PITTSBURGH, PA (March 10, 2016) The board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh is set to vote today on expanding a city purchase and rehabilitation homeownership program, and a housing revitalization project in Observatory Hill.
The neighborhoods eligible for the URA’s Community Acquisition and Rehabilitation Loan (CARL) program would more than double under one proposal set for the board’s authorization. Through CARL, a program offered in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, participating lenders originate loans for purchase and rehabilitation for homeownership, and the URA provides loan guarantees that enable borrowers to receive loans with only 5 percent equity and no mortgage insurance.
The program was established in late 2014 as a pilot program with 27 census tracts in 21 city neighborhoods, but program utilization has been slow. Based upon feedback from PCRG, participating lenders and community groups, the board is poised today to add another 32 census tracts to the program. With the change, 42 neighborhoods and 59 census tracts will be eligible.
“Homeownership is one of the bedrocks for building and maintaining healthy neighborhoods, and the changes to this program should strengthen our support of neighborhood revitalization across the entire city,” Board Chairman Kevin Acklin said.
Another housing revitalization project is on the board’s agenda for Observatory Hill, targeting the neighborhood’s struggling Bonvue Street.
The URA plans to support work by the Observatory Hill Development Corporation and the Northside Leadership Conference to renovate vacant properties on the street and sell them to owner-occupants, in an effort to address nuisance properties, foreclosed properties and drug-related violence there.
Under the proposal the URA would provide $400,000 in grants and loans, plus up to $150,000 in deferred second mortgage loans to make the houses more affordable.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Chief Communications Officer
Urban Redevelopment Authority
City of Pittsburgh
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