News & Views
Allegheny County Housing Authority and Pennrose Celebrate Grand Opening of Heritage Highlands
Completion of the Hawkins Village redevelopment delivers brand new affordable housing, community amenities, green space, and supportive services to Rankin, PA
Pennrose, Falbo Group, LLC, and the Allegheny County Housing Authority (ACHA) celebrated the grand opening of Heritage Highlands, the two-phase redevelopment of the former, 198-unit Hawkins Village public housing community in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. The project brings 105 brand new, high-quality affordable homes, a new community building, robust on-site supportive services, and amenities to the 18.8-acre site.
Speakers at the grand opening included: Dr. Howard B. Slaughter, Jr., President & CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Pittsburgh & Board of Directors, Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard J. Monocchio, Office of Public and Indian Housing, Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Senator Jay Costa, District 43, Pennsylvania State Senate; Bryce Maretzki, Director of Strategic Planning and Policy, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency; County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County; Mayor Joelisa McDonald, Rankin Borough; Mark Forester, Board Chair, Allegheny County Housing Authority Board; Sara Innamorato, Board Vice Chair, Allegheny County Housing Authority Board; Frank Aggazio, Executive Director, Allegheny County Housing Authority; Paul D’Alesandro, Assistant Secretary, Allegheny County Housing Authority Board; Mike Doyle, Retired U.S. Congressman; Ralph Falbo, President, Falbo Group, LLC; and Jacob Fisher, Regional Vice President, Pennrose, LLC.
The master plan was completed in two phases. The $20M first phase, which broke ground in June 2022, includes 54 units across 19, two-story buildings with a mix of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom townhouses, green space, and the brand-new community building. The $22M second phase delivered 51 units across 21, two-story townhouse-style buildings with one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom units available. A key component of the development is the centralized community green space, which provides residents and neighbors with safe, open community gathering space, playgrounds, and a basketball court.
The project is 100% affordable, with homes available at 20% to 60% of the Area Median Income, roughly $880 for a one-person household. Of the 105 units, twenty-nine will be designated as replacement public housing and will be subsidized with ACC subsidy. All residents will have access to the community building, including on-site maintenance, supportive services, resident lounge, and amenity space.
“We are proud to be here alongside ACHA and our project partners to mark the completion of the Heritage Highlands master planned community, transforming the obsolete Hawkins Village into a vibrant, walkable, and family-friendly neighborhood,” said Jacob Fischer, Regional Vice President at Pennrose. “Today marks a new chapter for the Borough of Rankin, providing high-quality, affordable housing and resident amenities with easy access to downtown Pittsburgh.”
The brand-new units feature Residents will also benefit from being within walking distance to public transit options to downtown Pittsburgh, jobs, retail, and other resources.
“Heritage Highlands is truly a transformative affordable housing community,” said Frank Aggazio, Executive Director at the Allegheny County Housing Authority. “The development will provide stable, safe housing for generations to come.”
“The Biden Administration celebrates this investment in Western Pennsylvania to provide much needed affordable housing, contribute to the local economy, and create opportunities for the community,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Richard J. Monocchio from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “We applaud this project since it is critical to not only preserve and expand our supply of affordable housing but ensure residents live in vibrant neighborhoods with supportive services and amenities.”
“It takes so many partners and a great team to get projects like this done and we have been so fortunate to have everyone working together on this effort,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Congressman Doyle, Senator Costa, and so many others rolled up their sleeves to make this project happen. This is a great day for Rankin, the Mon Valley, and the region, providing great housing and opportunities for those who call this community home. I’m proud to have been a part of it.”
Originally built in 1941 for veterans returning from World War II, Hawkins Village was known as one of Allegheny County’s oldest public housing community. The $37M redevelopment will serve as a catalyst for larger change within Rankin, providing desirable, much-needed affordable housing outside of Pittsburgh city limits for the City’s workforce and families.
Financing for Phase I includes a reservation of 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, $2,784,800 in PHFA Construction Cost Relief Program funds, and a $1,854,365 PHFA permanent loan. Allegheny County contributed $2,750,000 in CDBG funds with Mon Valley Initiative serving as lender for these funds. The Allegheny County Housing Authority contributed $1,464,424 in capital funds to the project and HUD will be providing ACC subsidy to the project once complete. Enterprise Community Development was the syndicator for the project and FNB Bank is providing construction financing. Prior to construction, a $6M remediation, demolition, and infrastructure phase was completed that was separately funded by the Allegheny County Housing Authority.
Phase II funding includes a reservation of 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, $3,317,567 in PHFA Development Cost Relief Program funds, and a $900,000 in PHFA PHARE HTF funds. Allegheny County Economic Development contributed $1,767,000 in CDBG funds with Mon Valley Initiative serving as lender for these funds. The Allegheny County Housing Authority contributed $1,016,866 in capital funds to the project and HUD will be providing ACC subsidy to the project once complete. CREA, LLC was the syndicator for the project and FNB Bank is providing construction financing. In addition, the project secured a $3,000,000 RACP Grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Pennrose is active throughout Pennsylvania and has in-depth experience redeveloping communities throughout the Northeast and across the country. Pennrose also recently celebrated the groundbreaking of Sharswood Crossing III, which added 60 apartments to the comprehensive Sharswood Transformation Plan.