Office of Mayor William Peduto
Affordable Housing Task Force Forwards Draft Recommendations
Recommendations include initiatives to protect current low-income homeowners and renters, and efforts to develop future affordable housing opportunities

PITTSBURGH, PA (April 27, 2016) The Affordable Housing Task Force co-chaired by City Planning Director Ray Gastil and Councilman Daniel Lavelle has released draft recommendations to support housing opportunities throughout Pittsburgh. The initiatives come after months of work by the Task Force and citywide feedback sessions with residents, and will be considered by City Council and the Mayor.

The initial initiatives include plans for a citywide housing trust fund; incentive-based inclusionary housing requirements on developments receiving public subsidy; expansion of existing low income housing tax credits; preserving deed-restricted affordable housing; and efforts to protect rental and for-sale properties for existing homeowners and tenants.

Councilman Lavelle introduced legislation creating the Task Force in January 2015, which was signed by Mayor William Peduto in February 2015. The task force was empaneled that May.

Today’s release of initial recommendations comes after a year of work by the Task Force and its committees, as well as five community forums in March and early April. The Task Force is poised to describe its work at a City Council Post-Agenda session on Thursday.

Five community engagement sessions were held at the American Legion in Sheraden; the Knoxville Lifespan Resource Center in Knoxville; the National Association of Letter Carriers in California-Kirkbride; the Kingsley Association in Larimer; and the Hill House Association in the Hill District.

A post-agenda session Thursday will provide the public an opportunity to discuss the recommendations directly with City Council, which expects to deliberate on the recommendations in May.

“Every resident of Pittsburgh, especially those struggling with low incomes, should have the opportunity to be part of our city’s growth. At the same time, they shouldn’t become victims of it,” Mayor Peduto said. “The Affordable Housing Task Force has listened to residents citywide, and heard loud and clear their thoughts on housing issues, which change from neighborhood to neighborhood. It is city government’s job to protect the needs of all its residents and neighborhoods, and these recommendations will help us ensure that a basic need -- shelter -- can be protected and provided for all.”

The initial recommendations are focused around five areas to ensure all residents share in Pittsburgh’s growth, and to encourage responsible development of affordable housing. It calls for establishing:

  1. $10 million Housing Trust Fund. An annual $10 million Housing Trust Fund may be established through the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, including oversight by both a governing and advisory board. The fund would target raising $10 million annually and follow the similar Trust Fund the URA established for East Liberty in September 2015.   

  1. Incentive-based inclusionary housing requirements. Incentive-based inclusionary housing requirements may be established on all developments of 25 units or more receiving public subsidy. Initial recommendations would include housing for households at 50% area median income (AMI) for rental units, and 80% AMI for home ownership.

  1. Expanded usage of the 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit. An Expanded usage of the 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit could support new affordable housing construction, as well as rehabilitation of existing housing stock.

  1. Programs to monitor deed-restricted affordable housing. Programs could be created to monitor deed-restricted affordable housing that is set to return to market, and preserve their affordability.

  1. Programs to support existing affordable housing stock. Programs to support existing affordable housing stock -- both rental and for-sale -- could be used in all city neighborhoods, through initiatives including controls over reassessment spikes; the Rental Registration ordinance; just cause eviction protections and notification requirements for tenants of developments receiving direct public subsidy; and other tenant protection and relocation assistance initiatives.

A fuller explanation of the Task Force’s initial recommendations is available here.

A website describing the Task Force’s work is here.

 

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