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Pittsburgh Land Bank and PWSA Announce Agreement to Help Streamline Community Development on Blighted Properties

Press Release
January 11, 2022

PITTSBURGH, PA (January 11, 2022) The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) announced today that the Pittsburgh Land Bank (PLB) and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the clearance of PWSA liens. The MOU does not in itself clear any outstanding PWSA liens of properties owned by the PLB, or any properties that will be owned by the PLB, but it provides a framework for clearing these liens in the future.

“This is encouraging news for the PLB,” said PLB Executive Director Dr. Diamonte Walker. “This will greatly assist the PLB in making vacant, abandoned and tax delinquent properties available for small scale development, which also presents the possibility of adding these properties back to the tax rolls and PWSA's ratepayer base.”

The URA and PLB work closely together pursuant to an operating agreement where the URA provides in-kind support to the PLB. This MOU will allow the PLB to start submitting batches of requests to the PWSA for satisfaction of liens on PLB-owned properties. This will expedite the quiet title process, making it easier and cheaper to convey properties from the PLB to the selected end users of the properties. An easier and less expensive process makes the difficult work of neighborhood-scale development economically viable.

“We are excited to partner with the PLB to facilitate the process of bringing blighted properties back to life,” stated Will Pickering, PWSA’s chief executive officer. “The MOU provides a structure to balance community-driven redevelopment priorities with long-term PWSA goals that will restore these properties for the benefit of our communities and ratepayers.”

The PLB Board of Directors authorized the MOU on October 8, 2021. The PWSA Board of Directors authorized the MOU on October 22, 2021. The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission approved the MOU on December 15, 2021.


About the Pittsburgh Land Bank (PLB)
The Pittsburgh Land Bank, an affiliate of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), returns unproductive Real Property to beneficial reuse through an equitable, transparent, and public process, revitalizes neighborhoods to strengthen the City’s tax base and supports socially and economically diverse communities. 

About the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA)
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is the largest combined water, sewer and stormwater authority in Pennsylvania, serving 300,000 consumers throughout the City of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.

About the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA)
The URA is the City of Pittsburgh's economic development agency, supporting the City’s economic development goals, which are designed to create a city of inclusive opportunity for residents, stakeholders, and communities. The URA is committed to creating more housing that is affordable to the average Pittsburgher; encouraging more entrepreneurship and small business development; promoting inclusive growth and quality job creation; expanding neighborhood and main streets revitalization efforts; and developing a talented workforce that is equipped with the skills of the future.

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