What is the PRO HOUSING Funding Opportunity
Communities nationwide are suffering from a lack of affordable housing, and housing production is not meeting the increasing demand for accessible and available units in many urban and rural areas, particularly areas of high opportunity.
In response to this need, HUD has issued the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO: FR-6700-N-98), Pathways to Removing Obstacles (PRO HOUSING) grant under the authority of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, which appropriates $85 million for competitive grant funding for the identification and removal of barriers to affordable housing production and preservation.
The City of Pittsburgh intends to apply to secure $5 million dollars in funding to pilot the Pittsburgh Housing Innovation Lab (PHI Lab).
Pittsburgh Housing Innovation Lab (PHI Lab)
There are approximately 24,000 properties in the City of Pittsburgh that are vacant, of which about 14,000 are owned by the city. This scale of urban blight and disinvestment contributes to increased crime rates, negative health outcomes, adverse impacts on property values, and reduced city tax base revenues, among other destructive effects. However, these vacancy challenges coupled with the Cities first-ever comprehensive planning process provide us with an incredible opportunity for the future development of affordable housing. To execute the PHI Lab pilot, the City, in partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority is requesting $5 million dollars of PRO HOUSING funding with the intent to target key barriers to affordable housing through novel zoning solutions and the execution of a stabilization strategy for City-owned properties.
The Pittsburgh Housing Innovation Lab will build a framework that will allow us to trial the efficacy of proposed novel zoning code, investment, and stabilization strategies to preserve publicly owned vacant structures, prioritizing those in the best condition for affordable housing, which will enable us to address tax-delinquent properties citywide. We hope these changes can transition vacant properties from community liabilities to assets as viable homes for our neighbors and create opportunities for displaced and new families to call Pittsburgh home.