U.S. Senators Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is awarding $9,480,000 in grants to several communities in Pennsylvania. The funding is administered through the Brownfield Economic Development Initiative (BEDI), a competitive grant program to stimulate and promote economic and community development.
BEDI is designed to assist cities with the redevelopment of abandoned, idled and underused industrial and commercial facilities where expansion and redevelopment is burdened by environmental contamination.

“I am pleased that HUD is awarding this money to several Pennsylvania cities for their redevelopment projects,” Senator Specter said. “Restoring these blighted sites will help revitalize our cities and be a great impetus for future cultural and economic growth.”

“At a time when families are struggling, investing in new community development initiatives is vitally important,” said Senator Casey. “These grants will promote economic development in communities across the Commonwealth and I will continue to fight to ensure Pennsylvania receives its fair share of federal funding for vital projects to help revitalize our economy.”

BEDI funds must be used in conjunction with a Section 108 loan, a loan guarantee provision of the Community Development Block Grant program. As such, Pennsylvania is poised to receive an additional $25,466,000 in funding through HUD to finance the projects.

In the announcement, the City of Philadelphia will receive $6 million for 3 projects, the City of Pittsburgh will receive $3 million for 2 projects, and the City of Jeanette in Westmoreland County will receive $480,000. Pennsylvania received more BEDI grants than any other state in the U.S in Fiscal Year 2007.

$2 million for the City of Pittsburgh for a revitalization project in the East Liberty neighborhood. Funding will help to acquire, remediate, demolish, prepare a site, and retrofit roads for a large-scale retail store. The City is also slated to receive $10 million in a Section 108 Loan.