News and Events
ACTION-Housing, Inc. was featured on the Trib Live website for a wonderful weatherization service for a homeowner in need. Read more below...
As days become shorter and temperatures begin to drop, homeowners start to prepare for the late fall and winter seasons.
“For low-income families, the winter months can quickly become a financial burden,” said state Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin, who on Friday toured a Bridgeville home undergoing an energy audit to combat colder weather.
The tour was part of the DCED's efforts to promote the Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps reduce energy costs for eligible homeowners.
Pittsburgh, Pa., August 10, 2016 – U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.14) joined Mayor Peduto, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank Pittsburgh), PNC Bank, ACTION-Housing, Community Human Services and other community leaders today for a celebration of the many partners who have helped to revitalize Wood Street Commons, ending with a ceremony to present a $500,000 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant to continue the work.
Wood Street Commons is a 16-story building in downtown Pittsburgh that includes 259 single-room occupancy units; the Café Commons, providing inexpensive meals and community space for residents, and on-site services provided by Community Human Services.
As the next step in a long line of improvements, the AHP funds presented today, provided by FHLBank Pittsburgh and its member financial institution, PNC Bank, will be used to modernize two residential elevators and replace the building’s emergency fire pump.
“Wood Street Commons is an inspiring local example of public-private partnerships working successfully to promote the greater good,” said Rep. Doyle. “I am very pleased to see the city, the private sector and a non-profit working together to provide affordable housing and supportive services to some of Pittsburgh’s most vulnerable adults.”
“Today we celebrate Wood Street Commons, a powerful success story in our city,” said Mayor Peduto. “Many partners over many years – city, county, philanthropic, real estate, human services, financial institutions – together we have repurposed an at-risk building in a way that serves disabled, homeless, mentally ill, those involved in the justice system and others who need safe affordable housing.”
In addition to Congressman Doyle and Mayor Peduto, other speakers included Pennsylvania State Senator Wayne Fontana; Winthrop Watson, President and CEO of FHLBank Pittsburgh; David Serafini, Vice President of Community Development at PNC Bank; Larry Swanson, Board President of the Residences at Wood Street and Executive Director at ACTION-Housing; Adrienne Walnoha, Board Secretary of the Residences at Wood Street and CEO of Community Human Services; Robert Hurley, Director of Allegheny County Economic Development, and Henry Beukema, Residences at Wood Street Board Member and Executive Director of McCune Foundation.
Larry Swanson, who received a ceremonial check from PNC Bank and FHLBank Pittsburgh, said, “This check is a tremendous next step in a long line of contributions that got Wood Street Commons to where it is today. What was a neglected and financially unsound building in 2009, today is an increasingly efficient and supportive environment for vulnerable adults.”
Annually, FHLBank Pittsburgh sets aside approximately 10 percent of its net income to fund AHP to support projects that provide affordable housing to individuals and families whose incomes are defined as low (51 to 80 percent of area median) or very low (50 percent and below of area median).
About FHLBank Pittsburgh
FHLBank Pittsburgh is a congressionally chartered cooperative of local financial institutions operating across Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Bank uses private money, not taxpayer funds, to assure the flow of credit and services to local lenders and assists them in serving the affordable housing and community and economic development needs of the communities in which they operate.
About Wood Street Commons
Located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, Wood Street Commons is home to 259 diverse and friendly residents who join together to create a community of fellowship and activity. Community Human Services operates several programs within Wood Street Commons that work in tandem to provide residents with options for stability, permanent housing, support services and social interaction.
On July 18th, 2016, ACTION-Housing hosted a ribbon-cutting for the Penn Mathilda Apartments to celebrate its opening at 4812 Penn Avenue. PA Congressman Mike Doyle, State Senator Jay Costa, State Senator Randy Vulakovich, Mayor William Peduto, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Councilwoman Deb Gross, and Judge Michael McCarthy all attended and shared their thoughts as a part of the celebration. The Penn Mathilda Apartments are ACTION-Housing’s newest affordable housing development with 39 affordable units, half with a preference for veterans, in Pittsburgh’s quickly changing East End. The first floor is 6,000 SF of commercial space divided into four storefronts intended for businesses that meet the needs of the neighborhood. Three of those spaces are now leased to arts and community-oriented uses.
The project is located at the gateway to the Penn Avenue Arts District on a property that had been blighted for years. It is well served by transit and biking and walking infrastructure and is close to many amenities such as commercial districts, food, parks, schools, and employment opportunities. It utilizes high quality, thoughtful design that is contextual with the surrounding buildings, but is also innovative. The high ceilings and large windows bring abundant natural light into the building. There is also an emphasis on incorporating art into the design; artists at Pittsburgh’s Glass Center created hand-made pendants for all tenant kitchens and local artist Ben Grubb fabricated the geometric balcony on the front of the building. There is a piece created by Adam Kenney and local glass artists in the lobby of the building as well as a custom bike rack designed by mossArchitects.
“This is exactly the type of project that we like to do – high quality housing in a great location with access to amenities and strong community partners,” said Lawrence Swanson, Executive Director of ACTION-Housing. “We hope that this will be a benchmark project for affordable housing in Pittsburgh.” The Bloomfield Garfield Corporation and Bloomfield Citizens Corporation, both neighborhood-based community organizations with long histories of collaborating with ACTION-Housing, were instrumental in providing support for this project and encouraging ACTION-Housing to create new affordable housing for veterans in their neighborhoods. From interfacing with the community to assisting in finding commercial tenants, this project could have not been possible without their support.
The $11M project was funded with a combination of Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, tax credit equity from the National Equity Fund (NEF)/BNYMellon, and funds from the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. Grants from the Heinz Endowments and the Richard King Mellon Foundation and a loan from Bridgeway Capital were used for development of the commercial space.
As is the case with the entirety of ACTION-Housing’s portfolio, the building is high performing from an energy perspective and conforms to the 2012 international energy code. The building is fully leased and there is a waiting list of over 200 people, clearly showing the need for housing of this type in a desirable area.
The development team includes mossArchitects, Repal Construction, Iams Consulting, Langan Engineering, and Building Performance Architects.
ACTION-Housing is happy to announce that one of our newest properties, Dave Wright Apartments, is seeking applicants right now!
- 42 Affordable Apartments in Heidelberg
- 21 Units with a preference for person’s who have been diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum
- 1 and 2 Bedroom Units Available
- Scheduled Opening Fall of 2016
For more information and application, click here