In 2017, city council passed legislation to create a $10 million Housing Opportunity Fund that has projects slated for 2019. Neighborhoods like Lawrenceville and Oakland have started Community Land trusts, which allow low-income citizens to purchase single-family homes.
Now, the state government has released $2 million in funds to the city of Pittsburgh, and that money will go to rehabbing 35 blighted properties and converting them into purchasable homes for low- and middle-income buyers.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto says he's thankful for Gov. Tom Wolf’s allocation.
“We are appreciative of the Governor's investment in western Pennsylvania,” said Peduto in a press release. “Opportunities like this provide not just the ability to address our affordable housing need, but additionally decreases urban blight in Pittsburgh. A partnership like this helps us ensure that Pittsburgh remains a city for all.”
The funding is coming from the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and will be administered by the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority. The URA plans to buy 35 vacant and abandoned properties and rehab them. Most of the properties will then be sold to buyers who are at or below 120 percent of area median income, or about $70,000 a year per household. The remaining nine homes will be reserved for buyers who make at or below 50 percent area median income ($29,000 a year per household).
Wolf said in a press release that affordable housing is one of the biggest issues of low-income Pennsylvanians and that providing affordable places to live is “an important step to ensure our residents have a high quality of life.”