has a long-standing history of real estate development designed to address emerging community needs, and serve the community’s most vulnerable populations. Since 1985, ACTION-Housing has developed or assisted in the development of over 4,500 units of housing, both single family and multifamily, for the elderly, people with disabilities, the homeless, veterans, young people who have aged out of foster care and families and individuals with low incomes. Most of these units were created in collaboration with community-based partners, such as local development corporations and supportive service providers.
ACTION-Housing has also provided Social Services and Programs for its entire history. We strive to improve the vitality and vibrancy of communities by offering essential supportive services and programs for Western Pennsylvania residents. We currently provide programs for single-family home weatherization, in-home accessibility, mortgage and foreclosure assistance, youth aging out of the foster care system, and homeless families. You can find more information about all of our programs and services here.
As we look toward the future, we believe that long-term sustainability in affordable housing and related social programming encompasses three dimensions: the economic, the social, and the environmental. The economic dimension addresses the financial costs associated with housing development, which has always presented challenges for the nonprofit developer. The social dimension is concerned with the sense of belonging and the feeling of community among the inhabitants. Are we building structures or are we building communities? The environmental dimension is concerned with developing and rehabilitating properties using high standards for energy efficiency, water conservation, and indoor health and safety.
We believe so strongly in green building that we have begun providing technical assistance to other multifamily affordable housing owners, and invested significantly in our green demonstration house to show the average Pittsburgher how he or she can reduce water and energy use and save money on utility bills.
By leveraging financial resources, working with neighborhood-based organizations, engaging public and municipal authorities, working with leading architects, engineers and contractors to utilize cutting edge energy conservation measures, and designing for long-term affordability, ACTION-Housing is helping to create a region with vibrant communities that value diversity and sustainability.
To empower people to build more secure and self-sufficient lives through the provision of decent, affordable housing, essential supportive services, asset building programs, and educational and employment opportunities.