Police in Penn Hills enter the last occupied building in Valmar Gardens, asking residents to leave, on June 19, 2020. The residents were eventually given more time to prepare to move. Some advocates fear that large-scale displacement will follow the expiration, after July 10, of a statewide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures. (Photo by Rich Lord/PublicSource)

Eviction Day: Between the state moratorium and the CDC order, landlords file flurry of cases

Update (9/4/20): Allegheny County President Judge Kim Berkeley Clark issued an order instructing district judges on the handling of eviction filings in the wake of an order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If a landlord attempts to file an eviction against a tenant who has declared that he or she falls under the income limits and income loss guidelines in the CDC order, the judge may hold an initial status conference to “give the parties an opportunity to also consider available rental assistance,” according to Clark’s order. Other than that, the judge is instructed to stay the case until the expiration of the CDC order, set for Dec. 31. In such cases, judges are not to issue writs or orders of possession — which tell the tenant to get out or be removed by a sheriff — until after the CDC order expires.

Construction around UPMC Mercy Hospital. (Photo by Terry Clark/PublicSource)

How fast has UPMC grown? The answer in four charts

This month, UPMC filed its annual disclosures to the IRS, reporting gross receipts approaching $20 billion, as of June 30, 2019. UPMC's receipts — which reflect all money earned, without subtracting expenses — are roughly the size of the entire economy of Afghanistan, nearly 33 times the 2020 budget of the City of Pittsburgh, and 35% more than it reported just three years before.

UPMC's logo atop the U.S. Steel Tower, Downtown, as seen from Webster Avenue in the Hill District. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

UPMC could captain nursing home COVID response under bill it helped to write

Update (7/14/20): UPMC will lead the charge to test all southwestern Pennsylvania care home residents and employees for COVID-19, and to strengthen the facilities' ability to fight the virus, the state Department of Human Services announced. The department announced that UPMC will also join the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in working with facilities in the state's northwest. Efforts in other regions of the state will be led by Thomas Jefferson University with the University of Pennsylvania (southeast), Geisinger Clinic and Lehigh Valley Hospital (northeast), Pennsylvania State University (southcentral) and Geisinger Clinic (northcentral). UPMC has applied to lead a $52.5 million state-funded effort to harden nursing homes and similar facilities — from Pittsburgh to Erie — against COVID-19. A decision from the state Department of Human Services on the contract is expected this week.

Devyn Kahler-Harms, 22, stands outside of the Baldwin Borough apartment at which he then resided, with his fiance, on June 2, 2020. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

A year in Allegheny County ends in homelessness for two young trans men

A statewide moratorium on new eviction filings for non-payment of rent, which was instituted in March in response to the pandemic, runs through July 10. Its impending end, amid continued economic uncertainty, has some advocates bracing to head off a potential flood of evictions. Evictions filed in Allegheny County prior to the moratorium — like one filed against Devyn for failure to pay rent in February — were frozen on March 16 but allowed to resume on June 2.

Lee Riccetti, a Philadelphia-based historic preservationist and project manager for Heritage Consulting Group, disputes the importance of a cluster of buildings, pictured, including the former Froggy’s bar, within Downtown’s Firstside Historic District, in a June 30, 2020 meeting of Pittsburgh’s City Planning Commission, held via Zoom.

Develop PGH Bulletins: Commission weighs demolition of Froggy’s building

Develop PGH Bulletins will update you on the Pittsburgh region's economy, including close coverage of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, City Planning Commission and other important agencies. Please bookmark, check back frequently, sign up for the Develop PGH newsletter and email rich@publicsource.org with questions, tips or story ideas. 06/30/2020: Drive to demolish — or save — Froggy’s building goes into overtime
The Downtown building that once housed Froggy’s bar can’t be saved, experts hired by the would-be redeveloper of the site told the City Planning Commission. After hearing hours of testimony from consultants for developer the Troiani Group, the commission put off deciding on the proposed demolition until July 14, at the earliest, so foes of the wrecking ball can be heard. Two weeks ago, several commissioners urged the development team to seek ways to preserve a cluster of squat structures on First Avenue and Market Street, including 104 and 106 Market, in the Firstside Historic District.

Offered a room at the Red Roof Inn if he moves immediately, Anthony Straughter of Valmar Gardens in Penn Hills, wonders how he could accommodate his poodle mix, Joe, on June 19, 2020. (Photo by Rich Lord/PublicSource)

Eviction on hold after Valmar Gardens residents ask for more time

Residents said they heard secondhand, on Thursday night, that they would be booted from the building. Around 9 a.m. on Friday, water service stopped. Around 10, Penn Hills police, sheriff’s deputies and other county officials arrived, along with Jason Greenwald, who said he was a representative of the new owners, BDCTC LLC.