Urban Redevelopment Authority
The URA administers Federal and Commonwealth grants designed to provide a broad range of urban renewal and maintenance programs within the City. The Authority also coordinates efforts to improve the economic vitality, the housing stock, and overall living conditions within the City. The URA has a five-member board; each member is appointed by the Mayor.
Housing Opportunity Fund
The Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) was created in 2016 (via City Council Ordinance #37). The HOF was established to support the development and preservation of affordable and accessible housing within the City.
For the administration of the fund, Authority staff is working with a 17-member Advisory Board that was appointed by the Mayor and approved by City Council in June 2018. According to the HOF enabling legislation, the Advisory Board will work with URA staff to create and approve an annual allocation plan which outlines proposed funding levels by programmatic category. The Advisory Board will then recommend approval of the allocation plan to the URA Board of Directors, the Governing Board, for final approval. Once the URA Board of Director’s approves the allocation plan it will be presented to City Council.
On September 6, 2018, the Advisory Board approved the following allocation plan. The plan includes five programmatic areas: Rental Gap Financing, Owner-Occupied Rehab, Down Payment Assistance, Acquisition/Rehabilitation/Resale of Vacant and Abandoned Properties, and Homeless Rental Assistance.
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF PROPOSED PROGRAMS
Homeless Rental Assistance:
Service providers may apply for funding to provide short term rental assistance (maximum 1 year) and associated services to households at or below 30% and/or 50% AMI who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Rental assistance may include fixed monthly shallow subsidy or declining balance subsidy. Homeless rental assistance also includes eviction prevention services such as legal assistance.
Rental Gap Funding:
The Rental Gap Funding Program will provide secured loans for the new construction and/or preservation of affordable rental units. For projects in the development process that have units serving households at or below 30 and/or 50% AMI, developers may apply for secured loans for acquisition and construction, or renovation/preservation, of rental housing projects. Developers may also apply for funding for resident supportive services to be delivered with the project.
Owner-Occupied Renovation (OOR):
The Owner-Occupied Renovation Program will address unsafe and unhealthy conditions in homes owned by homeowners with incomes at or below 30%, 50% AMI, and/or 80% AMI. Non-profits may apply for funds for renovation and associated services, or households may apply directly to the URA. Examples of eligible repairs are new roofs, furnace replacement, weatherization repairs, and/or accessibility modifications. The Owner-Occupied Renovation program also includes funding for homeowner services such as tangled title assistance, estate planning, and foreclosure prevention.
Down Payment and Closing Costs:
First time homebuyers with incomes up to 115% of AMI may apply to the URA for down payment and closing cost assistance for the purchase of a house in Pittsburgh.
Development of For-Sale Housing:
The Development of For-Sale Housing Program will expand the pool of quality for-sale housing affordable to households at or below 80% AMI. Developers may apply to HOF for costs associated with the development of residential property including acquisition, rehabilitation, or new construction, and soft costs associated with the property development. Funds will help bridge the gap between total development cost and the future sales price. Funds may also be used in the form of deferred second mortgages for the future homeowners. The homeowners must reside in the property.