Pittsburgh City Council approved a bill appropriating $12 million over several years to a multifaceted development in Larimer that will include revamped street scapes, parks and mixed-income housing.
The bill, sponsored by Councilman Ricky Burgess, passed 7-1, with Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak voting no.
The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, which is overseeing the project, is applying for a $30 million grant through the U.S. Housing and Urban Development's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Officials have said money from the city is critical to boost the city's application for the highly competitive grant. The housing component of the project involves construction of 340-350 units of housing Along Larimer Avenue and East Liberty Boulevard and surrounding streets.
But the proposal proved controversial since the city's money, originally slated to be $16.5 million, is coming out of a dwindling capital budget and federal Community Development Block Grant funds, which underwrite a number of projects in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods throughout the city. Ms. Rudiak, who abstained during last week's preliminary vote, said she was concerned it would impact other capital projects already in the pipeline.
As a result of concerns from council, the city reduced its contribution to $12 million while the housing authority boosted its allocation from $12 million to $16.5 million.
The housing authority's application for the federal grant is due in early September.
Moriah Balingit: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @MoriahBee.