Skyline Terrace, a mixed-income housing complex, developed by the Housing Authority for the City of Pittsburgh. (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)

Pittsburgh’s housing authority is spending millions in Section 8 voucher funds to build affordable housing

Since 2011, the Pittsburgh housing authority has spent $58 million from its Section 8 housing voucher program on the construction of mixed-income housing developments. Those developments — such as Garfield Commons, Skyline Terrace in the Hill District and Cornerstone Village in Larimer — include market-rate and affordable units and are part of the authority’s long-term strategy to revitalize neighborhoods and stem the loss of affordable housing. But is construction coming at the expense of the agency’s hobbled Section 8 voucher program? As of Oct. 31, 8,684 families were waiting for housing vouchers.

Larimer resident Anthony Mainiero reacts upon learning that his former church and school, Our Lady Help of Christians, was already partially demolished in October 2019. (Photo by Remy Davison/PublicSource)

‘We deserve it’: Larimer residents reflect on the neighborhood’s history and the long fight for redevelopment

The June 2014 grant award was a game-changer for Larimer. Groups like the Kingsley Association and the Larimer Consensus Group could help with “low-hanging fruit,” like helping residents keep their utility bills down, but group chair Donna Jackson said the main need was quality housing, and the community lacked resources to build it.

A passenger stands at a ConnectCard kiosk at Dormont Junction transit station.

How some Allegheny County municipalities are working to make transit-oriented development happen

When Seth Davis moved to Dormont in 2011, he was drawn by the affordability of the community and the accessibility of public transit. T stations in the South Hills suburb mean a short ride into Pittsburgh, and the community also has a walkable commercial strip with sidewalks on every street. In his view, a progressive development plan for the Dormont Junction T station could give the borough even more of what he already likes. What’s now a park-and-ride lot owned by the Port Authority of Allegheny County could be transformed into a mixed-use development with retail, office space and apartments spread across four buildings. The Port Authority hopes the project will boost ridership and increase revenue, all while adding $3.5 million in station improvements and developing one of the few remaining plots of open land in Dormont.