Dwelling House did good work, but consider economic reality

Written by Rosa Colucci on .

I certainly empathize with Rev. Johnnie Monroe ("Life After Death: We Need a Dwelling House in the Hill," Sept. 10 Perspectives) and the plight of Dwelling House Savings & Loan; however, there remain a few outstanding issues.

Dwelling House was swindled out of millions of dollars. That's what the authorities said forced a quick closure of Dwelling House and its subsequent purchase by PNC. Who knows if this had anything to do with the financial institution's willingness to open bank accounts for criminals, but that possibility has to be put into consideration.

Dwelling House founder Robert R. Lavelle reportedly believed that "everyone who wanted a house had a right to own one." Unfortunately, that's not how economics works, especially in real estate, where the ability to pay a mortgage is tantamount to the deal. What might best be incorporated is to assist customers with budgetary information that would help them earn a house somewhere in their near future.

And lastly, Rev. Monroe wonders if race had anything to do with the lack of governmental intervention. Again, the "sticky wicket" of the bank being robbed by cyber criminals had more to do with its downfall than the comparison to public-funded sports arenas.

As a Realtor who helped dozens of poor families get into homes (before the economic downturn forced me to put my license on the shelf earlier this year), I found that nothing was more rewarding, whether the family was white or black.

As an elder at a struggling Presbyterian church in a lower-middle-class city neighborhood (Carrick), I find that those who need the most help cannot be quantified by race.

Pittsburgh is one of the country's most livable cities because we do rally for one another, regardless of race or economic status in the community. Dwelling House's contributions are countless and priceless. Let us see what opportunities lie ahead.

Castle Shannon


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