Urban Redevelopment Authority Board Set to Vote on Lead Service Line Replacement, Land Bank and Affordable Housing Initiatives Today

PITTSBURGH, PA (April 13, 2017) - The Board of Directors of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) is set to vote on four key initiatives today.  

Replace Old Lead Lines Program 

Today, the Board will vote on expanding its previously approved loan program for replacing lead service lines to make it even more affordable. 

At the March 9, 2017 meeting, the URA Board approved program guidelines for a new initiative – the Replace Old Lead Lines (ROLL) program, designed to help borrowers finance the costs of replacing private lead water service lines from the curb to the house. Today the board will vote to revise the initial program guidelines and provide a maximum borrower income limit of 150% area median income (AMI), an increase from the initial income limit proposal of 120% AMI.  

The work is intended to be coordinated with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority’s efforts to replace lead water lines that run from the service main under the street to the curb. Through coordination with the PWSA, the cost of the private work for homeowners and property owners would be reduced as PWSA would be responsible for the necessary digging and repairing of streets and sidewalks. 

The income limits by family size for 150% AMI are as follows: 

One person                 $74,800

Two persons               $85,500 

Three persons            $96,150 

Four persons              $106,800 

Five persons               $115,400 

Waivers of maximum borrower income could be considered under extenuating circumstances. 


Oakland Affordable Living Development 

Also today the URA Board will review the request for authorization and issuance of a Rental Housing Development and Improvement Program Loan to Quippa LP in the amount of up to $1,360,310 for the development of the Oakland Affordable Living (OAL) affordable housing development. The OAL development includes the preservation and rehabilitation of 24 existing rental units and the new construction of 25 rental units. The requested Authority loan funds will be used to cover a portion of the preservation and rehabilitation development work to the OAL development, currently known as Allequippa Place.   

Quippa LP was approved by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (“PHFA”) for an allocation of 2016 Low Income Housing Tax Credits (“LIHTC”).  PNC Multifamily Capital will provide the tax credit equity and the balance of the construction financing will be provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh through its Affordable Housing Program and a seller note being provided by Allequippa Place Associates. The developer has also applied to PHFA for 2017 PA Housing Affordability & Rehabilitation Enhancement/Realty Transfer Tax (“PHARE/RTT”) funds. The URA financing is contingent upon the developer receiving these funds and/or achieving cost reductions to the development. 

The OAL units will be affordable to households with incomes at or below 60% of the area median income (AMI.) Five (5) of the units will be targeted to households with incomes at or below 20% of AMI, 20 units will be reserved for households with incomes at or below 50% of AMI and 24 units will be reserved for households with incomes at or below 60% of AMI.  Six (6) units in the Wadsworth Street apartment building will be handicapped accessible.    


Homewood Comprehensive Community Plan 

Today the URA board will review a proposal to enter into a contract with Asakura Robinson Company, LLC to provide consulting services for the Homewood Comprehensive Community Plan, for an amount not to exceed $150,000.00. 

The Homewood Comprehensive Community Plan will serve as the basis for future planning activities, neighborhood design, and a framework for investment within the Homewood neighborhoods. It is intended that the plan will be formally adopted by the City Planning Commission and incorporated into the City’s Comprehensive Plan. The scope for the comprehensive plan will include planning gap analysis, an inventory of community assets, the development of community goals and objectives, and an implementation plan and metric evaluation system.   

The planning process for the Comprehensive Community Plan will be managed by the Department of City Planning (DCP) and led in partnership with the Homewood Community Development Collaborative (HCDC).


The Pittsburgh Land Bank 

The board will consider three separate resolutions today regarding the fiscal management and administrative services of the Pittsburgh Land Bank (PLB.)  

1) The transfer of $60,662.44 to the Pittsburgh Land Bank from Leased Land funds and the 2016 Heinz Endowments Grant 

At its November 12, 2015, meeting, this Board authorized entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pittsburgh Land Bank (the “PLB”) for a limited scope of administrative duties, including serving as fiscal agent for all contracting (Res. 319 of 2015). As fiscal agent, the URA has been holding and managing financial resources for the PLB since February 2016. As the PLB moves closer to independent day-to-day operations, the PLB has requested that the URA transfer the remaining monies that the URA has been holding on behalf of the PLB out of URA accounts and into PLB accounts. This transfer will enable the PLB to continue moving towards independent fiscal management. 

2) Amending Resolution No. 319 (2015) authorizing the URA to execute administrative duties of the PLB by replacing the term “Memorandum of Understanding” with the term “Memorandum of Agreement."  

3) A resolution amending the Memorandum of Agreement with the Pittsburgh Land Bank, dated February 12, 2016, to renew the term for one year, and to be further renewable for one year terms at the discretion of the Authority’s Executive Director.