One day after a rally by advocates filled downtown streets marching for affordable housing, those same advocates and others filled city council chambers for a pubic hearing on creating and funding an affordable housing “Opportunity Fund.”

Council president Bruce Kraus promised a vote on the matter before year’s end after listening to more than 50 city residents speak in favor of creating the fund.

Betty Pickett, retired executive director of the National Conference for Community and Justice, said she doesn’t want to see a fourth re-gentrification of the Hill District.

“I’ve lived there for 38 years it’s a neighborhood not revolving door. The fight to get affordable housing on the parking lot sites in the lower hill has been a hand wringer. I understand city wants to modernize—I’m just asking council not to do it on the backs of people least able to afford it.”

Alethea Sims, who has advocated for low-income housing in East Liberty since before the public housing highrises were torn down, also supported creating the fund.

“I’ve been extremely low income my entire adult life. I’m happy to see this fund created,” she said.

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