Choice Neighborhoods Grant Program

The Choice Neighborhood is a federally funded program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") that supports locally driven strategies to address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation. In 2016, HUD awarded the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) a $500,000 planning grant for the redevelopment of Bedford Dwellings and the Middle Hill District. This redevelopment will consist of one-for-one replacement of the current Bedford Dwellings units as well as up to an additional 411 units of housing in conjunction with neighborhood improvements. Thus far, the policy of HACP and their selected developer has been to plan the redevelopment of publicly owned land. As such, this established the Greater Hill District Master Plan (GHDMP) and the community review process. The Hill CDC currently serves as the convening Housing Committee partner, as well as the co-convening Neighborhood Committee partner for the Choice process.

In 2011 the Hill District completed an extensive planning process that included participation from residents, community groups, stakeholders, city agencies, philanthropic organizations, and the elected officials that represent the neighborhood. The result of that planning process was the Greater Hill District Master Plan, the comprehensive planning document for the Hill District. As part of the GHDMP, the Hill District community adopted the following Development Principles, which serve as a foundation for the Master Plan and guide all land use, project approval, and subsidy allocation decisions affecting the greater Hill District:

  1. Address/Right Historical Wrongs
  2. Promote Economic Justice
  3. Reflect Neighborhood Driven Civic Design
  4. Promote a Green and Healthy Environment
  5. Utilize Neighborhood Strengths and Assets

Community Review Process

To ensure the alignment of any new development within the Greater Hill District, the Hill District community collaboratively created the Development Review Panel (DRP) and the community review process. The panel is comprised of eleven Hill District residents/stakeholders appointed by several community organizations and was created to provide an in-depth review of the proposed development for the Hill District neighborhood. It is the first step in the community review process. The DRP meets monthly to review development plans for alignment with the master plan by considering adherence in areas such as: honoring cultural legacy, providing community appropriate housing, following best urban design practices, meeting economic development goals, ensuring project market viability, and complying with city codes and community plans. If a proposal receives a favorable score at the DRP level, it goes on to present at a public community meeting. If not, it must cycle back through the DRP until the proposal is insufficient alignment.

In order to receive a letter of community support, the proposal must receive a combined favorable score from both the DRP and the community meeting. Any development that involves publicly owned land or is receiving a public subsidy is required to go through the community review process.

All Choice Neighborhood Bedford Dwellings and Middle Hill redevelopment phase proposals must comply with the GHDMP Development Principles as outlined above and included in Appendix A.In order to determine compliance with the GHDMP Development Principles, all Choice Neighborhood Bedford Dwellings and Middle Hill redevelopment phase proposals will be submitted to the DRP and go through the community review process outlined above.