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Media Coverage | 26 affordable homes are coming to East Liberty and Larimer. Here’s how it came together.

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By: Bill O’Toole | NEXT Pittsburgh | August 14, 2019

The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) and East Liberty Development, Inc. (ELDI) are teaming up to help dozens of Pittsburgh families achieve homeownership.

Thanks to a $7 million investment from U.S. Bank through the Department of the Treasury’s New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC) the URA and ELDI are partnering with Dollar Bank to rehabilitate 20 residences and build six new dwellings in Larimer and East Liberty.

The program will make these homes affordable for buyers who have been historically excluded from homeownership. And it offers a variety of services as families make the transition, including pre-purchase counseling, homebuyer education and other support to help make them successful homeowners.

In neighborhoods like East Liberty, successfully shifting from renting to owning property can be a game changer for residents who might otherwise have been pushed out by rising rents.

Open Hand Ministries and Circles Greater Pittsburgh will assist ELDI with community outreach. And the national nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation is supplying $500,000 to the project through the Pittsburgh-based community development organization Neighborhood Allies.

According to the URA’s announcement on Aug. 12, 18 of the homes will be sold to families with incomes at or below 80% of the area’s median income.

The NMTC program allows individuals or corporations to receive credit against their federal income taxes by making investments in low-income communities across the U.S. For this particular project, ELDI will be working with Pittsburgh Urban Initiatives (PUI), a team within the URA that deals exclusively with NMTC-related projects.

“This project creates wealth through homeownership, which not only builds wealth for the immediate new homeowners, but for their families and future generations as they are able to leverage that wealth into other opportunities for their families,” said Rebecca Davidson-Wagner, president of PUI.

Information about the location of the homes and the timeline for the project was unavailable on Tuesday.

“For Pittsburgh, affordable housing has to be more than a laudable goal,” said URA Deputy Director Diamonte Walker. “It is development that is best achieved when all forces — public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit alike — work together to deliver and maintain high quality, affordable housing opportunities for Pittsburgh residents. The innovative use of NMTC, as demonstrated by this partnership, exemplifies how social goals can become an economic reality.”

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