HOMEWOOD (KDKA) — People living in Homewood are taking steps to enhance the footprint of their neighborhood.

Tuesday night, members of the Homewood Community Development Collaborative released proposals as part of a community-driven plan to transform the resilient neighborhood of Homewood.

Residents are hoping to bring more affordable housing to the area, new businesses, institutions and any other sustainable community development.

“We have to do things to improve the quality of life in Homewood. We got an opportunity now, we got a commitment from downtown,” state Rep. Ed Gainey said. “But it’s not just for the community today. It’s really for the children of tomorrow.”

Rep. Gainey says the community is looking at roughly 2,500 vacant parcels of land that could be redeveloped.

Several proposals are being looked at that would include mixed income properties. Some residents told KDKA News that market rate housing would also be welcome in an effort to bring middle income families back to the neighborhood.

“It needs to happen very bad. I mean, the people of Homewood have been holding on for a long time, and hopefully they won’t have to hold on anymore. They’ll be able to thrive,” said Derrick Hemby, a Homewood business owner.

Plans are still in the preliminary phase, but city leaders hope to have a clearer picture over the next several months.

“When you look at a neighborhood like Homewood, you see it going through a cycle. It’s seen the worst days,” Mayor Bill Peduto said. “To see people have hope in their community, want to be invested in it and want to do something positive to change it, it makes it very easy to find partners who would be willing to help support those initiatives.”

Rachele Mongiovi