OPDC closes on $16 million financing of affordable rental housing development in West Oakland
Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPDC) has closed on a $16 million financing package for Oakland Affordable Living, a 49-unit affordable housing development made possible through Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and a Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund (PHARE) soft loan, both awarded by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). PNC Bank made an equity investment of $11,464,550; the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh have also funded the project. OPDC’s investment of real estate and project management is valued at $1.9 million. Sota Construction is the contractor; Loysen + Kreuthmeier Architects is the project architect.
"Oakland has long been a vibrant residential neighborhood that hosts the universities and hospitals that drive the economy of Pittsburgh. We are honored to work with OPDC to invest in affordable housing in the neighborhood so that generations of families can continue to call Oakland their home," said Mayor William Peduto.
OPDC will renovate 24 existing units, and construct 25 new units, all in West Oakland. Oakland Affordable Living will offer low-income residents quality apartments in a central location of the city, with easy access to jobs, education, and transit.
“I’ve been in this community since 1968 when I was a Pitt student—now I’m retired and living on one fixed income, but I don’t want to leave to have to find something affordable,” said Liz Bennett, one long-time Oakland resident planning to apply for a unit in the new building. “This neighborhood is wonderful. It’s diverse and the location is so convenient. There’s nowhere else I want to live. This project is going to make a big difference here.”
Oakland Affordable Living will replace vacant and blighted lots on Wadsworth Street, most of which were tax-delinquent. The project also includes renovation and expansion of Allequippa Place on Robinson Street at Allequippa Street, one of the first LIHTC developments in Pennsylvania.
All the units will be 100% affordable, with 30 units (60% of the development) for those making less than 50% of area median income, and 19 for those making between 50 and 60%. Six of the 49 units will be fully accessible, and 13 will have three bedrooms.
“Providing family-sized units was a big priority for us,” said Elly Fisher, OPDC’s Assistant Director. “We are thrilled to address the shortage of affordable three-bedroom units in Pittsburgh.”
OPDC will begin formally taking applications in January 2018. The two- and three-bedroom Allequippa Place units will be ready for tenants in spring 2018; the one-bedroom units on Wadsworth will be ready by November 2018.
OPDC has served Oakland since 1980 and manages a comprehensive real estate program. In addition to a 107-unit rental housing portfolio, the organization also recently launched the Oakland Community Land Trust, an initiative to preserve affordable home ownership opportunities in Oakland’s residential communities.
Oakland Affordable Living is made possible by collaboration with and support from the following representatives, project partners, and funders:
Allegheny County Department of Economic Development
Corcoran Jennison Company
Diamond and Associates
The Honorable Jay Costa, Jr.
The Honorable Rich Fitzgerald
The Honorable Wayne Fontana
The Honorable Dan Frankel
The Honorable Dan Gilman
The Honorable Bruce Kraus
The Honorable Daniel Lavelle
The Honorable Jake Wheatley
Housing Authority City of Pittsburgh
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Loysen & Kreuthmeier Architects
Oakland Development Fund
The Honorable William Peduto
Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency
Regional Housing Legal Services
Sota Construction Services
Urban Redevelopment Authority