Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Plan Moves Forward to Redevelop Bedford Dwellings in Hill District

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Plan Moves Forward to Redevelop Bedford Dwellings in Hill District

Article excerpt

A plan to redevelop one of Pittsburgh's oldest remaining public housing complexes - home to more than 400 families- is moving forward.

Board members of the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh on Thursday unanimously authorized submitting a plan to the federal government for Bedford Dwellings in the Hill District, where residents began moving into the low-rise homes there in 1940.

The plan calls for 60 to 100 "mixed-income rental units comprising Bedford Dwellings replacement units and other affordable and market rate units." Board members also authorized the authority to spend up to $1.8 million on planning, site acquisition and other activities.

The housing authority will apply for additional federal redevelopment funding in the fall.

"Everybody is very excited about the new development," said Gail Felton, a longtime resident who is president of the Bedford tenant council.

In 2016, the city and housing authority were awarded a $500,000 federal planning grant under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. That kicked off a planning process that has culminated in the plan that will be submitted to HUD this week.

As part of the effort, the housing authority has made "significant" investment in rehab and home ownership in the area, said Darrell Davis, the authority's chief development officer.

It's unclear how many housing units will ultimately be on the site, how many will be affordable, and how many will be market rate.

The site has 411 units now and is the second-largest public housing complex in the city.

"There are a number of designs that the community would have to approve," said Michelle Sandidge, the housing authority's chief community affairs officer. Any redevelopment also ultimately depends on federal approval and funds.

"Our preference is to build [new housing] first and then demolish," so residents would only have to move one time, rather than being displaced from the area and having to move again when work is complete, Ms. …

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