Council District 6
Ceremonial Groundbreaking of Lower Hill 28 Acres Site

Councilman Lavelle, joined by political leaders from the State, County and City, participated in the groundbreaking for the first phase of infrastructure development of the Lower Hill District's 28 acre development site. Thanking residents and community activists for their work in advocating on behalf of the Hill and the City's best interests, the Councilman optimistically pointed to the transformative potential of the project.

Council Creates Affordable Housing Task Force

Councilman Lavelle introduced legislation to establish an Affordable Housing Task Force for the City of Pittsburgh. The goal of the task force is to identify the current state and projected needs of housing throughout the city to better inform its housing policy. The issue of affordability will be closely looked at to ensure a fair housing supply to all residents of Pittsburgh. 

Lower Hill Development Agreement (CCIP) Available for Review

On September 9, 2014, the final draft of the Community Collaboration & Implementation Plan was officially signed and announced to the public. The plan describes specific goals, strategies and processes for maximizing the inclusion of the Greater Hill community in the redevelopment project. To access a copy of the CCIP, please click on the "Read More" link below.

Councilman Lavelle Discusses Lower Hill Development on WESA

Councilman Lavelle, together with Marimba Milliones of the Hill CDC, sat with 90.5 WESA for an interview to discuss the development of the 28 acres site in the Lower Hill District. To listen, click on the header or here

Councilman Lavelle Sworn In for 2nd Term

Councilman Lavelle was sworn in on January 6th for his second term as the representative to District 6. Upon thanking his supporters, the Councilman vowed and asked fellow council members to advocate on behalf of the disenfranchised, stressing the importance of addressing the social issues that affect those in need in the city, in order to make Pittsburgh truly a livable city for all. 

Welcome to Council District 6!

On Monday March 23, Councilman Lavelle attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of infrastructure development in the Lower Hill 28 acre site. In his remarks, the Councilman noted that as a lifelong Hill District resident, the groundbreaking was a moment of personal pride, signifying an opportunity to create a development that benefits the residents of the Hill District and the City of Pittsburgh. 


posted 3/25/15 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle Co-Sponsors Legislation to Improve Training of City's Security Guards

Councilman Lavelle has co-sponsored an ordinance to ensure that the city’s security guards are adequately trained in protecting Pittsburgh’s buildings. SEIU 32BJ, a union representing nearly 130,000 office workers, gathered in front of Council Chambers to support the Ordinance to increase and mandate training for those who are charged with protecting the thousands who work in large office buildings or public places. The change would require at a minimum 40 hours of training to guarantee that in an emergency situation guards are able to respond swiftly to any dangerous situation. The ordinance is on the agenda for the April 15th Council Session.  

posted 3/24/15 @ 12:00 am

City Council unanimously approved legislation establishing a Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) district for the Lower Hill District 28 acres development site which will serve to further development projects and needs in the Greater Hill District. Development projects on the site will be granted a 10 year tax exemption.

In exchange, developers will agree to make payments, in an amount equal to the exempted taxes, towards 2 funds: one for infrastructure improvements and development incentives on the 28 acres site, and another for programs and projects designed to benefit the Greater Hill District. The LERTA district will help to implement the Community Collaboration Implementation Plan (CCIP), a document which outlines goals for Hill District participation in the development, contracting, business, employment and housing opportunities on the site. 

To access a copy of the legislation establishing the LERTA, click here.


posted 2/25/15 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle Presents Proclamation to Honor Pittsburgh Living Legends

Mr. Ralph P. Watson, who runs "CLASSIC EVENTS! Public Relations and Marketing Group", will host the 4th Annual Black History Celebration on February 28. The theme for this year is "Legends", as they salute several Pittsburgh notables who have left their imprint on the city in the areas of economic development, education, health and politics. On Tuesday, February 10, Councilman Lavelle presented a proclamation to the honorees of the event, which included:

Hon. Brenda Frazier, Dr. Renee Frazier, Roger Humphries Sr., Father Eric McIntosh, Rev. Johnnie G. Monroe, Chris Moore, William Neal, Charles M. Powell, Herman Reid, Hon. William R. Robinson, Charles Sanders, JT Thomas, Brenda J. Waters, Hon. Ralph P. Watson, Judge Warren Watson, and Frances Ford-Wilson.  

posted 2/13/15 @ 12:00 am
Council Extends Deadline for Paying City Real Estate Taxes Early

City Council approved this week an extension to file real estate taxes early to receive the 2% discount. Instead of February 10, residents will now have until February 28 to file their city taxes early. The decision came as a result of tax bills being received by residents on January 31, which would have given them 10 days fewer to file early for the discount. 

posted 2/06/15 @ 12:00 am

Pittsburgh is in the midst of an economic renaissance that has seen property values rise throughout the city. It is a positive sign of growth which is key to the city’s future, but if not appropriately planned for, can lead to the displacement of mid to low income populations who are unable to keep pace with rising property values in their communities. The provision of an adequate supply of affordable housing is therefore critical to retain existing residents and prevent the potential displacement caused by rising housing costs.

In order to address the issue of affordable housing throughout Pittsburgh, Councilman Lavelle has partnered with Mayor Peduto to introduce legislation that creates an Affordable Housing Task Force. The task force will be comprised of a diverse group of stakeholders inside and outside of government who will work to make specific recommendations to the Mayor and City Council.  A report will be published that identifies Pittsburgh’s current housing landscape, projected future housing needs, and recommended policy responses to ensure a vibrant mix of accessible housing options for all residents in Pittsburgh.

To access a copy of the legislation that creates the Affordable Housing Task force, please click here.

posted 2/02/15 @ 12:00 am
Ribbon Cutting of Downtown's Hotel Monaco

Councilman Lavelle’s office was honored to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony for Hotel Monaco on January 21st. Located in the Reed building, an iconic structure Downtown, the 248 room hotel caters to the world traveler with unique designs that set it apart as a one of a kind brand. The hotel boom Downtown has been experiencing is a testament to the area’s growing economic base and profile on a national and global scale, and we welcome Hotel Monaco as a new tenant that will help further the area’s economic revitalization, as it is expected to create 200 permanent jobs.

Hotel Monaco will also be the come of restaurant and bar The Commoner. We invite all Pittsburghers to stop by for a bite, a drink, to spend the night, or simply to tour the new site. 

For photos of the ribbon cutting, please click here.

posted 1/21/15 @ 12:00 am
SEA to Host Open House on the First Phase of Roadway Construction in the Lower Hill Redevelopment Site

The Sports & Exhibition Authority (SEA) will be hosting an open house for the first phase of roadway construction in the Lower Hill District redevelopment site. The event is an opportunity to learn more about the contractor and workforce positions that will be available on the site. Opportunities will be available for laborers, carpenters, operators, finishers, iron workers, bricklayers, plumbers and electricians.

Wednesday, October 29
Thelma Lovette YMCA, 3rd floor conference room
2114 Centre Ave

Following is a flier for the event with more detailed information on the meeting and the scope of work involved:

posted 10/17/14 @ 12:00 am
District 6 Fall Newsletter

The District 6 Fall Newsletter is available for viewing.

The Fall Newslletter provides District 6 stakeholders with a seasonal update of developments taking place within the district and the greater City of Pittsburgh. The latest edition includes information on the jobs bill Councilman Lavelle introduced in September, the development deal for the Lower Hill which was finalized in September, and an overview of events that have taken place within the district, such as the Kiva Small Business Fairs and the District 6 Youth Basketball Tournament. 

To access a copy of the newsletter, please click here.

posted 10/07/14 @ 12:00 am
Lower Hill District Development Deal: Building Ladders of Opportunity

In the summer of 2012, Councilman Lavelle convened a diverse group of residents and stakeholders to begin defining the Hill District community’s position on how they envisioned development on the Lower Hill District 28 acres site. The group, which became known as the Lower Hill Working Group, initiated formal negotiations with the Pittsburgh Penguins in early 2013. After close to 2 years of contentious negotiations, a final development deal has been reached by both sides, formally referred to as the Community Collaboration & Implementation Plan (CCIP).

Focused on improving economic disparities and gaining wins for Hill District residents and minority businesses, the agreement is a big win for the community. Councilman Lavelle’s goal, from the outset, was to ensure the site built ladders of opportunity for populations in need, a vision that focused on generational wealth building that was sustainable and community driven. The goals laid out by the CCIP agreement provide a framework through which the Greater Hill District, and the City of Pittsburgh at large, receive real benefits from the development activity on the 28 acres site.

Highlights from the plan include:

  • The highest MWBE participation goals in Pittsburgh’s history
  • Job opportunities for Hill District residents
  • Workforce development training programs
  • Provision of affordable housing
  • Support for the development of small businesses
  • Creation of a “Reinvestment Fund” to support development in the Greater Hill District   

With the CCIP document finalized and signed, the true hard work to make the vision a reality is set to begin. As Councilman Lavelle noted, the signing of the agreement was the 1st round of a 12 round fight. What it does is join the community, the developer (the Pittsburgh Penguins) and public partners (Government) at the hip, ensuring each is accountable to meet the goals laid out by the CCIP. The framework has been laid, the ladders of opportunity have been raised, and now all stakeholders come together with the community to build a stronger Hill District for all.

To access a copy of the CCIP agreement, please click here.

To access a summary of the CCIP’s focus areas, please click here.

To access a summary of the points of contention in the negotiations, and the final resolution in the CCIP, please click here

posted 9/19/14 @ 12:00 am

A policy priority for Councilman Lavelle is to provide ladders of opportunity to the residents of District 6 and the City of Pittsburgh as a whole. His goal is to ensure that disenfranchised populations have access to the tools and resources that allow them to build wealth and raise their families out of poverty. To further this end, the Councilman introduced in Council on September 9 “Pittsburgh Works”, an expansion of a local hiring bill by the same name that was originally implemented in 1999, whereby city residents with very low household incomes will be given opportunities for employment on city subsidized projects. 

The legislation introduced by Councilman Lavelle would expand upon the original 1999 bill, which requires that 35% of all work hours performed on city subsidized projects be performed by city residents. The new Pittsburgh Works includes additional language to provide opportunities to low-moderate income residents. Some of the main provisions include:

  • Definition of a disadvantaged worker: A person who, as of the date of hire to perform work on a covered construction project, has a household income at or below fifty-percent (50%) of area median income (AMI), or faces other barriers to employment, such as having prior involvement with the criminal justice system.
  • Continued requirement that 35% of all work hours be performed by city residents, with the additional requirement that 15% of all project work hours be performed by disadvantaged workers.
  • Require establishment of First Source Hiring Centers in low-moderate income census tracts to connect residents to training programs and employment opportunities.

Requiring that city subsidized projects provide economic opportunities for not only city residents, but also hard to employ city residents will increase their earning capacity, decrease levels of poverty, and increase the city’s tax revenue. 

With this infrastructure in place, and by defining disadvantaged workers and requiring their participation in city-subsidized projects, Pittsburgh has the opportunity to take a progressive, proactive approach to address the needs of its underserved community, truly ensuring that “Pittsburgh Works” for all.

For a copy of the “Pittsburgh Works” bill, please click here.

posted 9/10/14 @ 12:00 am
Pittsburgh Awarded Federal TIGER Grant for Lower Hill Infrastructure Development

Yet another piece of the Lower Hill District development puzzle has been completed.

On Tuesday, September 9, the US Department of Trasnportation awarded a $1.5 million TIGER grant to the Sport & Exhibition Authority for redevelopment of the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill District. The purpose of the federal grant is to fund the preliminary design of the "cap" that is to be built over the Crosstown Boulevard. 

The announcement sends a strong message that the US Department of Transportation (DOT) wants to partner with the City of Pittsburgh to redevelop the Lower Hill District. It is clear that the DOT is committed to the project for the long haul, and establishes a foundation from which we can continue the fight to secure the rest of the necessary funding to complete the multiyear project.

Councilman Lavelle noted that the grant is another step forward in reconnecting the Hill District to Downtown. When the Crosstown Boulevard was built, it severely severed the Hill from the Golden Triangle. The "cap" will provide the much needed connection between the Hill District community and Pennsylvania's second largest economic center, Downtown Pittsburgh. 

As future pieces of the larger puzzle come together, the development of the "cap" is sure to prove critical in attracting developers to the 28 acres Lower Hill District site. All of these victories are interconnected, and help to build momentum to fulfill a promise decades in the making: a redeveloped Lower Hill that strengthens the Greater Hill, the City of Pittsburgh, and the region. 

posted 9/09/14 @ 12:00 am
Free Northside Small Business Fair

Kiva City Pittsburgh, the URA of Pittsburgh, the Office of Councilman Lavelle and the Office of Mayor Bill Peduto are pleased to bring the Small Business Resource Fair to the North Side. Join us on Monday, September 8th to learn about neighborhood business grants, 0% and low interest loans, and other great opportunities for new and established small businesses. 

Staff of the City Department of Performance and Innovation will be available to help attendees use Google's "Get Your Business Online" program to create free, basic webpages at the event.  A limited number of computers will be available for this purpose, so please bring a laptop if you are able.

Location: Manchester Citizens Corporation, first floor
Address: 1319 Allegheny Ave., Pgh, PA 15233

Date: Monday, September 8, 2014
Time: 4:30pm to 7:00pm (stop by at your convenience)

RSVP: Not required but appreciated via facebook event

Questions can be directed to Quianna Wasler, Mainstreets Development Specialist, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh: or 412-255--6550.


posted 9/02/14 @ 12:00 am

On Wednesday, August 20, Zone 2 Police held the 2nd Annual Open House to celebrate Commander Holmes’s 2nd year as Commander.   The event was held to thank the community for their continual support of the Zone 2 Police, as well as to discuss public safety goals for the remainder of the year. 

Those who attended the Open House were given the opportunity to interact with Zone 2 Police Officers to foster a solid foundation for partnerships between all community members.  Also, the Open House provided tours of the Zone 2 station; and an opportunity to see a bomb technician truck, K-9 Unit, and a Mobile Police Command Center. 

posted 8/22/14 @ 12:40 pm
Councilman Lavelle Discusses Lower Hill Development Negotiations on WESA Interview

On Thursday, August 7, NPR - 90.5 WESA Essential Pittsburgh invited Councilman Lavelle and Marimba Milliones, Hill District Community Development Corporation CEO, to discuss the Lower Hill District redevelopment and the negotiations that have been taking place between the community and the Penguins.  With the October 31 option agreement deadline for developing the first parcel on the site, all parties involved have been in discussions to put a plan in place.

The interview with the Councilman and Ms. Milliones revolved around the community’s efforts to bolster the levels of minority inclusion in the development and the effort to raise the level of affordable housing on site.  To hear the full interview, with a Q/A session, please click here.


posted 8/15/14 @ 12:00 am
Community Block Party Held in Manchester Neighborhood

On Saturday, July 19th, the Office of Councilman Lavelle was proud to provide support to the Manchester Community Block Party hosted by the Manchester Citizens Corporation. Held at the Manchester Playground, the family friendly event featured games for kids, a bounce house, face-painting, a raffle and live music. Neighbors from Manchester and throughout the Northside came together in a strong showing of unity for the community. 

posted 7/21/14 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle Participates in Kaboom Playground Build at Weil Elementary

On Friday, June 20, the Hill District community came together to build a Kaboom! playground at Weil Elementary School. Kaboom! is a non-profit whose mission is to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities. The playground build at Weil was overseen by the Hill District Consensus Group, which worked hard to make the project a reality thanks to their fundraising and leadership efforts.

Councilman Lavelle joined the 200+ volunteers to assist in the building of the playground. It was an inspiring event that showcased the commitment of Hill District residents and stakeholders to improving their community by offering a safe, modern playspace for the children of the Hill. For photos of the event, please check out our photos page here.

posted 6/20/14 @ 12:00 am

A public rededication ceremony was held today to celebrate the reopening of the newly renovated Mellon Square park in Downtown Pittsburgh. The cremonies marked the completion of a $10 million restoration project that will reactivate the square for public use. 

With funding support from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, BNY Mellon, The Colcom Foundation, The Eden Hall Foundation and other corporate and private donors, the City of Pittsburgh is excited to see the completion of a project that brings Mellon Square into the new century. We encourage all to take the opportunity to visit the park.

For pictures of the park, visit our online photo album here.

posted 5/29/14 @ 12:00 am

The City of Pittsburgh and the Hill District community mourns the passing of one of its own, longtime community activist and volunteer Thelma Lovette, at the age of 98 years.

Mrs. Lovette was involved in every aspect of social development and civil rights in the Hill District. Having grown up on Wylie Ave and graduating from Schenley High School, Mrs. Lovette obtained a bachelor's and master's degrees in social work from the Universtiy of Pittsburgh. She became the first black social worker at Mercy Hospital and retired as supervisor of social workers after more than 15 years with the hospital.

Mrs. Lovette leaves behind a long and influential legacy of social involvment and community service. She was the first woman to serve on the YMCA's Board of Management, with the Hill District branch of the YMCA being named in her honor, the Thelma Lovette YMCA. 

Mrs. Lovette at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Thelma Lovette YMCA, 2012


posted 5/27/14 @ 12:00 am

A healthy community is a vibrant community!

This week marks the beginning of the Farmers Market season in Pittsburgh. Farmers markets offer residents a great opportunity to access fresh, locally sourced fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers and homemade goods. Following is a list of Farmers Markets located within District 6. For a full list of Farmers Markets throughout the city, click on the header link:

Downtown, City-County Building, Grant St: Every Friday, May 16 - Nov. 7, 10am - 2pm 

Downtown, Market Square: Every Thursday, May 15 - Oct. 30, 10am - 2pm

Northside, Allegheny Commons Park: Every Friday, May 16 - Nov. 21, 3:30pm - 7:30pm

posted 5/15/14 @ 12:00 am

An annual Pittsburgh tradition, the 28th EQT Pittsburgh International Children's Festival is being held in venues throughout the Cultural District Downtown. Part of the festivities include a giant sandbox, pop-up green space, and seven theater performances from around the world. 

The family friendly festival runs from May 14 - May 18. One of its newest attractions is the LilyPad Park, which has been set up at the corner of Eighth Street and Penn Avenue. The park is free to the public, and includeds artificial turf play areas, a community stage, hands-on activities and food vendors.

posted 5/14/14 @ 12:00 am
City Council Approves Amended Land Bank Bill

Land is an original source of material wealth. Communities which own and maintain control and oversight over their land are strong, sustainable communities. With the original introduction by Councilwoman Deb Gross of the Land Bank bill, and given that I represent one of the districts with the greatest number of properties eligible for land banking, I have since worked diligently to ensure that the community be inserted and involved in the process of land acquisition and disposition. 

On Monday, April 14, City Council approved an amended version of the Land Bank bill. I supported the changes to the legislation, which include key provisions that ensure greater protections to those communities most affected by the bill:

  • An expanded board of 9 members with stronger representation from the districts with the greatest number of land bank eligible properties
  • Greater protections for owner-occupants whose tax-delinquent properties would be eligible for land banking
  • Stronger language to define requirements for public notice and public participation in the disposition of properties from the land bank 
  • Provision requiring City Council approval for the disposition of land in the first four (4) years of the land bank

To view the original version of the bill, as presented by Councilwoman Gross, click here.
To view an amended version of the bill, written by Councilpersons Lavelle and Burgess, click here (this version was never formally introduced in Council).
To view the final version of the bill, passed by Council on April 14, click here.

posted 4/14/14 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle Visits Pittsburgh Art Institute

Councilman Lavelle was invited by the Pittsburgh Art Institute to take a tour of their facilities in their Downtown location at 420 Boulevard of the Allies. Led by Art Institute President George Sebolt, the Councilman was shown the facilities that house their 4 areas of study: Design, Media Arts, Fashion and Culinary Arts. Part of the discussions involved ways that the Art Institute has and can partner with non profit organization in the District 6 community to assist them with services their students can provide, whether it be via internships or semester projects. For more information on these opportunities, please contact our office at 412-255-2134.

posted 2/28/14 @ 12:00 am
Mentors Community Wealth Building Initiative Presented with $150k Donation for Job Training Program

Councilman Lavelle was present to welcome a $150,000 donation from Chevron to Mentors Community Wealth Building Initiative (MCWBI) job training program. 

Mentors Community Wealth Building Initiative, or MCWBI, connects people in hard-hit neighborhoods with energy careers, particularly in the region's natural-gas industry. The initiative is a mobile skills development program that can be implemented anywhere to reach people in their own neighborhoods. Organizers report the pilot year results are impressive with what they say is an unheard-of 90 percent placement rate in lucrative energy careers.

In exchange for an MCWBI scholarship, participants commit to: 40 hours of skills development; 80 hours of energy certification training; an intensive job-placement process in the region's oil and gas industry; and giving back by helping others take the same path they pursued.

So far, MCWBI participants have been hired at eight different energy companies and are generating a combined personal annual income of more $1 million per year, plus health benefits, for themselves and the Pittsburgh region's economy. MCWBI expects this to double in a few months as the initiative expands its neighborhood base.


posted 2/06/14 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle and Hill CDC Lead Group in Visit to Over the Rhine

On January 22, 2014 Councilman Lavelle, the Hill CDC and other community stakeholders, including Hill District community residents, went to Cincinnati, OH to visit a neighborhood called Over the Rhine. The purpose of the trip was to take away best practices used in the redevelopment of this area as a possible model to pursue in the redevelopment of the Lower Hill District 28 acre site. The Councilman and the group had the opportunity to meet with community residents, a local CDC and a few social service agencies, as they learned about the successes, issues and concerns each has faced in the redevelopment of Over the Rhine. Upon returning the group was able to debrief and set a plan of action moving forward to ensure that the community is involved in the redevelopment of the Lower Hill 28 acre site.


Lavelle and group from the Hill listen to Steve Leeper of Cincinnati 3CDC

posted 2/03/14 @ 12:00 am

The bedrock of a sustainable community is an economically stable community. To assist our residents in their search for employment, our office releases an Employment Opportunities Newsletter. To access the 2014 January edition of the employment newsletter, please click here.


posted 1/17/14 @ 12:00 am

Upon the announcement from the Manchester Citizens Corporation (MCC) in October of 2013 about the launch of Manchester Renaissance II, the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF) confirmed their support of the development project in the form of a $292,000 loan and an $80,000 grant. The funds will go towards the restoration of 1401 Columbus Ave and an additional property on Liverpool St. We are excited and honored to see the support from PHLF, and our office will continue to work closely with the MCC to ensure that this project continues the strong renewal efforts taking place in the Manchester community. 

For more information, click on the header for a link to an article from the PHLF newsletter on their funding support for Manchester Renaissance II.

Google Maps screen capture of 1401 Columbus Ave
Google Maps 


posted 1/02/14 @ 12:00 am
Fit in Six Co-Hosts 2013 Latino Heritage Cup with Mayor's Office and ALPFA

Under the Fit in Six Health and Wellness banner, the office of Councilman Lavelle looks to put together events that promote active and healthy lifestyles. Working together with the Mayor's Office of Youth Policy and ALPFA, the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, the District 6 office hosted the 2nd Annual Latino Heritage Cup, a 6 versus 6 soccer tournament held in the Schenley Oval at Schenley Park.

In addition to promoting healthy active lifestyles, the goal of the tournament was to highlight the diversity of cultures Pittsburgh has to offer by bringing together people from different backgrounds through sport. The Latino Heritage Cup is hosted every year during Hispanic Heritage Month, and this year's edition was attended by players from South America, Central America, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

A total of 12 teams participated, with the champions Barelona, made up of players from Mexico, defeating the Turkish-Iranian team Konya Spor on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw.  

Thanks go out to the participants, ALPFA and the Mayor's Office for making this year's tournament a success, as we look forward to the next edition in the fall of 2014.

2013 Latino Heritage Cup Champions Barcelona

posted 10/14/13 @ 12:00 am
Commander on Your Corner and Redd-Up Day Hosted in the Hill District

On Friday, September 6, Commander Holmes and the Zone 2 Police hosted a Meet Your Commander on Your Corner event in the Hill District. Pervious Commander meets had been held in Schenley Heights and Lawrenceville. In attendance were representatives from the Department of Public Works, the Bureau of Building Inspection, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s office, State Representative Wheatley’s office and Hill District residents and business owners. My office would like to give a huge thank you to the Department of Public Works for outsourcing resources to the Hill District on September 5th and 6th to address issues that Hill District constituents have brought to our attention by calling, writing, e-mailing or pointing out during the walk with the commander. These included service requests such as cutting overgorwn lots, picking up debris and painting crosswalks. We would also like to applaud Commander Holmes and his staff for taking the initiative to host such a productive event. 

This event would not have been possible without the residents and business owners that took advantage of such an opportunity. It was a great example of the positive work that can be accomplished when we all come together to work towards the common goal of improvement of our communities. Thank you all for your pariticpation, and we look forward to promoting similar events in the future.  

Commander Holmes speaks to residents


posted 9/17/13 @ 12:00 am
Councilman Lavelle Attends Mackey Lofts Ribbon Cutting in Uptown

On July 15, 2013, I had the opportunity to attend the dedication ceremony of the Mackey Lofts located at 1819 Forbes Avenue in Uptown. Thanks to Action Housing and many funders and lenders, this project went from a vision to a reality.

Several community leaders, members, elected officials, service partners and development team members gathered in the community room where there was much excitement for the big reveal. We made our way to the 5th Floor and walked into a beautiful, spacious loft. Mackey Lofts contains a total of 43 of such units, 18 of which are designed with certain accessibility features, and 10 of which are specifically designed for deaf and deaf-blind residents.

These lofts are a great addition to the community. Affordable housing units are also available, giving residents of all income levels the opportunity to live in a high end residence in a prime location between Downtown and Oakland. 

Those interested in the Mackey Lofts should contact Carol Kelly of Supportive Housing Management Services at 1-800-238-7555 for more information.

Councilman Lavelle at the Mackey Lofts ribbon cutting

posted 7/19/13 @ 12:00 am

Councilman Lavelle has introduced a proposed ordinance that would establish a vacant property registry for abandoned residential properties pending foreclosure. It targets the practice by banks of initiating foreclosure proceedings on the property owner until the point at which the property owner is driven from the home, and then the foreclosure is dismissed prior to a transfer of title. This practice creates a vacant and abandoned property where one did not exist before. A common scenario is that the bank drives away the responsible party who was maintaining the home but then fails to assume responsibility for the property itself. They have created an abandoned property which swiftly falls into disrepair which the City is then forced to suffer costs to address.  

The goal of the vacant property registry is to establish a blight prevention model that incentivizes banks to get their properties up to code, and to clarify property stewardship for abandoned properties that are pending foreclosure. It is intended to reduce and prevent neighborhood blight, to ameliorate conditions that threaten the health, safety and welfare of the public, to promote neighborhood stability and residential owner occupancy by preserving the condition and appearance of residential properties, and to maintain residential property values and assessments.  

Under the vacant property registry, creditors must adhere to the following:

1) When a foreclosing complaint is filed on a residential property, creditors are required to conduct regular exterior inspections of the property to determine whether it has been abandoned.

2) If the property has been abandoned, the creditor is required to register the property with the City of Pittsburgh. Registration shall continue annually until the property is no longer abandoned.

3) Upon registration, the creditor shall maintain the property to City Building Code standards. Duties include securing the property, cutting overgrown vegetation, and keeping the property clear of trash and debris.

The Councilman understands the proposed ordinance to be an important step in cleaning up vacant properties left decaying in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. By holding lender and mortgage servicers accountable for the maintenance of abandoned homes, properties can be saved from further deterioration, staunching one of the wounds that can lead to neighborhood blight. Mortgagees, the lenders who issued the mortgage, and mortgage servicers, the firms hired to manage the properties, are declared owners in the eyes of the law not only in cases where the foreclosure process has been completed, but also in cases where the property has been abandoned and foreclosure is incomplete.

(To review the ordinance, click the header link)

posted 7/09/13 @ 12:00 am

Office of Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle
414 Grant Street, 5th Floor | City County Building
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Telephone: 412-255-2134 | Facsimile: 412-255-0737

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