Niagara Gazette


March 24, 2014

Isaiah 61, Highland Revitalization Committee teaming up for training program


Niagara Gazette — “This is going to be an exciting time to be part of the city,” he said.

Seth Piccirillo, the director of the Community Development department, has worked closely with the city’s housing organizations since starting with the city two years ago.

He said the partnership, which received a $10,000 grant from the city to get of the ground, is unique in that housing organizations do not often cooperate.

“I think the fact that they are partnering is a community victory,” Piccirillo said. “They’re organizations with two different mission statements, but really they have the same cause, to make community improvements.”

Piccirillo said housing organizations, and not-for-profits in general, can become territorial at times, as there is limited funding that they are all competing for.

“People are always concerned that, if I partner or if I give up some of my work there’s going to be a funding implication,” he said.

Part of the blame for the territorial nature of housing organizations lies with the way that HUD’s funding system works, Piccirillo said.

The fight for federal dollars encourages groups to stay in their own corners of the city instead of coming together to form a stronger network of organizations, he added.

“It’s not self-sustaining,” Piccirillo said. “So, these types of partnerships are really the way of the future.”

Charletta Tyson, the executive director of HCRC, has been with the organization since 2005, joining three years after it was founded.

The organization has concentrated on helping homeowners throughout its history, so the training and housing rehabilitation aspects of the partnership will be new to HCRC.

Tyson said long-time board member Joe McCoy, who left the area a few years ago, has been talking about rehabilitating North End houses as part of the organization’s mission since she joined HCRC.

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