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Hazelwood Affordable Rental Property Preservation shields rental housing from speculators

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A message from Hazelwood Initiative

The loss of affordable housing stock to flippers and other speculators has accelerated during the pandemic, according to Leilani Farha, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Adequate Housing, and University of Pittsburgh H.J. Heinz Foundation Visiting Fellow in the Global Studies Center. 

Dr. Farha sounded the alarm about this problem during a talk on Monday, April 4, at the University of Pittsburgh. She said corporate investors here and around the world have pounced on lower-priced residential units during the pandemic. 

“I would be prioritizing the protection of any and every existing affordable unit,” she said. “[Investors are] looking for older stock that is still affordable that they can mine for wealth.”

This is why the Hazelwood Affordable Rental Property Preservation is so important. Through this program, Hazelwood Initiative takes rental properties off the market. These units can now serve the interests of the community. On April 1, the organization closed on the last 19 rental properties for this program, bringing the total number of HARPP units to 60. These will remain affordable (Section 8) for low-income families for the next 30 years.  

“The long-term preservation of affordable housing is increasingly important to prevent displacement as the neighborhood develops,” said Sonya Tilghman, Hazelwood Initiative executive director. “By buying these units, maintaining them in good condition and reserving them for low-income residents, we are helping preserve the community and character of this neighborhood in line with our neighborhood plan.” 

More affordable rental units are also planned for Hazelwood Green. Find out more about those in the April meeting highlights.

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Ms. Dorine Morse in the kitchen of her new HARPP unit.Photo courtesy of HARPP, LLC.

Homepage publisher, Hazelwood Initiative, Inc., is a community development corporation and a registered community organization. Hazelwood Initiative, Inc. does not profit by or receive compensation from contributors or organizations for mentions or links in Homepage articles.

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The Homepage is a print newspaper delivered monthly to households in Greater Hazelwood, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hays, New Homestead, Lincoln Place and The Run. Hazelwood Initiative, Inc., a community-based nonprofit, publishes The Homepage through a grant from the City of Pittsburgh and advertising revenue from local businesses and organizations. The mission of Hazelwood Initiative, as a community-based development corporation, is to build a stronger Hazelwood through inclusive community development. Sonya Tilghman, Executive Director of Hazelwood Initiative, Inc. (she/her) Juliet Martinez, Managing Editor of The Homepage (they/them) Sarah Kanar, Layout and Design of The Homepage(she/her)

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