© 2022 90.5 WESA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Contact 90.5 WESA with a story idea or news tip: news@wesa.fm

URA Approves Landmark Affordable Housing Fund For Pittsburgh

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
The former Penn Plaza site, now demolished, once housed mostly low-income residents. The Urban Redevelopment Authority says they'll use $10 million from the city of Pittsburgh to create and preserve affordable housing in the region.

In 2016, the city's Affordable Housing Task Force concluded Pittsburgh had a shortage of at least 15,000 low income units. 

On Thursday, the Urban Redevelopment Authority approved two significant funds to combat this issue.

The city of Pittsburgh agreed to provide $10 million a year to the URA to preserve and create affordable housing by funding projects that address the need. This agreement will last for 12 years.

URA Chairman Kevin Acklin said the money will mostly come from raising the Realty Transfer Tax by 0.5 percent.

"We made the hard votes, which were not easy, anytime you talk about taxation is difficult" Acklin said. "But we're dedicating this in a long-term manner to make sure our investments in affordable housing in the city are strategic."

The fund will invest in programs such as those that promote permanent affordability, prevent or reduce homelessness and increase accessibility to affordable housing for seniors and people with disabilities. A timeline for when money will go to these groups has not been released.

The URA also approved the creation of an Affordable Housing Fund for Upper Lawrenceville, which the Authority will manage.

Kathleen J. Davis covers news about just about anything at WESA. She’s also the primary reporter and producer of WESA’s weekly series Pittsburgh Tech Report. Kathleen originally hails from the great state of Michigan, and is always available to talk about suburban Detroit and Coney Island diners. She lives in Bloomfield.
WESA will be surveying Pennsylvania candidates for federal and state office for the 2022 general election — tell us which issues are most important to you.