Office of Mayor William Peduto
Mayor William Peduto and Urban Redevelopment Authority Announce Affordable Housing Fund For East Liberty
PITTSBURGH, PA (Sept. 10, 2015) Mayor William Peduto today announced a plan to fund affordable housing in East Liberty, including for those possibly displaced by the proposed redevelopment of Penn Plaza, through a collaboration with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA).
The URA board is set to vote today to advance Phase II of the East Liberty Transit Revitalization Investment District (ELTRID), in order to leverage new projects to fund public infrastructure within the district, including a proposed new transit stop and ped/bike bridge at Larimer. Hunt Armory in Shadyside and the publicly-owned Mellon’s Orchard South are some of the parcels within the district. The Peduto Administration and URA are requesting to dedicate a portion of the tax increment generated by redeveloping these parcels to fund affordable housing in the East Liberty TRID boundary.
“There is much to celebrate in the re-growth of East Liberty, but it cannot be at the expense of longtime residents of the neighborhood who lived through the difficult times. As this neighborhood and others like it across Pittsburgh grow we have to find new ways to invest in affordable housing for residents and their families,” Mayor Peduto said.
This summer the owners of the 300-unit Penn Plaza apartments in East Liberty notified residents -- many of them with low or moderate incomes -- that their leases were not being renewed to make way for redevelopment of the site. Mayor Peduto reached an agreement with the owners to delay the move and provide elected officials, the owners and the community more time to negotiate the redevelopment. Additionally, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff and URA Board Chairman Kevin Acklin has been holding weekly meetings with residents to discuss their concerns.
The administration is working with the URA, City Council and others to find ways to ensure all residents can stay in their home neighborhoods, even when they are experiencing growth and increased prices. To that end the Mayor’s Affordable Housing Task Force has been working to study the best methods in cities nationwide to assure all our residents have affordable housing.
In East Liberty, the URA is also looking at the Mellon’s Orchard South site, just a block away, as a partial solution to the Penn Plaza displacement. It is envisioned that the Mellon’s Orchard development would be mixed-use and mixed-income.
Upon URA board approval, the real estate taxes increment generated from ELTRID projects would be split 70/30 with 70 percent going to support projects within the TRID and the remaining 30 percent going to the three taxing bodies. The taxing bodies would also continue to receive the current base taxes. An estimated $500,000 - $1,000,000 in proceeds from the redevelopment of the Hunt Armory, which is within the ELTRID boundary, could be allocated for affordable housing and way-finding and pedestrian enhancements from transit amenities.
After full build-out and once all applicable tax abatements expire, the projects could generate approximately $1.8 million in tax increment annually.
Upon URA board approval, next steps will include community meetings and seeking approvals from the three taxing bodies. The URA board of directors meets this afternoon at 2 p.m. in the Wherrett Room at 200 Ross Street, Downtown.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
City of Pittsburgh
Chief Communications Officer
Urban Redevelopment Authority
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