Mullin & Lonergan Associates, Inc. estimates that the City of Pittsburgh lacks 20,000 units of affordable housing for people with extremely low incomes. To respond to this significant challenge, RHLS Staff Attorney, Bob Damewood, worked with the Pittsburgh Affordable Housing Task Force to generate a policy response to this critical need.
After two years of hard work, including researching national best practices, reviewing potential revenue sources, and collecting and analyzing data, the Pittsburgh City Council approved ten million dollars in December of 2017 for the Pittsburgh Housing Opportunity Fund. The ten million dollars for the Pittsburgh Housing Opportunity Fund will be available each year for twelve years, per the legislation signed into law by Mayor William Peduto.
The Pittsburgh Housing Opportunity Fund will primarily receive funding from a raise to the Realty Transfer Tax, a one-time charge levied when a taxpayer must finance a home. The task force is exploring additional sources of revenue for the fund to ensure its viability on a long-term basis. Though closing costs from home sales may go up slightly as a result, low and moderate-income homebuyers may be eligible for assistance through the Fund.
The $10 million Fund can be used to provide gap funding for new affordable housing developments and help low-income families with both buying a home and funding rehabilitation expenses.
Congratulations to Bob and the Task Force on this victory. Check back soon to learn more about the administration of the Fund as it unfolds.