Office of Mayor William Peduto
Mayor William Peduto and HUD Secretary Julián Castro To Address Affordable Housing Crisis

PITTSBURGH, PA (December 15, 2015) Tomorrow, Mayor William Peduto and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will discuss local and federal efforts to provide affordable housing and revitalize high poverty communities, in an event hosted in Washington D.C. by the Center for American Progress.

The Secretary and the Mayor will be the lead speakers at the Wednesday morning event at the public policy organization’s headquarters, which comes the same day as the issuance of its report “An Opportunity Agenda for Renters: The Case for Simultaneous Investments in Residential Mobility and Low-income Communities.” The report will forward recommendations for helping families find decent and affordable housing, and supporting reinvestment in racially segregated and economically struggling neighborhoods.

Cities across the world are facing the challenge of balancing urban growth with providing affordable housing to all: low-income renters are particularly facing a dilemma, with nationwide studies showing there are only 28 affordable rental homes available for every 100 families seeking them, a shortage that keeps growing as investment in cities has intensified over the past decade.

In Pittsburgh, Mayor Peduto this year launched the Affordable Housing Task Force to study the best methods nationwide for supporting housing opportunities for all, tailored to the Pittsburgh market. Among other work the task force is currently in the process of seeking a qualified firm to do a needs assessment to gauge the supply and demand for affordable housing in the city.

In September Mayor Peduto and the Urban Redevelopment Authority created an Affordable Housing Fund for East Liberty in which a portion of the tax growth generated by developments in the East Liberty Transit Revitalization Investment District will be dedicated to affordable housing in the district. The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, in partnership with the Affordable Housing Task Force, is similarly studying the creation of a citywide affordable housing trust fund.

This summer Mayor Peduto also signed onto a resolution by the U.S. Conference of Mayors urging HUD, major banks and other owners of delinquent mortgages not to sell them to speculators but rather to nonprofits seeking to preserve homeownership and affordable housing.

“In Pittsburgh we’re rapidly learning how to manage growth instead of managing decline. It isn’t easy, and there are still neighborhoods struggling to recover from multiple decades of disinvestment, but we will find ways to make sure safe and affordable housing is available for all our residents, no matter where in the city they live,” Mayor Peduto said.

The Mayor’s travel costs to the Washington D.C. event are being covered by the organizers. No city tax dollars are being used.

The Center describes tomorrow's event this way:

“The severe and worsening inequality in the United States means that access to opportunity is often dependent on where a person lives. Yet due to a lack of available affordable housing and deeply rooted patterns of residential segregation, where people live depends in large part on their income, race, and ethnicity. Policies that promote residential mobility while also reinvesting in racially segregated and high-poverty neighborhoods are crucial for reducing inequality and promoting healthy communities.

The Center for American Progress is pleased to present a discussion of affordable and fair housing with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto. An expert panel will further explore these issues, with a particular focus on how to preserve affordable rental housing while also revitalizing neighborhoods, as well as strategies to address the rental affordability crisis that are outlined in a report the Center will release on December 16.”

More information as well as a link to a live stream of the 10 a.m. Wednesday event is available here.

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