Affordable Housing

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Planning Commission voted to approve a preliminary land development plan to build office and retail space at the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty, which is owned by LG Realty Advisors.

Commissioners approved the plan on Tuesday, after nearly five hours of deliberation and public comment from close to 40 speakers, the majority of whom opposed the project. They used their allotted three minutes to call for affordable housing and to critique the community outreach process.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Randall Taylor and Jessica McPherson volunteer with Penn Plaza Support and Action, an advocacy group fighting to rebuild affordable housing at the site of the former Penn Plaza Apartments in East Liberty. 

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Development on the old Civic Arena site was not selected for federal tax credit financing this year, which may change how many units are available on the 28-acre site.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

On the tails of the 4th annual P4 conference, Mayor Bill Peduto on Friday unveiled details of a fund called OnePGH, that will finance eight goals related to making the city a more equitable, sustainable place by 2030.

Keith Srakocic / AP

People trickled into the Spirit of Pittsburgh ballroom at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Wednesday night for the opening of the city’s annual meeting on P4, a decision-making framework that prioritizes people, place, planet and performance to ensure development is equitable and sustainable.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

The specter of rising housing costs in the neighborhood of Hazelwood is prompting Pittsburgh City Council to consider reserving some publicly owned property for use as affordable housing.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

At a charged public meeting Monday night, residents decried a plan to build retail and office space at the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty, once home to more than 200 low-income and elderly people. 

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

The Fair Housing Act passed 50 years ago Wednesday as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

Lawmakers enacted the legislation just one week after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. as riots flared in Pittsburgh and other cities. It was intended to protect buyers and renters from discrimination based on race, color, disability, religion, sex, familial status or national origin.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

The rate of Pittsburgh renters facing eviction judgments is lower than state and national averages, according to new data analysis by the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. But many displaced tenants never make it to the courtroom.

Developers of the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty made their first presentation Tuesday to the Pittsburgh Planning Commission since that body rejected its development plan more than a year ago. That deal included a mixed-use development anchored by a Whole Foods, which has since pulled out.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

People packed a church hall Wednesday night to demand affordable housing be built on the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty, owned by LG Realty Advisors. 

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Some tenants who receive housing assistance in Pittsburgh could be eligible to live in better neighborhoods because of a new system expected to be implemented April 1.

More than 5,200 households in Pittsburgh currently use housing vouchers, which subsidize rent for privately owned rental units. Another 2,500 households are on a waiting list for the program.

The authority is holding two public hearings on the changes at noon and 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at 200 Ross St. in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority

The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority unanimously approved a measure Thursday to help fund new affordable housing units near PPG Paints Arena. 

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

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

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

Over the course of 2017, the long-discussed development of a 28-acre parcel in the Lower Hill District moved one step closer to realization.

After months of negotiation, the Penguins organization—which holds exclusive development rights to the land—the city, Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports and Exhibition Authority agreed to new development terms in December.

Just how long the site has been on its way to shovels in the ground is measured best in decades rather than years.

1sock / Flickr

The board of Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority has adopted a tenant protection policy, as part of the city larger efforts to safeguard and preserve affordable housing.

The URA’s tenant protection policy creates three additional responsibilities for landlords before they can end tenants’ leases: it gives tenants more time to move out, requires relocation assistance if multiple leases are being terminated, and requires landlords to notify local government of evictions.

More notice is always better, said Tom Cummings, director of housing for the URA.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

As Gary Cirrincione walks along the Penn Avenue business corridor on the border Garfield and Bloomfield, he gestures towards the buildings on either side of the street. 

"You've got a mix of commercial and residential spaces, all jumbled together here," said Cirrincione. "Urban areas need that sort of mix and dynamic. There's a diversity here."

When Cirrincione first moved to Hays Street in the East End, his home was in Garfield. Now, the same house is part of East Liberty due to a boundary change, but he doesn’t pay much attention to those technicalities anyway.

Min Xian / Keystone Crossroads

Some of the communities experiencing the most rapid changes in Pennsylvania are those that abut colleges and universities.

State College, for instance, has boomed in recent years largely due to the growing influence of Pennsylvania State University’s Main Campus. In general, this development has been positive for surrounding Center County, where there’s been a 10 percent rise in median household income since 2009.

But this growth hasn’t necessarily been a tide that’s lifted all boats, leaving fewer options for affordable housing in the area.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

The developer of the former Penn Plaza site in East Liberty has submitted a revised plan for its development.

Ronald Woan / Flickr

After nearly four years of work, the Pittsburgh Land Bank remains a divisive issue.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

The open enrollment period for people buying health insurance through the Affordable Care Act comes to a close this Friday—a period half as long as last year’s. Nearly 80 percent of Pennsylvanian consumers selected the “middle-of-the-road” silver plan last year, but this year, costs for silver plans have rocketed.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Taxes are likely to increase for Pittsburgh homebuyers so the city can pay for rental assistance, affordable housing construction and the rehabilitation of existing homes in the city.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A nearly 80-year-old public housing complex in the Hill District is in the running for millions of dollars of federal redevelopment funds as the community nears the end of a two-year planning process.

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s 2018 capital budget proposal does not include any funding for maintenance of the 1,400 vacant lots and 50 vacant structures owned by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Affordable housing advocates say they’re concerned the consent agreement reached by the city of Pittsburgh and four neighborhood groups about the former Penn Plaza development site won’t actually help those who need it.

An-Li Herring / WESA

Pittsburgh City Council is still searching for a way to pay for a fund it established last December to expand the supply of affordable housing for low and moderate-income residents.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

Over the next three to five years, more than 200 affordably priced apartments and homes could be built in East Liberty and Garfield as a result of the negotiations surrounding the demolition of Penn Plaza, according to Rick Swartz, executive director of the Bloomfield Garfield Corporation.

KitAy / Flickr

The City of Pittsburgh has reached a tentative deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins on redevelopment of the Lower Hill District. 

Friends of Mik Pappas

For the first time in 24 years, Ron Costa, Sr., will face an opponent in the Nov. 7 election for magisterial district judge. Attorney Mik Pappas is running to unseat him in Pennsylvania’s 31st Magisterial District, which includes eight East End neighborhoods.

Running as an Independent, Pappas calls himself progressive.

Keith Srakocic / AP

As Pittsburgh continues trying to grow its tech sector, including a bid for Amazon’s second North American headquarters, Mayor Bill Peduto said he's conscious about ensuring that rising tide lifts all boats.

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