Things to do in The South Side
South Side street view. Photo by Tracy Certo

Since 2000, Carson Retirement Residence and the Sarah Street Townhomes have provided a combined 99 units of affordable housing on the South Side.

Thanks to a new partnership between the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and developer a.m. Rodriguez Associates, Inc., the homes will be sticking around until at least 2049.

On May 24, the URA announced that they had officially closed a $175,000 loan to the developer. That money, along with an additional $175,000 from the URA, allowed a.m. Rodriguez to buy out their private partners on both buildings and maintain their affordable status for another 30 years, according to their agreement with the Authority.

Located a few blocks from one another in the South Side Flats, the two developments were financed through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and support from the URA.

The Carson Street Retirement Residence boasts 69 affordable apartments made for senior citizens, while the 30 Sarah Street Townhomes are family residences.

“a.m. Rodriguez is grateful to have the support from the URA and PHFA to preserve the affordability of these apartments for seniors and families who live in Pittsburgh’s South Side,” said company president Victor Rodriguez. “Our combined efforts will protect the unique diversity of this neighborhood for future generations.”

Founded in the 1970s, the development firm owns 22 properties across Pennsylvania and Ohio. Some of their notable Pittsburgh projects include the restoration of Morningside School and the Locomotive Lofts in Lawrenceville.

According to a media release, the affordability covenants on both buildings were set to expire shortly, and the private partners with a minority stake in the buildings were eager to shift both properties to market-rate status, given their prime location near SouthSide Works and the cultural offerings of Carson St.

“The challenge of preserving affordable housing, particularly in a neighborhood like the South Side, requires a team effort,” Mayor William Peduto said in the media release. “I want to thank the URA and a.m. Rodriguez for their work to preserve this senior and family-friendly housing.”

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.