Pittsburgh Housing Fund Board Recommends Program Funding Levels for 2018

A board overseeing Pittsburgh’s $10 million affordable housing fund on Thursday recommended that the money be divided into five programs this year, including homeless rental assistance, subsidies to help with a down payment and closing costs on new home purchases and fixing up vacant structures for resale.

The recommendations are subject to approval of Pittsburgh City Council and the Urban Redevelopment Authority board of directors, according to Jessica Smith Perry, director the Housing Opportunity Fund.

“Today the advisory board voted to recommend a plan, which is going to be presented to the URA board of directors on Thursday,” she said.

City Council in 2016 created the fund to address the city’s affordable housing problem. The ordinance requires the city to set aside $10 million each year for the fund. In December, council approved a controversial increase in the city’s realty transfer tax to help offset the $10 million.

The tax on property sales increased from 4 percent to 4.5 percent in January and will jump to 5 percent in January 2020.

Officials estimate that 17,000 city residents need housing at below competitive market rates.

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