A robust community process was held in the fall of 2018 that included three well-attended community meetings discussing the state of housing in Lawrenceville and the prospect of inclusionary zoning as a way to ensure affordability as the neighborhood grows. (For all the presentations and notes from that process, click here.)
On February 19th, Councilwoman Gross introduced legislation for the Inclusionary Housing Interim Planning Overlay District (IPOD-6), which would create the first mandatory inclusionary zoning program in the City of Pittsburgh, requiring residential developments in Lawrenceville over 20 units to price 10% of units affordably for low/moderate-income folks.
The legislation has now been referred to the Planning Commission, which will make a recommendation to City Council after holding a public hearing on Tuesday, April 23rd at 2 p.m. at 200 Ross Street in the First Floor Hearing Room. Property owners in Lawrenceville should have received a mailing from the Department of City Planning notifying them of the proposed zoning change and the public hearing.
Lawrenceville United fully supports mandatory inclusionary zoning as a tool to create housing opportunities for all as the neighborhood grows. We encourage residents to come to the Planning Commission hearing on 4/23 to show their support. Residents can also show support by completing the “Response Form” that was part of the mailing from City Planning, or by emailing Andrew.McCray@pittsburghpa.gov with the following information:
- Mailing Address
- In favor / opposed to this proposal
- Tenant of / owner of / agent having power of attorney over property located at: _______________, Pittsburgh, PA 152__
- Comments Regarding the Zoning Proposal
For any questions or for support preparing your testimony for the Planning Commission, please call LU at 412-802-7220 or email Dave@LUnited.org.
Lawrenceville United, Lawrenceville Corporation, Councilwoman Deb Gross, and the Department of City Planning co-hosted three “Housing For All” community meetings between September and November to discuss the state of housing and displacement in Lawrenceville and discuss a possible inclusionary zoning policy in Lawrenceville. Meeting notes are available here.
Now it’s time to make “housing for all” a reality!
To support housing opportunities for all as the Lawrenceville neighborhood grows, please join us by:
- Signing the petition to show your support for inclusionary zoning in Lawrenceville, and sharing with your neighbors: https://goo.gl/pzQqFf
- Speaking at City Council on 11/27, 12/5, 12/11, or 12/19. All public comment periods are at 10 a.m. at City Council chambers on the 5th floor in the City County Building (414 Grant Street). To let us know you’ll be attending or help with preparing your comments, contact 412-802-7220 or info@LUnited.org.
Lawrenceville United, Lawrenceville Corporation, Councilwoman Deb Gross, and the Department of City Planning held the third and final “Housing For All” community meeting on Monday, November 5th from 6-8 p.m. at Goodwill of Southwestern PA’s Workforce Development Center. The meeting focused on the proposed Interim Planning Overlay District (IPOD) for Lawrenceville that would implement inclusionary zoning across the neighborhood. Please see below for materials and notes from the meeting:
Please follow the links below for recaps of the previous two meetings:
- Sign the petition to support the Lawrenceville Inclusionary Zoning IPOD and share it with your neighbors!
- Speak at an upcoming City Council standing meeting on 11/27, 12/5, 12/11, or 12/19 (all at 10 a.m. at City Council chambers) to voice your support for inclusionary zoning! Contact info@LUnited.org or 412-802-7220 for more information.
The second of three “Housing For All” community meetings was held on Wednesday, October 17th at 6 p.m. at Goodwill of Southwestern PA’s Workforce Development Center. The meeting focused on Inclusionary Zoning as a tool to preserve affordability. Please see below for materials and notes from the meeting:
- Presentation from Lawrenceville United & Lawrenceville Corporation
- Video introducing Inclusionary Housing
- Presentation from Department of City Planning
- Meeting notes from Q&A + break-out groups
- Follow up questions that were submitted are currently being answered and will be posted here when complete.
The third community meeting, Housing For All: Community Feedback and Call to Action, will take place on Monday, November 5th from 6-8 p.m. at Goodwill’s Workforce Development Center (118 52nd Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201). The building is fully accessible. Dinner provided. Childcare available by advance request to LU at 412-802-7220.
For a recap of the first meeting held on 9/28/2018, Housing For All: The State of Housing & Displacement in Lawrenceville, please click here.
Many thanks to the Office of Councilwoman Deb Gross, Lawrenceville Corporation and the Department of City Planning for partnering on this effort. The hosting partners provided updates on the state of housing in Lawrenceville, displacement, and what’s being done about it. Thank you to all of the attendees who shared their stories and experiences.
Be sure to check out Lawrenceville United’s Presentation here: The State of Housing in Lawrenceville
We also have the notes that reflect the stories and experiences shared by the session attendees: Housing for All Group Notes
The next event in the Housing for All series happens on October 17, 2018 from 6-8 p.m. at Goodwill’s Workforce Development Center at 118 52nd Street – Inclusionary Zoning: a tool to preserve affordability
As Lawrenceville’s housing market has exploded, one of Lawrenceville United’s top priorities for the neighborhood is preserving affordable housing. One tool LU has advocated for is Inclusionary Zoning (IZ). For more information on Inclusionary Zoning, please see the brief on IZ below. To download as a printable document, please click here.
Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) Explained
What is Inclusionary Zoning? The simplest explanation for inclusionary zoning programs is that they either incentivize or mandate developers to include affordable units as part of new housing developments of a certain size. For instance, if a developer were to build a housing project of 250 units, under IZ the developer might be required to sell or rent 15% of those units (37 units) to lower-income residents.
- 886 jurisdictions have inclusionary housing programs across the U.S., reporting over 170,000 units created.
- IZ programs are highly customizable to fit the particular needs of different communities. Some programs are required, some are voluntary. Some focus on creating low-income housing, others focus on more middle-income housing. Other key considerations include what unit size IZ becomes triggered, what percentage of affordable units are required, the duration of affordability, whether it’s applied to rental housing or for sale, and how to offset the cost of creating affordable units to developers so that new housing developments are still feasible.
What are the benefits? Inclusionary zoning is a proven tool for creating new affordable housing at a time when many communities desperately need it and public funding for housing has been declining for decades. By leveraging the private market, IZ is one of the few ways to create new housing for low-income families without significant public subsidy. It can also help prevent or mitigate gentrification and displacement when housing prices and land values increase in a community. Studies have also shown that it is an effective tool for locating affordable housing in higher-income neighborhoods and areas with better performing schools.
- In Montgomery County, MD and Southern CA, half of all affordable housing production is created by IZ.
Why is it needed? In Lawrenceville, over 600 housing units have been created in the past couple years, yet almost none of them have been for the working class families that have been the roots of Lawrenceville for generations. At the same time, the appreciation of housing costs has led to displacement of low-income families. With large parcels still developable, IZ has the potential to harness development in the neighborhood to ensure that housing options are available for all income levels and so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of a neighborhood that residents have worked to make safer and less blighted, with improving schools and better access to transportation and local jobs.
- Over half of Lawrenceville’s Housing Choice Voucher units (120 low-income families) were lost between 2011 and 2016.
- An IZ policy would have created 84 new units of affordable housing with Lawrenceville’s recent development.
What’s being done about IZ locally? In May 2016, the Affordable Housing Task Force identified IZ as one of its key recommendations to address the gap of over 17,000 affordable units in Pittsburgh. Mayor Peduto issued an Executive Order in February 2017 to create an Exploratory Committee that would further assess the feasibility and structure of an IZ program. Specific recommendations were released in November 2017 to City Council and the Mayor, and suggested mandatory inclusion of 10% affordable units city-wide in projects over 20 unit, with a by-right tax abatement offered. Councilwoman Gross sponsored amendments to the zoning text for Urban Industrial in December 2017 that requires 30% affordability in projects over 20 units. LU is currently about to launch a community process in Lawrenceville to pilot IZ that could serve as a model for other neighborhoods or a city-wide policy.