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Building Innovation is a collection of stories by 90.5 fm WESA reporters about the Pittsburgh region focusing on efficient government operation, infrastructure and transportation, innovative practices, energy and environment and neighborhoods and community.

Restoration Begins On Historic Wilkinsburg Housing

Falconhurst Development broke ground on an $11.5 million multi-site restoration and new construction project in Wilkinsburg on Monday.

Scheduled to open in 2016, the development will include four long-vacant buildings erected at the turn of the century and a set of new townhouses in and around the Hamnett Place neighborhood, which is listed on the National Historic Registry. The development is led by Landmarks Development Corporation, a real estate arm of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.

The housing is considered “affordable housing” and will be priced under HUD designation depending on size, occupancy and income.

“The importance of affordable housing, not just in Wilkinsburg, really, but across the Commonwealth is becoming a greater and greater issue that we need to solve as rental rates increase,” said Michael Sriprasert, president of the Landmarks Development Corporation. “And people's incomes aren’t increasing at nearly the same rate.”

There's already a waiting list for the 33 new units, Sriprasert said. 

Funding for the development will combine historic tax credits with low income tax credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and Allegheny County.

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