A large vacant building in Forest Hills will soon have a new purpose. By the end of next year it will be rehabilitated and expanded into 41 new apartments for military veterans and senior citizens. The former Westinghouse Air Brake Company building at 1844 Ardmore Boulevard was vacant and an eyesore for Forest Hills residents for nearly a decade. The site became a focus for strategic redevelopment in the community. Numerous ideas were proposed; most involved demolishing the building, but ACTION-Housing, Inc. proposed a complete renovation and two-story addition to create new affordable housing units for military veterans and senior citizens. With support from Allegheny County Economic Development, Forest Hills Community Development Corporation, and Veterans Leadership Program, ACTION-Housing, Inc. was able to put together a development plan to save the building, create affordable housing, and visually improve the entrance to the Borough of Forest Hills.

On October 27th, ACTION-Housing, Inc. hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Forest Hills Veteran Housing facility. After a week of cold and rainy weather, the sky cleared and the sun warmed the groundbreaking site just in time for the 11:00am start. Speakers shared their support for the project and explained the critical need for affordable housing in Allegheny County. Speakers included: Congressman Mike Doyle, State Senator Jay Costa, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, State Representative Paul Costa, Forest Hills Mayor Frank Porco Jr., and Veterans Leadership Program Executive Director Ben Stahl among other project partners. After the speeches, speakers and other significant attendees ceremoniously laid bricks along the building as a symbol of unity and cooperation of the multiple entities that made this project a reality.

Once complete, this building will contain 41 affordable apartments, 21 will have a preference for military veterans and 20 will have a preference for senior citizens. Six units will be fully accessible; including two units for hearing and vision impaired individuals. There will be 12 spaces of indoor parking in the basement with elevator access to all floors. In order to increase the total amount of units, two floors will be added on top of the rear of the existing structure. More information on the Forest Hills Veterans Housing can be found on our website in the “Real Estate Development” page under “current projects”.

 

In a location once known for seafood-oriented fine dining, there will soon be new affordable housing and non-profit office and programming space geared towards supporting individuals with intellectual and mental health disabilities.

On August 18th at 10AM, ACTION-Housing in partnership with Jewish Residential Services (JRS) held an official groundbreaking ceremony at 2615 Murray Avenue to celebrate the creation of new affordable housing and a new office/programming space for JRS.  Speakers included Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack, U.S. Congressman Michael Doyle, State Senator Jay Costa, State Representative Dan Frankel, and City Councilman Corey O’Connor as well as a number of other stakeholders.

The project, located at 2615 Murray Avenue on the former site of the Poli’s restaurant, will include a six-story building.  The first two stories will have office and programming space for Jewish Residential Services and the upper four floors will have 33 one and two bedroom units of affordable housing, half with a preference for people with intellectual and mental health disabilities.  All units will be affordable to households making 60% of Area Median Income or less ($34,200 for a household of two people).  Across the street at the former Poli’s parking lot, there will be a two story parking garage with 23 spaces and bicycle parking.

A client at Mackey Lofts was interviewed about her struggle with her disability.

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Article by Executive Director Larry Swanson featured in the Post-Gazette

The Leg­is­la­ture should in­crease tax-cred­its that sup­port ser­vices in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

Nobody understands how to serve the charitable needs of a community better than the people who live and work there, and the best way for business leaders to enhance their communities is through partnership with local service providers. Together, they can build strategies to meet neighborhood needs while avoiding the problems that often result when a far-away agency prescribes a round-peg-square-hole, one-size-fits-all delivery model.

For 50 years, the Neighborhood Assistance Program, a tax credit administered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has helped...

read more on the Post Gazette website

 

Artist Laura Jean McLaughlin was awarded the 2nd annual Artists and Cities Award. She was presented with the award by Deputy Executive Director, Line Metropulos at our 60th Annual Meeting.

You can see some of her work below.