Reconstruction Begins On Addison Terrace Public Housing

The city of Pittsburgh recently committed to reconstructing the Addison Terrace, the oldest public housing community in town.  Addison Terrace lies within the Hill District, but developers plan to extend the community south to Centre Avenue.  The reconstruction is supported by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), which hopes to reduce poverty in the area.

The Addison Terrace housed 734 units in the community prior to the reconstruction plans, and those units were crumbling from years of neglect and criminal elements taking over the neighborhoods.  Once the new development is complete, there will be an estimated 400 new units extending south past the Hill District.  Developers hope to rent out half of the new units at market rental rates, while providing subsidized housing agreements for low income families.

Hundreds of residents called the Addison Terrace home for many years, and most families are committed to moving back in once the redevelopment is complete.  Delores Bailey, Treasurer of the Addison Terrace Resident Council, lived in the community for 29 years, and will return once construction is complete.  She says the new units will look fantastic, and help the community rebrand itself from the poverty-stricken image that it became known for over the years.

The PHFA is financing much of the construction, and the money will be handed out in phases.  PHFA Chairman Howard Slaughter says each unit will cost an estimated $400,000, and expects the total project will exceed $160 million.  Nevertheless, Slaughter says in cases of public and social housing, the cost is secondary to doing the right thing.

“When you do these types of developments, there are all kinds of costs, and you have to look at the public good this brings to the community.”