Blueprint Communities is an initiative developed and implemented by FHLBank Pittsburgh in 2005 to create momentum for revitalizing older communities and neighborhoods. The Blueprint Communities program supports community leaders who are looking to make a lasting impact on the economic well being and quality of life for their fellow residents. FHL Bank partnered with the West Virginia Community Development Hub (The Hub) to introduce communities throughout WV into the initiative; a community in Preston County is one of those communities. This community partner is trying to bring people back into the community by increasing affordable housing. They believe that by bringing families back into the town, the businesses that are currently under will begin to flourish again.
There is currently a 2-story building on the main street of town that houses a performing arts center. The second floor is currently vacant and the community partner would like to turn it into affordable housing but they are not sure if the building is structurally sound. They also aren’t sure the next steps that they would have to take to transform the space.
About the Community
This is a small community located in Preston County WV where according to the US Census Bureau Preston County, WV has 16.2% of persons in poverty in 2018, which is higher than the 11.8% in the US. The majority of the population is elderly as many young families are moving out. As reported by the community partner, the elementary population dropped by 40%. With this project, they hope to bring in a younger generation and engage the existing members of the community in local resilience.