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$693K housing project starting in Rankin, part of larger effort in Mon Valley

Four new single-family homes are being constructed on Fifth Ave. and Fourth St. in Rankin. On May 3rd, the Mon Valley Initiative (MVI) and Allegheny County broke ground on the second phase of the Corners at Fifth II project.

Located in the Woodland Hills School District, the three- and four-bedroom houses will range in size from 1,400 to 1,650 square feet, and will feature 1.5-2.5 bathrooms, garages and front porches. “Rankin is unique because there aren’t a lot of abandoned buildings. For the Mon Valley, it’s a stable community,” says Doug Van Haitsma with MVI, who acquired twelve parcels of land to build the homes. “We’ve added basements, which is remarkable for Pittsburgh. With two houses on each corner, it's incredibly striking and really shows impact.”

The $693,000 project received $627,000 in Housing & Urban Development HOME and Community Development Block Grant funds from Allegheny County, including $15,000 for soft second mortgages. Homes will be marketed for $57,000 and $62,000.

Propelled by community support, MVI built eight houses in Rankin in 2004. “We were amazed with the response. All eight houses sold before they were complete,” says Van Haitsma, who links housing efforts in Rankin to the county’s pledge to redevelop the Carrie Furnace site its surrounding communities. “The county approached us and said they wanted to keep momentum going. The community has very involved since the beginning.”

Construction is slated to begin at the end of May; homes will be completed in six months. Project contractor is Mistick Construction. MVI, who is working with the Rankin Partnership, recently assisted 17  homeowners with façade improvements.

Writer: Jennifer Baron
Source: Doug Van Haitsma, MVI

Image courtesy of Mon Valley Initiative



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