RHLS Clients Advocate for Solutions to Pittsburgh’s Affordable Housing Crisis

Pittsburgh’s Affordable Housing Task Force¬†appeared before the Pittsburgh City Council on April 28th to present recommendations that address the City’s growing affordable housing crisis.¬†RHLS Staff Attorney, Bob Damewood, provided legal assistance to long-time clients Pittsburgh United and the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania in crafting some of the key recommendations discussed at the meeting.

The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania estimates that Pittsburgh is currently lacking 21,000 units of affordable housing for individuals and families with low incomes. The Affordable Housing Task Force seeks to address these needs by analyzing and conducting ongoing reviews of housing needs assessments, studying the implications of policies and programs on the housing stock, and promoting community engagement to receive input and feedback.

During the meeting conducted on the 28th, the task force provided the following preliminary recommendations:

  • Establish an Affordable Housing Trust Fund for the City of Pittsburgh to repair the existing housing stock, increase stabilization, support permanent affordability, provide opportunities for affordable homeownership, and address vacant housing and buildings.
  • Increase and expand usage of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to support the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing as well as financing development for mixed-income housing.
  • Create incentives for inclusionary housing in order to generate additional affordable units.
  • Preserve existing deed-restricted housing, particularly including the 2,000 affordable housing units are set to expire as income-restricted by the year 2020.
  • Preserve existing naturally occurring affordable housing through tax relief for long-time owner occupants and protections for tenants who are at risk of displacement.

Read the full Affordable Housing Task Force Post-Agenda Report.

Check out Pittsburgh’s Action News 4’s report on the Affordable Housing Tasks Force’s meeting with City Council here.