Pittsburgh Housing Authority borrows to fund construction surge

Categories: News


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
April 28, 2017
by Rich Lord

A $75 million borrowing spurt approved by Pittsburgh’s Housing Authority board Thursday sets the stage for the replacement or renovation of more than 460 homes — mostly for low-income renters — in three neighborhoods.

Northview Heights, Glen Hazel and Larimer will see construction starting late this year, to be completed in 2019, authority officials said. The bond issues totaling $75 million will allow the authority to raise an additional $54 million, mostly through low-income housing tax credits.

“It is absolutely addressing the affordable housing issue that we have in this city,” said board chairwoman Valerie McDonald-Roberts, who is also Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief urban affairs officer.

“We are creating jobs. We are building integrated community centers and other spin-offs related to a critical mass of investment,” said authority executive director Caster Binion.

The authority’s 88-apartment high-rise at Northview Heights will be replaced with an 87-unit mid-rise building, at a total cost of $25.3 million. The authority board voted to borrow $20 million toward that project, which will be developed by Terri Lee, a former authority employee, and will be owned by a subsidiary of Allies & Ross Management & Development Corp., a nonprofit created by the authority.

After residents move to the new building, the old one will be demolished.

The board voted to borrow $30 million to cover most of the $50.9 million cost of renovating all 225 apartments at its Glen Hazel community. Residents will have to move around within that complex to accommodate the work, but won’t be dislocated to other neighborhoods, according to authority officials.

Another $25 million in borrowing will underwrite Phase II of the Larimer/East Liberty redevelopment effort. That $52.8 million phase will involve 150 homes — 75 of which are to replace low-income apartments at East Liberty Gardens. The new homes will be co-owned by Allies & Ross and St. Louis developer McCormack Baron Salazar, and some will be open to all income levels.

Nate Boe, a consultant who handles development for the authority, said there will be still more bond issues for affordable housing this year.

You’re going to see greater opportunities for affordable housing in a way that transforms low-income housing into mixed-income communities” – City Councilman Ricky Burgess, an authority board member.

Read Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article at: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2017/04/27/Pittsburgh-Housing-Authority-borrows-to-fund-construction-surge/stories/201704270166