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.