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PITTSBURGH, PA – The Building Inclusive Communities Work Group, a collective of community stakeholders who work to ensure Pittsburgh’s resurgence is inclusive of all, is having an event Tuesday, May 24th with national housing trust fund expert Michael Anderson and Councilman Daniel Lavelle about the need for a Pittsburgh Housing Trust Fund.

As Pittsburgh grows and prospers, we must create vibrant and inclusive communities that welcome people from all walks of life and levels of income. We are seeing housing costs grow higher than the income of a lot of Pittsburghers. Higher rents make households vulnerable to frequent moves due to eviction/overcrowding, often resulting in homelessness, or force families into cheaper, unsafe living conditions that lead to victimization through crime and violence, increased health problems, and poor school performance for children. It is costly both at the human and taxpayer levels.

A local housing trust fund offers a solution to the housing needs in Pittsburgh. According to Michael Anderson’s organization, the Center for Community Change, housing trust funds systemically shift affordable housing funding from annual budget allocations to the commitment of dedicated public revenue to address a specific community’s greatest housing need.[1] A well designed housing trust fund, with devoted revenue and commitment to serving the greatest housing demands, can make dramatic impacts for residents experiencing the greatest need while stabilizing neighborhoods.

The evening will include a presentation on how local communities around the county are using housing trust funds for housing and neighborhood stabilization; a discussion on how the Pittsburgh Housing Trust Fund can benefit the whole city, led by the Affordable Housing Task Force, a group created to prevent people from being priced out of Pittsburgh; and a presentation on the different ways housing trust funds can be funded.

The Affordable Housing Task Force (AHTF) recommends the creation of a housing trust fund with a substantial, sustainable investment of public dollars dedicated to it and that the City pursue additional sources of financing through bank Community Reinvestment Funds and philanthropic dollars to address the affordable housing and neighborhood stabilization needs facing the city.

According to Councilman Lavelle, “At the end of the day, if we are not willing to raise revenue and devote resources to affordable housing then we are not serious about solving the problem.”

 The Pittsburgh’s Housing Trust Fund event will be held from 4 to 6 p.m on May 24th at 710 5th Avenue, Suite 1000 in Pittsburgh, PA. To register and find out more about the event, please visit http://tinyurl.com/z46wl7b.

 Building Inclusive Communities Work Group is a group of organizations and individuals who love Pittsburgh and value its history and diversity. Our goal is to ensure that the resurgence of Pittsburgh’s economy and housing market includes people with low to moderate incomes. We focus on policies and programs that affect the city as a whole to ensure that all residents, especially those with low incomes and communities of color, benefit from housing development in the city, especially where public resources are invested.

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