Tom Lisi is the Developing Pittsburgh reporter at PublicSource. His beat focuses on issues related to economic development, housing and city planning. Previously, Tom worked as a city and special projects reporter at the Herald & Review in Decatur, Illinois, where his investigations uncovered a design flaw in one of the city's largest-ever public works projects and the termination of a village police chief under dubious circumstances. Other past work exposed a buried state budget measure that diverted $300 million from Illinois' transportation budget and a data analysis of housing market disparities between city and county school districts. He is a native New Yorker who is very impressed by Pittsburgh pizza.
“Much of what I heard today was the same sort of fight that brought me here to council, that I was fighting 20 years ago,” said Pittsburgh City Council President Bruce Kraus. “It was protect the integrity and the sweat equity of generations of homesteaders that made that piece of real estate ripe for development.”
As part of Develop PGH, PublicSource will report here about notable actions and conversations from the monthly meetings of the Urban Redevelopment Authority [URA]. The meetings are held the second Thursday of each month in the Wherrett Room on the 13th floor at 200 Ross Street. For the Urban Redevelopment Authority, 2019 has been a year of rolling out long-awaited programs to address a lack of affordable housing, and today those efforts have garnered support from state officials who awarded Low Income Housing Tax Credits [LIHTC] to five projects in Pittsburgh. The program, administered by the Internal Revenue Service, offers coveted tax incentives to developers who build below-market housing units in exchange. According to a press release from Mayor Bill Peduto's office, the five LIHTC awards comprise "the largest number of Pittsburgh developments to receive the low-income tax credits in memory."
A newly announced committee will conduct a national search to replace Robert Rubinstein, departing executive director of Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority. Rubinstein’s last day in the role will be July 31, the mayor’s office and URA board of directors jointly announced Thursday.
Pittsburgh City Council unanimously approved a second annual spending plan for the $10 million Housing Opportunity Fund [HOF]. The programs, managed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority [URA], tackle various affordable housing issues in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh housing authority officials say they’ve taken several steps to address concerns raised by residents in Glen Hazel over the November transfer of two subsidized housing developments into private hands.
Created under Republican-backed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, opportunity zones allow for investment banks and other entities that make money off capital gains — typically hedge funds and other large private investors — to move that income into a fund designated for business and development projects in census tracts that have a disproportionate number of low-income residents. In exchange, the investor can bypass federal taxes on the original capital gains after several years.