Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Meeting Will Discuss Future of Hill's Bedford Dwellings

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Meeting Will Discuss Future of Hill's Bedford Dwellings

Article excerpt

The future of Bedford Dwellings, the last remaining large-scale, pre-World War II public housing complex in Pittsburgh's Hill District neighborhood, will be discussed at a community meeting Tuesday evening.

Bedford is the oldest public housing complex still standing in the city; it has 411 units and approximately 650 residents. Its development was approved by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938; the first tenants moved into the complex in 1940.

In June, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh would receive a $500,000 planning grant as part of HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, targeting Bedford Dwellings and the middle Hill District neighborhood.

Residents can learn more Tuesday night at a public meeting hosted by the housing authority and several community groups.

Any potential redevelopment of the site would be years away and contingent upon the housing authority receiving a HUD implementation grant, said Michelle Sandidge, the housing authority's chief community affairs officer.

Tuesday's meeting is a chance to "start looking over and see what the community wants to bring back," said Gail Felton, president of the Bedford Tenant Council. However, she added, "That doesn't mean we will get anything we are planning."

HUD says the Choice Neighborhoods program is focused on three goals: replacing older public housing with mixed-income housing, improving educational outcomes for youth in the neighborhood, and creating "the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer the kinds of amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity, that are important to families' choices about their community."

As part of the grant, communities must develop a plan to achieve these goals; Tuesday's public meeting is required as a condition of the grant. …

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