My audio piece includes a combination of self narration and interview audio from three sources within McKeesport’s city planning division —Director of Development A.J. Tedesco, City Solicitor J. Jason Elash and Contract Officer for the Community Development Office Johanna Bell.
Self-narration McKeesport, Pennsylvania is the largest town in the center of the state’s steal region and lies about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh. McKeesport, and the remainder of the Mon Valley, was home to over 35,000 steel employees.
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During the early to mid 1900’s, McKeesport, Pennsylvania was one of the fastest growing cities with an abundance of candy shops and record companies among other novelty and home good stores, eateries, and movie theaters, Mckeesport’s main street was a destination spot for city residents who often frequented the city’s fifth avenue. McKeesport was once a highly populated cited with a bustling mainstreet, but when the steel industry left the Pittsburgh area in the 1980s, Mckeesport, like other areas in the Mon Valley, suffered serious losses in population, business, and overall morale.
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McKeesport is classified as a distressed urban community with 29% of people living below the poverty line. The poverty rate in the state of Pennsylvania is only 13%. McKeesport receives federal assistance through Community Development Block Grants or CDBGs from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, also known as HUD. McKeesport’s Director of Development A.J. Tedesco, City Solicitor J. Jason Elash and Contract Officer for the Community Development Office Johanna Bell sat down to discuss McKeesport’s Community Development Block Grant funds.
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Self Narration Can you elaborate on McKeesport’s action plan for CDBG usage?
Self Narration What role does the consulting firm that you hired play in McKeesport’s action plan for CDBG funding?
Self Narration What is the process by which sub-recipients receive some of the CDBG money?
Self Narration What are some of the federal regulations that HUD puts forth for McKeesport’s usage of the CDBG money?
Self Narration What area of McKeesport is the CDBG money used for?
Self Narration What do these Community Development Block Grants mean to McKeesport?
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