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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