The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh's board voted today to hire eight architectural and engineering firms to handle its design work for the next three years.
Although the resolution sets a limit of $3.5 million in spending on the firms' services for the three years, the actual total may be much less. The authority typically spends about 700,000 a year on design work, according to its modernization consultant.
The firms include three that are women-owned and two that are minority-owned businesses, according to the consultant. They have also pledged to use minority- and women-owned subcontractors, ensuring that roughly 30 percent of the work will go to such firms.
The architects and engineers gathered at and around the board table prior to the vote.
"This is what [Pittsburgh] should look like," Pittsburgh Councilman Ricky Burgess, who chairs the authority board, said. "Pittsburgh should be a place where competency, diversity and expertise matters."
The decision to name the architects comes at a time when Mayor-elect Bill Peduto's transition team has asked city government generally not to enter into long-term contracts.
Mr. Burgess said that the quasi-independent authority's selection process began before Mr. Peduto's general election victory and is governed by federal Department of Housing and Urban Development rules.
"There is no political participation at all in our [contracting] process," he said.
The board is appointed by the mayor.
Rich Lord: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1542. Twitter: @richelord.