In major move for Pittsburgh's affordable housing world, 14 AHRCO properties sold
One of Pittsburgh’s largest and oldest private affordable housing providers has sold 14 properties — consisting of more than 1,300 apartments — to a New Jersey-based affordable housing owner and developer.
Allegheny Housing Rehabilitation Corporation, known as AHRCO, owns properties in the Hill District, Oakland, Homewood, the North Side, West Mifflin, Rankin and elsewhere; the sale includes all AHRCO properties.
The purchase price was not disclosed.
New owner NB Affordable pledged to invest more than $10 million in the properties.
“We knew that with the right partner, we could preserve affordability while protecting our tenants and employees,” Lara Washington, president of AHRCO, said in a written announcement about the sale.
“Now more than ever, we need to prioritize the accessibility and preservation of affordable housing in our country,” Fredrick Schulman, NB Affordable’s founder, said in a press release. “We couldn’t be more excited to establish a presence in Western Pennsylvania and work tirelessly to combat the lack of affordable housing in this region.”
The move has been approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Housing Assistance Payment contracts were transferred to “new ownership entities,” according to a HUD official.
The properties are privately owned but receive federal subsidies to house low-income tenants.
It’s still unclear exactly what the sale will mean, said Carl Redwood, a longtime local housing activist and board chairman of the Hill District Consensus Group.
“What’s clear is there is a great need for housing that’s affordable for low-income families,” he said, adding that the properties could provide it “if properly managed.”
Redwood said he wanted to know if there were any requirements or conditions attached to the sale about a timeline for continued affordability for tenants; HUD could not immediately answer that question.
AHRCO’s history dates to the late 1960s; it was one of the first Black-owned subsidized housing property managers in the nation.
When word of a potential sale was reported several years ago, a number of local housing advocates and elected officials expressed concerns about what that might mean for tenants and worries about potential displacement.
AHRCO has previously faced complaints from tenants about conditions in their apartments.
NB Affordable was founded in 2020.