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Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh Celebrates 100 Individuals and Families Supported in Purchasing Homes through OwnPGH

Press Release
April 25, 2024

PITTSBURGH, PA (April 25, 2024) The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) announced today it recently closed on the 100th grant for its OwnPGH Homeownership Program (OwnPGH).

The OwnPGH program, made possible through a $15,625,000 American Rescue Plan Act allocation from the City of Pittsburgh, provides up to $90,000 of financing, in the form of a grant, to homebuyers seeking to purchase a home within City of Pittsburgh limits. Eligible participants must have a household income at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI).

Since launching in January 2023, the URA has provided $5,520,000 total in financing to 100 recipients, with an average household income of $48,030. Of the recipients, 75 percent were women and 60 percent were Black individuals. 46 of the homebuyers were new residents to the City of Pittsburgh.  

One of the new, proud homeowners is Dany Ricci. Ricci was the 100th OwnPGH recipient with a $60,000 grant to purchase a home in East Liberty from City of Bridges Community Land Trust, after years of renting. Ricci additionally received $7,500 through the Housing Opportunity Fund’s Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program.

“I never thought that homeownership was possible for me; having worked in various administrative positions in social services and nonprofits for the last 12 years, I generally assumed that buying houses was for doctors and lawyers and people with PhDs and 401(k)s,” Ricci said after their closing day. “Purchasing my own home feels like a mini miracle - something I'd always dreamed of but assumed was never going to be in the cards for me. Having a house of my own makes all kinds of other life goals feel attainable — being able to be financially secure, increasing my education and building generational wealth, and not having to sacrifice stability for working in fields that I believe in.”

“We are creating a city where all residents that call Pittsburgh home can have a stake in ownership opportunities,” Mayor Ed Gainey said. “It shouldn’t just be an aspiration to buy a home and build generational wealth for your family. Now, it's possible. I thank the Biden Administration for providing federal resources for us to do this work and I thank the URA and our bank partners for providing access to affordable housing and building a better quality of life for our residents, many who are in underserved populations. Together we are building a sense of belonging, stability, security and wealth for Pittsburgh families.”

“We are tremendously encouraged by the success of this program. It has created a tangible pathway to homeownership for many who thought that homeownership was completely out of reach,” Alicia Majors, URA homeownership manager, said. “We are grateful to our partners at First Commonwealth Bank, SSB Bank, Dollar Bank and S&T Bank. We wouldn’t have been able to implement this program without them providing first mortgages, along with support and guidance to the homebuyers, many of whom are buying a home for the first time.”  

“We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone with the URA,” said Joe Tomaceski, Vice President, residential community lending manager at First Commonwealth Bank. “This type of work is the very reason that community banks exist. Each of the 100 homeowners deserve the opportunity to build generational wealth. We couldn’t be happier for each of them, and are looking forward to creating more homeownership opportunities throughout Pittsburgh.”

The OwnPGH program also provides grants to developers for the new construction or rehabilitation of single-family homes that will be sold affordably to homebuyers at or below 80% of the AMI. The URA expects to expend all OwnPGH funds by the end of 2024.

OwnPGH Homeownership Program information, including AMI limits and instructions for applying, can be found online here.



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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