Pennsylvania · Pittsburgh · Housing




Fig. 1. Once upon a time this was a Whole Foods Market. The store is part of a complex that replaced the Penn Plaza Apartments.[1] Whole Foods has now relocated to a larger location a few blocks away. Photograph by author, August 23, 2023.

Fig. 2. Most of the homeless encampments I’ve seen around Pittsburgh have been on the North Side. This one is downtown, right by a Parkway (Interstate 376) onramp. Photograph by author, May 22, 2023.

Fig. 3. The old Hazelwood library branch. It has been replaced with a new branch on Second Avenue. Photograph by author, May 1, 2020.

Matthew Yglesias, “What’s the Most Affordable City in the World?” Slate, January 28, 2014,

Bob Bauder, “Pittsburgh settles court battle over Penn Plaza Apartments,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 27, 2017,

Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh is one of the most gentrified cities in the U.S.,” Pittsburgh City Paper, April 4, 2019,

Ryan Deto, “The displacement of Anthony Hardison from his Lawrenceville apartment is a microcosm of a neighborhood epidemic,” Pittsburgh City Paper, January 15, 2020,

Rich Lord, “How an anti-blight law has become a tool for ambitious landlords in Allegheny County,” Pittsburgh Public Source, December 18, 2020,

Tom Davidson, “Is there a crisis of ‘forced mass displacement’ of Black Pittsburghers? Residents, council divided on answer,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 6, 2021,

Kimberly Rooney, “How rising rents and renovations have displaced Pittsburghers and added to the city’s ongoing issues with gentrification,” Pittsburgh City Paper, April 28, 2021,

Rich Lord, “Can East Hills residents reverse ‘blightlining’ and ‘rotrification’ on Park Hill Drive?” Pittsburgh Public Source, June 9, 2021,

Charlie Wolfson, “Inclusionary zoning is taking hold in Lawrenceville. Is the rest of Pittsburgh next?” Pittsburgh Public Source, June 16, 2021,

Bill O’Toole, “Pittsburgh lacks affordable housing for everyone. Here are key resources for starting your search,” Pittsburgh Public Source, January 24, 2022,

Tawnya Panizzi, “Tarentum residents will face instant penalty for unsafe, eyesore properties,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, March 9, 2022,

Amelia Winger, “Eyesores, nuisances and hazards. What can residents do about blight?” Pittsburgh Public Source, March 15, 2022,

Leslie Cook, “This U.S. City Is the Most Affordable Housing Market in the World,” SFGate, April 21, 2022,

Eric Jankiewicz, “URA weighs joining Housing Authority to aid new homeowners,” Pittsburgh Public Source, September 8, 2022,

Mark Belko, “Quicker conversions of Downtown Pittsburgh offices into apartments moving closer to reality,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 21, 2022,

Eric Jankiewicz, “URA sells off land for affordable housing, approves first-time homebuyer plan,” Pittsburgh Public Source, October 13, 2022,

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods pay the price for abandoned and decrepit homes,” October 15, 2022,

Mark Belko, “A different bird: Shady Hill Center redevelopment to feature Market District store,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 9, 2022,

Lily Katz, “Rental Market Tracker: Rents Rose 7.8% in October—Slowest Growth in 14 Months,” Redfin, November 16, 2022,

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh streamlines process to convert unused Downtown office space into housing,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 8, 2022,

Michael Korsh, “The city of Pittsburgh’s wasteland of unsafe, abandoned homes,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 5, 2023,

Michael Korsh, “Housing advocates wage legal battle to take over Pittsburgh’s blighted properties,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 12, 2023,

Eric Jankiewicz, “Pittsburgh’s push for rental registration nixed by appeals court,” Pittsburgh Public Source, March 17, 2023,

Eric Jankiewicz, “Pittsburgh’s mayor asked for expert advice on homelessness. Here’s what the mayor — and you — should know,” Pittsburgh Public Source, May 23, 2023,

Lizabeth Gray, “The Carina Apartments in Garfield bring new life to B’nai Israel,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 16, 2023,

Ford Turner, “A bill to help Pittsburgh fight blight is close to passing as Pa. lawmakers continue budget talks,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 17, 2023,

Jordan Anderson, “As Smithfield shelter closure potentially pushes more to the street, advocates work to create a protective policy for unhoused people,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 20, 2023,

Neena Hagen, “Pittsburgh stalls land bank reform as city council debates key legislation,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 27, 2023,

Ryan Deto and Justin Vellucci, “Downtown Pittsburgh is rebounding, but less smoothly than some would like,” July 2, 2023,

Michael Korsh, “Homes in the shadows: Out-of-state LLCs often conceal ownership of Allegheny County’s dangerous and decaying homes,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 2, 2023,

Eric Jankiewicz, “$50 million federal infusion coming to Pittsburgh housing authority’s Hill District revamp,” Public Source, July 21, 2023,

Mark Belko, “A new Downtown? More residential, retail a must as concerns grow over possible office building defaults,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 23, 2023,

Stephanie Ritenbaugh, “’There’s a mismatch’: Office vacancies continue to climb in Pittsburgh region,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 24, 2023,

Jake Blumgart, “Here’s why Philly’s empty offices likely won’t become apartments anytime soon,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 25, 2023,

Neena Hagen, “City Council pushes through legislation to kickstart land bank and battle blight,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 1, 2023,

Jordan Anderson, “‘The perfect storm’: Loss of pandemic-era benefits puts families on the brink,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 5, 2023,

Bill Schackner, “Point Park University wants to increase enrollment by 30%, house older adults,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 30, 2023,

Mark Belko, “‘A higher standard:’ Affordable housing developer acquires Downtown Pittsburgh apartment building,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 31, 2024,

Jordan Anderson, “Cost of rent is hitting record levels, including in Pittsburgh, but not enough low-cost units are available,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 10, 2024,

Jacob Geanous, “As evictions soar in Allegheny County, a sense of urgency permeates,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 11, 2024,

Mark Belko, “Rescuing Downtown Pittsburgh: City councilman pitches a plan for broader tax relief to aid in building conversions,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 12, 2024,

  1. [1]Bob Bauder, “Pittsburgh settles court battle over Penn Plaza Apartments,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 27, 2017,

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