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Housing

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

State Rep. candidate Aerion Abney says weak political will is hindering affordable housing at former Civic Arena site

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2018 at 5:06 PM

Aerion Abney - PHOTO COURTESY OF AERION ABNEY
  • Photo courtesy of Aerion Abney
  • Aerion Abney
On May 1, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported how the Pittsburgh Penguins failed to acquire robust affordable-housing tax credits to help create ambitious affordable-housing plans for the proposed redevelopment of the former Civic Arena site in the Lower Hill District.

The development has long been proposed and community groups have wanted the large-scale development to follow the master plan created by the Hill District Consensus Group. This plan asked that the development set aside 30 percent of its units to be affordable for people at and below 50 percent of the area median income. A deal brokered in November 2017 didn’t meet those guidelines, but the Penguins did agree to have 20 percent of the units be affordable for people at or below 60 percent of the area median income.

However, with the failure in acquiring the tax credits, the Penguins are now indicating the November 2017 affordable-housing requirements may be in jeopardy. The P-G reports the Penguins organization and its developer, McCormack Baron, “are looking to revert back to the deal originally negotiated with Hill leaders — 20 percent of the units affordable to households earning 60 to 80 percent.” The Penguins failed to received the 9 percent tax credits, but can still apply for 4 percent tax credits.


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