PITTSBURGH, PA (June 16, 2021) The City of Pittsburgh and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) announced today Pittsburgh’s participation in the Housing Solutions Lab, a nationally-funded policy initiative for small and midsize cities to advance innovative, evidence-based solutions to address their pressing housing challenges.
The Housing Solutions Lab, led by an interdisciplinary team from the New York University Furman Center with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will help seven cities to plan, develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate promising local housing policies that advance equity and opportunity for Pittsburgh residents. While large coastal cities often receive the majority of policy attention for their housing challenges, the Housing Solutions Lab will focus on serving cities with populations between 5,000 and 500,000.
"The City of Pittsburgh is thankful for this great opportunity to have real discussions and think about real solutions for affordable housing with cities that have similar concerns, similar resources but unique local community needs and challenges,” said Mayor William Peduto. “We look forward to working with the six other cities to design equitable solutions so that all Pittsburghers can find and live in quality affordable housing.”
In order to foster shared learning and innovation among city leaders, one component of the Lab’s work will be to host housing policy peer networks with cities across the country. Pittsburgh was selected to participate in the inaugural group, which also includes Arlington, TX; Boulder, CO; Cleveland, OH; Jackson, MS; Oakland, CA; and Syracuse, NY.
The City and URA will be using this opportunity to use citywide data analysis and peer support to examine the historic and current context of affordable housing, vacant parcels and neighborhood development throughout Pittsburgh. This will allow them to design programs and solutions to meet the unique affordable housing needs of our communities.
“The City of Pittsburgh and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh are looking forward to furthering the work of housing equity in Pittsburgh in collaboration with the Housing Solutions Lab and our fellow cities through this innovative program,” said Jeremy Carter, Housing Opportunity Fund Consumer Programs’ Manager at the URA. “Pittsburgh has unique challenges and assets related to housing policy and equity including its complex history, geography, environmental factors and the housing stock and availability in our City. We have an incredible opportunity to work with and learn from other similar-sized cities on how to advance housing policy work that results in a more equitable and just Pittsburgh for all.”
“Through our first Housing Solutions peer network, we’ve gained incredibly valuable insights into the ways that small and midsize cities are tackling housing instability and a variety of other concerns, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Martha Galvez, Executive Director of the Housing Solutions Lab. “Working with Pittsburgh and the other network cities has helped lay the foundation for our new Housing Solutions Lab, which will take the next step to identify and share the most successful policy solutions that are steeped in values of racial equity, cross-sector collaboration, and elevating the voice of marginalized communities.”
The Housing Solutions Lab provides the following services to cities:
NYU Furman Center Media Contact:
About the NYU Furman Center: The NYU Furman Center advances research and debate on housing, neighborhoods, and urban policy. Established in 1995, it is a joint center of the New York University School of Law and the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. More information can be found at furmancenter.org and @FurmanCenterNYU.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: For more than 45 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working alongside others to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.