Wolf announces funds for Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh to upgrade facility and programs

Wolf announces funds for Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh to upgrade facility and programs

Author: Alanna Koll/Thursday, March 2, 2017/Categories: Pittsburgh

The Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh is set to receive $12 million in tax credits to help with some much needed improvements to the centers building.

Governor Tom Wolf announced Wednesday that Commonwealth Cornerstone Group (CCG) has completed $5 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) that will allow all three floors of the 38,000-square-foot building to be updated, allow the shelter to expand and enhance its programs for abused women and their children. 

“The Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh performs vitally important work with care and compassion,” said Gov. Wolf. “The much-needed improvements to their building will help the organization assist more people in more ways, and will position it to serve women and children in need for many years.” 

In 1994, the Women’s Center and Shelter purchased and renovated a former automobile showroom to serve as its administrative office, non-resident counseling space, and residential facility for domestic abuse victims, also providing child care for the residents. 

But the 36-bed facility is no longer large enough to support the current demand for its programs with the shelter having to turn away 262 women and 234 children just last year due to its limited space. 

“The Women’s Center and Shelter runs primarily off donations. So these tax credits provided by Commonwealth Cornerstone Group will help the group preserve its financial reserves by addressing funding gaps in its construction plan,” said Brian A. Hudson Sr., CCG chairman and executive director of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). “We’re glad we can help the shelter continue its important work in Pittsburgh’s North Oakland neighborhood and throughout the region.” 

The building rehab initiative is aimed at expanding the shelter by providing 48 beds, enhancing  living spaces, create administrative and therapy areas, enlarge children’s areas, provide security and safety systems, update parking and storm water systems, and incorporate an energy efficient design. 

Once construction is complete, it’s expected that the shelter will hire three new permanent employees at $16.82/hour and retain 47 current full-time jobs. 

Economic estimates, according to the Wolf administration, predict this project will create 23 indirect and induced jobs providing $1,129,000 in added wages for the region. 

In addition to the $5 million in New Markets Tax Credits- a program passed by Congress in 2000 to spur new or increased investments in businesses and real estate projects located in low-income communities- the women’s shelter will be receiving an additional $7 million in tax credits provided by Pittsburgh Urban Initiatives.