Affordable housing is a growing issue of regional importance in our community. In May, 2016, the City of Pittsburgh’s Affordable Housing Task Force released its report to the Mayor and City Council. The report called for the creation of a centralized, publicly-accessible repository of affordable housing data to be hosted by the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center. In addition to including lists of deed and income-restricted properties, the Task Force also sought to use data to track compliance, monitor housing conditions, and establish an ‘early warning system’ when use restrictions change, or condition issues threaten overall affordability and family stability.
To support this goal of using data to proactively monitor threats to affordability, the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center at the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab partnered to develop a frequently-updated collection of data about subsidized properties in Allegheny County from approximately 20 different databases provided by HUD and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). This tool launched in April 2022 allows people to view data for a project, and filter the data to display a subset of properties including those with low inspection scores and those that may have their subsidies expire in coming years. Users of the data explorer are also able to create watch lists of properties whose affordability is at risk. Properties can be viewed on a map, with data associated with each property displayed on screen.