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HOF: Affordability Advancing

July 2018 Newsletter

On June 19, Pittsburgh City Council approved the Mayor’s appointment of a 17-person Advisory Board Committee to help administer the city’s new Housing Opportunity Fund (HOF) in conjunction with the URA Board of Directors. The HOF will help support the development and preservation of affordable and accessible housing in the city.

The HOF was legislated in 2016 and funded via a Council Resolution in December 2017. The city will authorize the assignment of $10,000,000 per year to the URA, for a period of 12 years, to implement HOF activities.

The HOF was created as a direct result of work completed by the city’s Affordable Housing Task Force. In 2015 and 2016, the city commissioned an Affordable Housing Task Force to study the availability of and the need for affordable housing in the city. The Task Force identified a shortage of approximately 15,000 units available to households that earn less than 30% of the Area Median Income (“AMI”) in the city. The HOF will enable the city to fund development gaps for affordable rental and for-sale housing to help address this shortage. It will also provide funding for homeownership training, down payment assistance for purchasing homes, homeless prevention, and other needed assistance.

URA staff will work with the Advisory Board and URA Board to start deploying the HOF. The funds will be used to help households at or below 30% AMI, 50% AMI, and 80% AMI. Currently in the City of Pittsburgh, 30% AMI for a household of four is $22,800; 80% AMI for a household of four is $60,800.

“The URA is very excited to manage this fund and provide quality, affordable housing options for Pittsburgh’s citizens,” said Jessica Smith Perry, URA housing deputy director.

“Throughout summer 2018, policies and procedures will be drafted for the fund and an annual allocation plan will be drafted. There will also be public meetings in Pittsburgh’s communities describing the fund. The URA looks forward to creating a Pittsburgh that is affordable to everyone.”

The first HOF Advisory Board meeting is from 9:00-11:00 a.m. on July 13, in the Wherrett Memorial Board Room, 13th floor, 200 Ross Street, Downtown. The HOF Advisory Board meetings are open to the public.

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