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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – As Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods continue to grow, often, so do property tax bills.
So local leaders are doing what they can to try to keep long-time city residents in their own homes.
It’s called LOOP – Longtime Owner Occupant Program – and state Senator Jay Costa is planning on introducing the legislation in the near future.
“The goal of this legislation is to assist those longtime residents in the City of Pittsburgh and some of the neighborhoods that have been experiencing increases in their taxes due to the economic development taking place around those longtime homeowners,” Costa said.
He was referring to neighborhoods that are growing at a rapid rate through gentrification – like Lawrenceville and Bloomfield.
“To introduce this bill called LOOP to talk about how they can stay there is a great opportunity for them to stay in the community they’ve lived in all their lives,” said State Rep. Ed Gainey.
“We need them in our neighborhoods,” City Councilwoman Deb Gross said. “If you have all new residents in a neighborhood, it’s not a neighborhood anymore.”
Mayor Bill Peduto says he’s lived through a lot of changes over the years.
“Now i get to see a different city,” Peduto said. “A city that is one which people are moving into. Where people are choosing not to live in suburbs but are actually wanting to live in cities.”
“This is an attempt to allow those folks to stay in those neighborhoods,” Costa said. “Those folks who spent many, many years, in good times and bad in those neighborhoods. We don’t want them forced out of homes because of positive economic development that’s taken place there.”
Costa says he hopes to get legislation on the governor’s desk as soon as possible. As for other dignitaries, it’s about investing in the City of Pittsburgh.
“When we invest in people, we can build up their community that is crafted in their vision and today is one step forward in that vision,” State Rep. Sara Innamorato said.