Press Release: Y Receives $1.5 Million Grant

YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh Receives $1.5 Million Grant from RACP

Grant will support renovations of nearly century-old facility at Centre Avenue


PITTSBURGH (August 7, 2019) – The historic Centre Avenue YMCA, located in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, has received $1.5 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program funding, state lawmakers recently announced. 

The state-funded grant will support the estimated $7.1 million renovation of the 97-year-old facility, which is home to 77 single room occupancy (SRO) units, as well as programming space with classrooms, a kitchen and boxing gym. While often at 100 percent occupancy due to high demand for affordable housing, the building itself has fallen into significant disrepair, is not code compliant and needs renovation.

“We are grateful for the support from the state of Pennsylvania on our efforts to renovate the Centre Avenue YMCA,” Kevin Bolding, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, said. “Our Y has provided housing in the Hill District for nearly 100 years and this grant is an integral step in moving forward with Action Housing to revitalize the building and support one of our communities.”

The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh has partnered with ACTION-Housing to take on these much-needed renovations and to create a new nonprofit, Centre Avenue Housing Inc., that will own and operate the facility. This RACP grant brings the total amount funded to just over $5.5 million, leaving the YMCA and Action Housing with approximately $1.5 million left to fully fund the project. 

Renovation plans include 73 new housing units and community-oriented space affordable to low-income households, revitalizing not just an historic asset but catalyzing development in the walkable heart of the Hill District’s central corridor. 

The four-story YMCA building was constructed in 1922 and served as one of the only social, recreational and cultural facilities for African Americans in the region from the 1920s through the ‘50s. The building received an historic designation from the City of Pittsburgh on August 8, 1995. 

The Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) is a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historical improvement projects. 

RACP projects are authorized in the Redevelopment Assistance section of the Capital Budget Itemization Act, have a regional or multi-jurisdictional impact, and generate substantial increases or maintain current levels of employment, tax revenues, or other measures of economic activity. RACP projects are state-funded projects that cannot obtain primary funding under other state programs.

Locations: Thelma Lovette YMCA