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URA Board to Approve Over $850,000 for Affordable Housing Projects

Press Release
November 12, 2020

PITTSBURGH, PA (November 12, 2020) The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) Board of Directors will be voting to approve investing $856,864 to preserve and rehabilitate affordable housing in the Observatory Hill and East Hills neighborhoods at their regular board meeting this afternoon.

"Today the URA board will vote to authorize yet another investment in our communities - this time in Observatory Hill and East Hills. I want to thank the URA and City Council and our neighborhood organizations for their continued commitment to affordable housing for all. When we invest in these projects that are run by community organizations, we not only stabilize the physical structures and infrastructure in our neighborhoods and not only stabilize property values, but we also stabilize community values like pride, hard work, partnership and improving our communities that benefits all neighbors," Mayor William Peduto said.

The URA is expected to enter into financing agreements totaling $656,864 with Observatory Hill Development Corporation (OHDC) for the Bonvue Street redevelopment, better known as Bonvue Phase II, for the rehabilitation and resale of five single-family homes in the Observatory Hill neighborhood.

Financing includes:

  • Pittsburgh Housing Construction Fund (PHCF) loan in an amount up to $185,945
  • Housing Opportunity Fund For-Sale Development Program (FSDP) grant in an amount of up to $200,510
  • Pittsburgh Housing Construction Fund (PHCF) grant in an amount of up to $150,409
  • Housing Recovery Program – Developer (HRP-D) loan agreement in an amount of up to $120,000.

This is a continuation of OHDC efforts to revitalize the neighborhood and to expand affordable, owner-occupied opportunities.

“The emphasis for this project is neighborhood stabilization,” said URA Director of Residential & Consumer Lending Jessica Smith Perry. “These five houses were abandoned and in need of repair. By acquiring, rehabbing, and reselling them for homeownership, OHDC is strengthening property values in the neighborhood. At the same time, the URA second mortgages (HRP-D financing) will help make the homes affordable to first time homeowners.”

The URA Board will also vote to amend an existing Rental Housing and Improvement Development loan with Bry-Mard Apartment, Inc providing a $100,000 increase to preserve the Bry-Mard Apartments – a 36-unit affordable housing development for seniors and people with disabilities. The funding will be used to make needed capital repairs to the building, located at 8630 Bricelyn Street in the East Hills.

Additionally, CARES Act CDBG-CV funds may be available, pending City Council approval, specifically for HVAC improvements to increase air circulation quality and decrease potential for the spread of the disease in affordable housing communities. The URA is seeking authorization to enter into a Community Development Investment Fund grant in the amount of $100,000 with Rising Tide Partners, serving as development consultant for this stabilization effort, to manage and implement necessary HVAC improvements to the building.

“The URA thanks the Mayor and City Council for consideration of this funding that will allow us to help keep Pittsburgh residents in their homes and strengthen their neighborhoods, especially in these uncertain times,” said URA Executive Director Greg Flisram.

The URA Board of Directors virtual meeting will be held this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. More information can be found here.

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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