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PITTSBURGH, PA (July 10, 2019) New affordable housing units are coming to the Hill District and Lincoln-Lemington through resolutions going before the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh board this week, as well as a program to help landlords offer more options to low-income renters.
In Lincoln-Lemington-Belmar, the Housing Opportunity Fund is seeking approval of a $650,000 loan agreement to support the creation of 54 units of affordable housing at the former Lemington Home for the Aged. The project will create a mixed-use development including 54 one-bedroom-units of senior housing with complimentary commercial uses coupling housing and health.
The building at 1625 Lincoln Avenue was developed in 1982 as a nursing home, but has sat vacant since going into foreclosure over a decade ago. The redevelopment plan includes the replacement of all major building systems and various site enhancements – additional on-site parking and improved stormwater management.
The Housing Opportunity Fund is also seeking approval from the board for a Small Landlord Fund, which will provide financing for 1 to 5-unit buildings for upgrades to make them eligible for Section 8 Housing Quality Standard inspections.
The federal Housing Choice Voucher program (also known as Section 8) is a great resource for much-needed affordable housing in which low-income households pay 30% of their monthly income for apartment units, with the federal government paying the difference for monthly rent. Unfortunately some 70% of such households in the city cannot find private apartments for use with the vouchers since many units do not meet federal inspection standards.
The proposed Landlord Fund – capitalized by a $500,000 loan from the PNC Foundation – would provide loans of up to $20,000 per unit for landlords to upgrade their properties and bring more Section 8-eligible apartments into the affordable housing market.
In the Upper Hill, the board will consider acquiring 21 tax-delinquent and largely vacant properties to assist the Amani Christian Development Corporation and Catalyst Communities, LLC, turn them into a proposed affordable residential townhome development. The properties are on Herron Avenue, Milwaukee Street, Bryn Mawr Road and Ossipee Street.
The URA board meets Thursday afternoon.