Point Park University Alumnus Howard B. Slaughter Jr. – Catalyst for Community Growth and Development
by Colleen C. Derda
The Point Magazine, Spring 2008
Point Park University
Howard B. Slaughter Jr., D.Sc. (MBA ’01), is enjoying his latest riverfront views. From the offices of Landmarks Community Capital Corp. in Station Square, he can see down the Monongahela River toward Point State Park.
“This office has a great view of Pittsburgh architecture,” says Dr. Slaughter, a man who appreciates old buildings and knows what it takes to restore them. His extensive financing background focuses on economic development and housing developments in urban areas.
Slaughter heads the new Landmarks Community Capital Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, which provides equity, debt and short-and intermediate-term financing for housing and economic development activities throughout Western
Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. The nonprofit corporation also aims to pursue public policy initiatives and public-private partnerships as well as utilize such tools as new market tax credits to bring additional capital into the region.
“We have the opportunity to be a catalyst for change,” he says. “Typically we are ‘first in and first out,’ often taking the greatest financial risk, to help move developments forward. We require collateral, but we are a non-traditional lender, with the flexibility to help make revitalization a reality.”
Landmarks Community Capital Corp. recently approved a $885,000 loan leveraging a $7-million revitalization condo development in East Liberty. Working through East Liberty Development Inc., the funding will help transform a former YMCA into condominiums and retail space. Landmarks Community Capital Corp. is also working to attract a supermarket to Pittsburgh’s Hill District, among other unique development projects.
“We have an experienced staff, reflecting ethnic diversity, which helps us to be as effective as possible and to effectuate positive change,” stresses the chief executive officer. “Not only urban neighborhoods, but rural communities can benefit from the corporation’s funding. We work within a 250-mile radius of Pittsburgh.”
Slaughter’s approach to community lending integrates historic preservation as a stimulus for economic development. He previously served as director of preservation services at the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation before being appointed director of Fannie Mae’s Pittsburgh Community Business Center, the largest source of home financing in the country. His background also includes a stint as a vice president of community development at Dollar Bank, where he led the bank to its first “Outstanding” Community Reinvestment Act rating.
Slaughter was recently appointed treasurer of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and renominated by Gov. Ed Rendell (and unanimously confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Senate) to the Board of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency board. He also serves on the board of the Pennsylvania Community Development Bank. His extensive educational background, which includes five degrees, includes a master of business administration from Point Park.
“I am pleased to have had the opportunity to take advantage of what Point Park offered.
I attended the master’s degree program all day every Saturday for an entire year. It was a commitment, but it enhanced my educational goals and fit my needs well,” says Slaughter, who also holds a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management and a doctorate in information systems and communication from Robert Morris University.
Slaughter can see a bit of Point Park University from his Station Square office. “I’ve been watching Point Park transform,” he says. “The changes are exciting and a real benefit to the urban core of this region.”