Proposal to
Standard Chartered Financial Services Company

McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and the entire Mon Yough River Valley has been deeply depressed since the mid-1980s. We are addressing the specific areas from McKeesport up the Monongahela River (Mon) to Brownsville and from McKeesport up the Youghiogheny River (Yough) to Connellsville. Uniontown sits at the opposite end of these river valleys from McKeesport just below the Laurel Mountain Ridge between the two rivers. This targeted region includes 33 Federally Qualified Opportunity Zones’ census tracts.

The following chart reflects the level of poverty in this target region; it also includes various minority neighborhoods of Pittsburgh that have not benefitted from Pittsburgh’s technological revitalization. From the chart, one can see the situation is dire and the level and scale is overwhelming. The only successful approach must be one where multifaceted improvements pinpoint specific problem issues and create scalability to meet the need.

Mon Valley Demographic Chart

To ensure success, the implementation of these efforts needs to be handled by experienced organizations that are part of the fabric of their communities. In our appendices, we list some of these key partnerships, including local community-based players and potential urban farming partners. The focus of this inquiry of interest concentrates on urban farming and homeownership in targeted neighborhoods (TN) to achieve full community revitalization.

Median Household Income % in Poverty % Black % Owner-occupied % Vacant
Pennsylvania $61,744 12.0% 11.2% 68.9% 10.7%
McKeesport $29,094 31.3% 35.9% 40.1% 20.0%
Pittsburgh Target Neighborhoods $26,626 38.6% 66.0% 37.0% 19.0%
Allegheny County $64,799 10.8% 12.9% 58.0% 9.8%
Target Region Total* $38,706 23.5% 23.1% 52.1% 16.5%

* Numbers include the Greater McKeesport area, selected Pittsburgh target neighborhoods, including Wilkinsburg, and selected Mon-Yough River Valley communities. (Data sources: U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) and ACS latest 5-year estimates)

Our plans focus on the city of McKeesport realizing that these neighborhoods and McKeesport’s housing conditions are similar throughout the Mon Yough River Valley. These communities include structurally sound, but vacant, warehouse and manufacturing buildings and acres of abandoned land near well-established highway systems.

The following slide presentation shows one primary residential street leading up to one small neighborhood in McKeesport that reflects the scope of abandonment and deterioration. These distressed conditions can be seen repeatedly throughout the Mon
Valley. It is in this target neighborhood where our urban farming can begin, and the expansion of our
affordable housing endeavor can continue.


One Street, One Small Neighborhood

(Slide Presentation – is coming)

The Greenhouse TN map below shows the conditions, detailing each lot type and census tract demographics in the neighborhood as it looks today.

Greenhouse TN Map & Demographics – McKeesport PA

The three slides below show our vision of what the same deteriorated TN above can become through our urban farming and new housing initiatives.

This fall, Trulieve, a Quincy, Florida-based producer and retail distributor of legal marijuana, announced a $10 million deal to acquire three buildings and 37 acres to expand its cultivation facility at the former U.S. Steel site in McKeesport, an industrial park that is also an OZ census tract

Trulieve already operates two buildings at the site and the expansion of its workforce will grow to 800.

The two photos below are examples of structurally sound empty warehouses that are plentiful throughout our target region. These spacious facilities are perfect for growing crops that do not grow in a greenhouse environment.


Value Gap Explanation and ANIC Information

The value gap explanation and the ANIC informational sheet below, shows how value gaps and affordability issues are currently addressed, using a “one-and-done” approach, and how they can be addressed with the America’s Neighborhood Insurance Company (ANIC) approach. There is no comparison between the results of the “one-and-done” approach to ANIC’s approach in achieving scale and appreciating values with no displacement.

The few pictures and maps of our target neighborhoods capture snapshots of abandonment and decay that is in residential neighborhoods throughout our country. Our approach uses well-tested methodology we developed and the leveraging capacity of for-profit businesses working in concert with social funds and community-based organizations (CBOs).

McKeesport Library District Target Neighborhood

The revitalization plan below reflects our concept beyond theories, showing the potential for one very real, specific neighborhood; illustrating scale; appreciation; affordability; and public revenues that can be achieved.

We want to focus attention on several important features of our revitalization plan. The preamble and the last page explains the issues of how value gaps prohibit and restrict neighborhoods from recovering, and how value gaps generate a major cause of the disparity between Black and White net worth. This disparity in the net worth of minorities and Whites is a key priority to the Biden Administration.

Other McKeesport neighborhoods, and others in the Mon Valley, have more stable residential neighborhoods with solid, well-cared for owner-occupied homes, but these homeowners suffer from encroaching dilapidated homes and vacant lots. These neighborhoods fit a more traditional revitalization strategy. Whether it is a traditional neighborhood in need of minimal assistance or a desperate declining neighborhood that needs a massive infusion of assistance, both approaches will use our targeted and multifaceted approach. All will use America’s Neighborhood Insurance Company’s “first-in-the-nation” Value Gap Insurance product.

Performance Chart and Washington, D.C. Press Club Press Release

In any community receiving an influx of wealthier homeowners, the issue of displacement becomes a critical problem to be addressed. Through Professional Mortgage Connection, LLC’s SafeGate loan product, we utilize the mortgage underwriting system developed and fine-tuned by the former Housing Opportunities, Inc. (HOI) of McKeesport under the leadership of Jim Butler.

The following two documents include a performance graph showing HOI’s proven track record of achieving scalability and a position paper highlights from a study conducted by Dr. Susan McElroy of Carnegie Mellon University with two of her graduate students – “An Entrepreneurial Approach to Funding Homeownership Programs.” It is important to note that Dr. McElroy utilized twenty years of actual loan performance that a CPA firm reported annually to the board of directors of Housing Opportunities, Inc. Her comparison to the current “one-and-done” approach is the same approach that has been used for the last fifty years to revitalize distressed communities to no avail. Please note the quote by Robert Woodson, president of the Woodson Center, that he shared at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. “The principles that operate in our market economy should operate in our social economy as well.”

We recognize the significant changing philosophies when it comes to meeting social and community challenges; therefore, we think it is important to share viewpoints highlighting new ways of thinking when it comes to delivery systems.

The following sixteen-minute TED Talk on social change by Harvard professor and business strategist, Michael E. Porter: The Case for Letting Business Solve Social Problems.


Contact information:


Michael P. Butler [profile]
(412) 448-6851


James P. Butler [profile]
Vista Consulting Services, LLC
(412) 267-2226

Edward J. Gorski, CPA, MSA, CGMA [profile]
Lally & Co., LLC

Below offers an introduction to our two funds.

My Development Fund, LP (MYDF) is looking for lead investors as we raise equity capital in our funds and social capital to support these community development initiatives.

The documents below provide information on our MY Development Funds, including the organizational structure and the professional group of team members involved with MYDF. The cities and states listed, in Appendix 3, identify where we are the furthest along in our revitalization replication in establishing neighborhoods and needed products to rejuvenate these distressed communities.


Urban Farming is expanding rapidly due to advancements in the technology and the need to reduce our carbon footprint. In the near future, consumers’ food will be grown within one hour of their grocery store or home or favorite restaurant. A high percentage of homeownership is at the core of any healthy neighborhood. New green businesses provide an added influx of jobs and a reimagined identity for, otherwise, depressed post-industrial towns. Leading with these two key ingredients and following our community-based local leadership model, we have the experience, the products, and the companies to deliver a comprehensive community revitalization using our for-profit system to achieve a public benefit.

Although this is a lengthy introduction, it is important to understand the scope and the enormous opportunities for its replication. At this time, we are looking for leadership institutions to join our efforts.

If Standard Chartered Financial Services Company would like to explore, in detail, the specifics of how it can be involved in our two private equity funds, which we believe, will be able to compete with S&P 500 returns and appreciation. , first we can establish times to meet and begin to answer specific questions and provide greater detail, and second, we can
forward all legal documents for your review.

One of these funds, MYDF, is a Federally Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund; therefore, its returns to any person or company would be significantly higher due to the tax benefits if the invested capital comes from a capital gains investment. All of these investments would be qualified investments under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)

MYDF’s initial equity will be used to capitalize America’s Neighborhood Insurance Company and to begin the property acquisition for our urban farming while we finalize the selection of our for-profit urban farming company that will operate our venture. These two primary funds will generate additional investments to complement our other for-profit ventures. All of the activities that begin in our Mon Valley will be replicated in other parts of the country. The cities listed, in our appendix, identify where we are the furthest along in establishing the neighborhoods and needed products to rejuvenate these distressed communities.


Appendix 1 – List of Local Community-based Players
Appendix 2 – List of Potential Urban Farming Partners
Appendix 3 – List of Cities and States Actively Involved with our Revitalization Replication

We look forward to the opportunity to answer your questions and to provide in-depth details on our products and approaches.