In an effort to help address the affordable housing needs in the city, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is engaging ACTION-Housing Inc. of Pittsburgh in the sale of three apartment buildings for conversion into affordable units.

This revitalization project on N. Highland Ave. between Stanton and St. Marie in East Liberty includes updates of kitchens and bathrooms, new windows, a community room, a number of ADA accessible apartments, and landscaping of the grounds around the buildings.

“We believe we should be good neighbors, as Jesus made clear throughout his teachings,” said Jim Gockley, Board chair of Pittsburgh Seminary. “Working with ACTION on providing affordable housing allows us to continue the Seminary’s commitment to generous hospitality and helps to ensure that Pittsburgh remains a place for all people.”

ACTION-Housing’s work focuses on a vision of the city where at-risk populations can be assured affordable places to live, with access to health care, supportive services, transit, and employment centers, and where all neighborhoods welcome and plan for the inclusion of those with lower incomes or with disabilities. ACTION and the Seminary are missionally aligned in serving all people.

Upon completion of the renovations, the buildings will provide housing for low-income and moderate-income households, including a focus on individuals with disabilities and single parents, and will continue to offer housing to Seminary students. The majority of the units for the general public will be affordable to households earning between 20 percent and 80 percent Area Median Income. The site offers immediate access to good public transportation, schools, parks, and fresh-food options while being conveniently located to the primary employment centers in the city.

“This project allows the Seminary to be good stewards of our resources while providing modern, affordable, proximate, and safe housing to our students and at the same time serving a neighborhood need,” said the Rev. Dr. David Esterline, president and professor of cross-cultural theological education at the Seminary.

Larry Swanson, executive director of ACTION-Housing, commented, “It is not often that an opportunity like this comes along. The leadership of the Seminary has demonstrated that we all have a chance to help address the issues faced by those with fewer resources and greater challenges to thriving in our city. ACTION-Housing is excited to be able to work alongside the Seminary to create new affordable housing in the East End.”  

The renovations are expected to take approximately 16 months from the start of construction, which begins this summer. Working with GBBN Architects, NELCON Construction, and Iams Consulting, ACTION-Housing is bringing a trusted team of professionals to the project. A community meeting is scheduled for Feb. 25, 2020, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Knox Room, Long Hall, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Rooted in the Reformed tradition and in relationship with Christ-followers from other traditions, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary forms and equips people for ministries familiar and yet to unfold and communities present and yet to be gathered.

Established in 1957 and with a long history serving the local area, ACTION-Housing is a non-profit working to empower people to build more secure and self-sufficient lives through the provision of decent, affordable housing, essential supportive services, asset building programs, and educational and employee opportunities.

affordable housing in Pittsburgh