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First Major Dollars From Housing Opportunity Fund Dispensed

Action Housing will renovate 74 single-room units at the YMCA on Centre Avenue in the Hill District to provide affordable housing.

The first major allocation of money from the Housing Opportunity Fund was approved Thursday. The loans will go towards more than 200 affordable housing units.

The money comes through the Housing Opportunity Fund’s Rental Gap Program, which opened for applications last month. It supports construction and renovation of affordable housing throughout the city, specifically for households at or below 30 and 50 percent of area median income.

The Hill District YMCA on Centre Avenue sold its single-room units to Action Housing to renovate them. Action Housing will be issued $600,000 to renovate 74 single-room units for low-income men at the YMCA. Renovations needed include new air conditioning units, kitchens, and elevators. Rent in the building is around $380 a month.

In Squirrel Hill, 151 units of affordable senior housing at Riverview Towers will be preserved and redeveloped. The Housing Opportunity Fund will provide $400,000 for that project. The rest of the $1.5 million comes from the URA itself through its Housing Development and Improvement Program Funds, and the assumption of existing URA debt. 

Loans for both projects will be given a 35-year term and zero percent interest rate.

Applications for the Rental Gap funding program from the Housing Opportunity Fund are being accepted on a rolling basis.