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Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh Announces Affordable Housing Bond Spending Plan to Address City's Housing Challenges

Press Release
April 3, 2024

Pittsburgh, PA (April 3, 2024) The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) is proud to announce its comprehensive Affordable Housing Bond Spending Plan, which aims to tackle the city's pressing affordable housing challenges. With a focus on inclusivity, sustainability, and community collaboration, the URA's spending plan outlines key targets and initiatives that will have a lasting impact on Pittsburgh's housing landscape. 
 
"The Affordable Housing Bond Spending Plan is not just an investment; it's a promise fulfilled to ensure that every Pittsburgh resident, especially those in our most vulnerable populations, has access to safe, affordable housing," said Mayor Ed Gainey. "This initiative embodies our commitment to making good on that promise and creating a city where everyone can thrive. The impact of this plan will be deeply felt by our communities, contributing to their vibrancy and inclusivity. It's a reflection of our shared values and determination to build a brighter future for all." 
 
"We are grateful for the collaboration and support of our stakeholders, including community organizations, developers, financial institutions, and city officials," added Council President R. Daniel Lavelle. "Together, we will work towards a future where affordable housing is not just a goal but a reality for all Pittsburgh residents." 

Key targets and initiatives outlined in the URA Affordable Housing Bond Spending Plan include: 

Unit Production Target: 

The URA is conservatively estimating the creation or preservation of approximately 1,000 affordable rental or for-sale housing units in the first three years.   

Area Median Income Targets: 

  • 50% of funds benefit families and individuals at or below 30% of AMI. 
  • 25% of funds benefit families and individuals at or below 50% of AMI. 
  • 25% of funds support homeownership opportunities for families and individuals at or below 80% of AMI.

Preferences and Priorities: 

Priority will be given to projects: 

  • with long-term affordability of 40 years or more, with a preference given to projects with permanent affordability.  
  • that maximize other relevant public and private financing sources (such as tax credits, private debt, and other tools) and that commit to deeper affordability by utilizing the Housing Choice Voucher Program offered by the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP).  
  • with creative homeownership models, including limited equity cooperatives and other social housing concepts.
  • that offer larger family-sized units with three bedrooms or more. 

Anti-displacement Measures: 

  • Preservation of existing affordable housing to prevent net loss in affordability 
  • Replacement housing built first or phased to minimize disruptions for residents 

Design Targets: 

  • Accessibility targets for individuals with mobility and sensory impairments 
  • Meeting visitability and Universal Design standards for all projects 

The URA's Affordable Housing Bond Spending Plan prioritizes responsible financial management, community input, and measurable outcomes. It’s important to note that this plan is preliminary. The URA is ready to adapt and evolve as the needs within the affordable housing landscape change in the coming years and will work diligently to ensure the efforts result in meaningful and sustainable solutions. Stakeholder engagement will continue to play a vital role in shaping and refining these initiatives as they are implemented.   

"The Affordable Housing Bond Spending Plan represents a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts to create a more equitable and affordable housing market in Pittsburgh," said Quianna Wasler, the URA's Chief Housing Officer. “We are committed to leveraging these funds responsibly and strategically to benefit our residents, both now and in the future." 

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About the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) 
The URA is the City of Pittsburgh's economic development enterprise. We are committed to building a prosperous and equitable economy for all of Pittsburgh. We help bridge public and private interests to invest in meaningful, equitable developments that promote housing affordability, economic mobility, entrepreneurship, and neighborhood revitalization. Our work creates and sustains quality jobs, thriving neighborhoods, healthy communities, and sustainable businesses for the benefit of all Pittsburghers. 

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