Pittsburgh’s Housing Task Force is the organization responsible for assessing the affordability landscape in the city and making recommendations for preserving and producing affordable units. The task force has reviewed existing programs and initiatives to create and preserve affordable housing, and the report provides recommendations to the City Council and Mayor of Pittsburgh. The report is available online. You can download the full report here. The recommendations for affordable housing are a great starting point for building affordable housing in Pittsburgh.
Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Action Plan
In order to meet its goal of providing affordable housing for low and moderate-income residents, Los Angeles must accelerate the construction of affordable units and focus on serving households that earn less than 120 percent of the area median income. The county must also focus on improving transportation options and building more energy-efficient buildings to further reduce costs, especially for low-income residents. However, despite these objectives, public funding sources are limited. So, the county must mobilize private capital to meet its affordable housing needs.
The goal of the Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Action Plan is to provide housing for low and moderate-income households and special-needs households, such as seniors, persons with disabilities, and single-parent families. This goal requires the city to ensure that there is an adequate inventory of vacant land and that development meets the requirements of RHNA allocations. In addition, the plan calls for increased technical assistance, reducing fees, and waiving certain development standards.
Dane County Affordable Housing Incentive Plan
The Dane County Affordable Housing Incentive Plan (DCHI) is a public-private partnership comprised of residents, elected officials, financial institutions, housing developers, school districts, nonprofit housing agencies, and other interested parties. Together, these stakeholders form a network for information sharing and decision-making. The DCHI is housed within the Planning and Development Department of Dane County. It also serves as an educational resource for local residents.
The Affordable Housing Incentive Plan should include a focus on economic development, including reducing energy consumption in public buildings. It should also encourage renewable energy production through solar panels and other forms of clean energy. The plan should also promote the right of tenants to have a lawyer or other legal counsel when addressing housing issues. Dane County should also focus its resources on local farms and other regenerative practices that reduce food miles and waste.
Williamsburg Affordable Housing Work Group
The city’s 2020-2021 General Improvement Ordinance (GIO) prioritized affordable housing, and its City Manager formed a new task force, the Williamsburg Affordable Housing Work Group, to help meet the demand. The group consists of 15 community members and seven City staff. It meets six times over the course of five or six months, and its recommendations will be presented to the City Council. The goal is to increase affordable housing supply by 2040.
To determine housing affordability, the Neighborhood Balance Committee studied rental properties in Williamsburg and developed 27 concepts directly related to affordable housing. But the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the Affordable Housing Work Group. Consequently, the Neighborhood Balance Committee needed to work on these concepts, and staff needed to attend the Affordable Housing Work Group. It would not have been practical to run two groups at once. In the end, the affordable housing work group was formed, but there are still many needs.
Pittsburgh Affordable Housing Task Force
In May 2015, the city established a Task Force on Affordable Housing to address the issue of housing affordability in Pittsburgh. The Task Force members assumed that Pittsburgh’s affordable housing crisis was a pressing and widespread issue and engaged various stakeholder groups and the community to develop recommendations for affordable housing. The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority (PURA) administers these programs and offers assistance with moving expenses, application fees, mortgage or utility assistance, and other necessities.
Recently, the City Council of Pittsburgh held a hearing to examine the city’s affordable housing shortage. The proposed legislation included incentives for the development of mutual housing developments and an increase in the number of available units. The city is considering expanding the use of inclusionary zoning, a relatively new tool to combat the high cost of living in Pittsburgh. This legislation would require all new residential development in Pittsburgh to include at least 10 percent affordable housing.