Teams Push Again On Pittsburgh’s Spending Plans For Federal COVID Aid Funding – CBS Pittsburgh

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — How should the city of Pittsburgh spend its federal COVID relief money? Many Pittsburghers and community groups say the planning process has not matched the moment.

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The city received $335 million in aid.

The biggest portion of the funding will go towards making sure the city doesn’t have to lay off its first responders.

That leaves $10 million with only two public meetings to discuss how it should be spent. Many are calling for more housing assistance.

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“Pittsburgh had a shortage of 20,000 affordable homes before the pandemic, and given the economic damage experienced by renters over the last fifteen months, the problem is certainly far worse now,” said Robert Damewood, an attorney for Regional Housing Legal Services.

“I think council should consider getting more ideas from the community and from advocates on how to allocate this money to best meet the COVID-related trauma and economic impact,” said Linda McCarthy, a retired nurse.

“Setting aside $10 million for a city-wide food justice fund that can be allocated for a variety of initiatives addressing food hunger problems would go an enormous way,” said Ken Regal, Executive Director of Just Harvest.

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Several groups will be rallying for more public input on the spending plan on Tuesday outside of the City-County Building.

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