“AMI” stands for Area Median Income, in this case for the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area. An affordable monthly rent, including utilities, at 100% of AMI is considered to be 30% of the monthly median income of the average Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area resident.
The hitch is, the average City of Pittsburgh household makes less than that; the average Black Pittsburgh household makes still less than that; and the average Hill District household makes even less than that.
The Penguins are proposing to use “reasonable good-faith efforts” to designate 20% of new Lower Hill housing as affordable, whereas the Hill District Master Plan would have 30% set in stone to be affordable. But the wider gulf is this: according to data compiled by RHLS, even the Penguins’ idea of an “affordable” rent at just 80% AMI would come to $977 monthly for a 1-BR, $1,172 for a 2-BR and on up. Which is consistent with what the Penguins are admitting in describing a development geared only towards affluent young professionals.
And so, vanishingly few African-Americans in the region would come close to being able to live in that new Lower Hill. However, using the 50% and 30% AMI thresholds in the Hill District Master Plan, the 20% or 30% portion of “affordable” rental units would drop to $611 and $367 respectively for a 1-BR; or $732 and $440 for a 2-BR.
We can accomplish this without compromising financial viability. The Penguins’ selected developers are actually very good at it. The Housing Authority can utilize its pool of vouchers or its CDBG allocations to make up a portion of the rent gap, the URA can do roughly the same thing, and the City can utilize other Inclusionary Zoning incentives. That is, if anyone has an interest in being inclusionary.
|Internet Bird Collection|
Decrying “steep price tags and an increasing number of contracts” at the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley this week asked federal overseers to provide him with documentation of the agency’s salaries, consulting arrangements and travel expenses. (P-G, Rich Lord)
Tony Ceoffe’s campaign has made allegations of Democratic Party Committee wrongdoing a campaign issue since Bill Peduto first endorsed candidate Deb Gross in mid-July (a week prior to the party nomination vote) and continued to do so during its unsuccessful legal objection to her nomination. Yesterday and today, a little more of the same came out:
The tweet by @TonyCeoffe, deleted at least several hours later, read “Barb Kelley the 9th Ward vice-chair stepped down from LU after telling me she was forced to vote for Deb Gross by Ron Deutsch.”
The Comet contacted the Ceoffe campaign primarily to ascertain whether the deleted tweet absolutely needed to stay buried forever to protect the innocent. Ceoffe’s spokesperson added that Kelly allegedly told Ceoffe after the vote, “Sorry. Ronnie’s the boss. I had to do what I had to do,” that secret ballots are no proof against the Committee grape vine, that the alleged cause of Kelly stepping down from Lawrenceville United’s leadership was merely speculative, and that “the threats and promises of jobs were real, and they definitely had an impact on the outcome of the vote.”
The Ceoffe campaign also added another Committee members’ name to the “threatened or promised something” list: that of Donnie Sand.
Sand categorically denied to the Comet having been threatened by anyone or promised anything. He said he voted to nominate Gross because she seems “more educated and more professional,” and added by way of contrast that “Ceoffe is immature yet, maybe one day he’ll blossom into a better candidate.”
Barbara Kelly politely declined to comment for this story.