July 11, 2019

News Release from Next Pittsburgh 

On Thursday, July 11, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) cleared the way for dozens of new affordable housing projects across our city.

The approved proposals include traditional construction projects along with new civic programs aimed at supporting both landlords and tenants.

We break down a few highlights below:

-The Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) had a banner day, winning approval for several high profile initiatives.

In Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar, the HOF won approval for a $650,000 loan agreement to fund the construction of new senior housing at the former Lemington Home for the Aged, located at 1625 Lincoln Avenue.

“The project will create a mixed-use development including 54 one-bedroom units of senior housing with complementary commercial uses coupling housing and health,” said the press release.

The building was first constructed in 1982 but has been vacant for more than a decade. The restoration will include an upgrade of all building systems, improved stormwater management and additional parking spaces.

In addition, The HOF also won approval from the board for the Small Landlord Fund, which will provide financial support for owners looking to bring their properties up to Section 8 Housing Quality Standards.

“The federal Housing Choice Voucher program (also known as Section 8) is a great resource for much-needed affordable housing in which low-income households pay 30% of their monthly income for apartment units, with the federal government paying the difference for monthly rent,” said the press release. “Unfortunately some 70% of such households in the city cannot find private apartments for use with the vouchers since many units do not meet federal inspection standards.

The fund will be supported initially by a $500,000 loan from the PNC Foundation.

-In the Upper Hill, the board voted to acquire 21 tax delinquent or vacant properties to serve as the home for a coming collection of affordable townhouse developments.

The community organization Amani Christian Community Development Corporation and private developer Catalyst Communities, LLC will collaborate on the project, which includes parcels on Herron Avenue, Milwaukee Street, Bryn Mawr Road and Ossipee Street.

-In Uptown, the board approved a proposal to turn a collection of 36 city properties on Fifth Avenue, Colwell St. and Dinwiddie St. into a mixed-use, mixed-income residential development with the private company Bridging the Gap Development.

Read more about Uptown’s development boom here.

-Also announced at the meeting were several local projects that had won support from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, including the Flats on Forward, the rehabilitation of Larimer School and the construction of 40 units in the Hill District by CHN Housing Partners and the Hill Community Development Corporation.