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With Pittsburgh council working on an Affordable Housing Trust Fund ballot referendum, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh purchasing rental properties to keep affordable housing deed restrictions from expiring, now the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh is getting into the act—and in a big way.

The HACP is buying 86 former federal Hope VI properties in Manchester to maintain the city’s level of affordable housing.

Hope VI was a program created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the 1990s to replace the public housing “projects” with homes and apartments adjacent to market-rate units. The idea was to remove the stigma of public housing by giving low-income renters neighbors who would be role models on how to be homeowners. Local housing authorities contracted with private companies to manage the properties. Manchester saw the city’s first Hope VI properties, others were built in Oakland and the Hill District.

Lately, the Manchester units managed by Penrose Properties, have fallen into disrepair and the residents formed a tenant council, petitioning federal, state and local officials for help addressing their complaints about unanswered calls for maintenance on broken doors and cabinets, mold, and leaking roofs. That is why the HACP is stepping in.

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