Vacant Properties

Stroll along the streets of Wilkinsburg, and blight is pretty obvious. What isn’t so obvious is the staggering financial impact.  In their 2013 study, Allegheny County’s three COGs determined the direct and indirect costs of blight to the 41 communities in the study area: 

  • The direct cost to municipal services is $10,720,302.
  • The direct cost related to the loss of tax revenue is $8,637,875.
  • The indirect costs associated with a loss in property value are estimated at between $218 million and $247 million.
  • The indirect costs associated with the loss of real estate taxes due to a decline in property value is estimated to be between $8,574,723 and $9,718,019.

In the summer of 2014, four graduate student interns field-verified every vacant property in Wilkinsburg so that the Borough could get a handle on the number of vacant properties; see a list of vacant properties, alphabetically by street, here.

The Borough has implemented several programs to address the problem of vacant properties:

Allegheny County Vacant Property Recovery Program (VPRP):

This program is run through the Allegheny County Economic Development Department. Tax delinquent property is acquired by the applicant for such uses as a sidelot, rresidential and commercial rehabs, and new construction. It also allows for the purchase of certain tax delinquent structures by qualified buyers. Find more information here and an application here.

Tax Base Expansion Ordinance:

The Borough, in conjunction with the Wilkinsburg School District, created a joint committee to develop programs to address the shrinking tax base; provisions of the ordinance include:

  • Tax Compromise Program – the ordinance makes it easier to acquire tax-delinquent and abandoned buildings for renovation without having to pay more than their current value in delinquent taxes.
  • Temporary Tax Exemption Program - Ten-year graduated tax abatement on improvements to residential, commercial, and mixed-use properties; application is available here.
  • Feel free to checkout this handy flow-chart.

The Wilkinsburg Joint Tax Committee on Administrative Process to Reclaim Vacant Properties meets on the last Monday of the month at 6:00 pm in the 2nd floor Council Chambers of the Borough Building; meetings are open to the public. Note that because of Memorial Day, the May, 2016 meeting will be held May 23


Constituent & Community Relations Meeting

The Constituent and Community relations meeting for today, 2/9/2017, at 10am has been cancelled due to the weather.

Posted: 2/9/2017
Community Calendar

Our website is currently under construction. If you're looking for meeting dates, they will be up within the next few days. If you need meeting dates any sooner, feel free to call the borough main office at 412-244-2900.

Posted: 2/2/2017
Municipal Service Fee (Refuse Pickup)

FYI - Municipal Service Fee statements will be mailed out soon. The fee for 2017 will be $200.

Posted: 2/2/2017
Public Forum for Wilkinsburg Gateway Sign

A public forum to share the finalist designs for the new Wilkinsburg Gateway sign will be held on Thursday, February 16th at 6PM in the 2nd floor Council Chambers at the Borough Building. All are welcome.

Posted: 2/1/2017
Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Please be advised- The Borough Offices will be closed on Monday, January 16, 2017 in Observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Posted: 1/13/2017
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7:00 PM - Council Chambers

Joint Tax Committee

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Wilkinsburg Borough Building • 605 Ross Avenue, Wilkinsburg PA 15221 • (412) 244-2900