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Housing Opportunity Fund Issues More Than $580,000 In Development Loans

Lindsay Lazarski

Hundreds more affordable housing units stand to benefit from the Housing Opportunity Fund following Thursday’s advisory board vote.

Three awards have already been granted for the HOF’s Rental Gap Program, which issues no-interest loans to developers to create and support housing for low-income residents.

Two other loans were approved by the board and are headed to the City’s Urban Redevelopment Authority for final approval. The first is in the amount of $380,000 for the redevelopment of Wood Street Commons in the Central Business District. The property consists of 259 single room units for low-income adults, and also offers social services.

The loan would allow a new sprinkler system to be installed, install additional security cameras, and make other improvements.

Another agreement being recommended by the advisory board is a loan of up to $200,000 for Parkview Manor in Oakland. Parkview Manor offers 15 units for seniors and people with disabilities. The loan would complete necessary renovations and repairs including replacing the roof, shared hot water tank, and windows throughout the building.

Nearly $4 million is designated for the Rental Gap Program.

At its meeting next week, the URA board will also consider agreements with six non-profit organizations which will administer the Homeowner Assistance Program. This program provides financial and technical assistance for rehabilitating and improving owner-occupied properties throughout the city for eligible borrowers. It will provide zero percent loans and grants to assist low-income individuals with its $2 million allocation.

More than 70 homes stand to benefit from the Homeowner Assistance Program.

The Housing Opportunity Fund was enacted by Pittsburgh City Council in 2016 and is funded annually with $10 million in real estate transfer taxes.