Beginnings: HACP Established 1937
On August 26, 1937, following the signing of the U.S. Housing Act, the City Council of Pittsburgh created the Pittsburgh Housing Authority. The Act was intended to provide for the elimination of unsafe and unsanitary housing conditions, the eradication of slums, and the provision of decent, safe and sanitary dwellings for families of low income. The Pittsburgh Housing Authority was the first in Pennsylvania and one of the first in the nation.
HACP’s first action, the development of Bedford Dwellings, was approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1938. Over the next two years, the Authority cleared 19 acres of slums along a hillcrest overlooking the Allegheny River to create the 420 apartments of Bedford Dwellings. On July 15, 1940, the first HACP tenant moved into an apartment on Bedford Avenue. In that same year, on Oct. 9, 1940, President Roosevelt dedicated Addison Terrace (now know as Skyline Terrace), in front of a crowd of nearly 30,000 Pittsburghers.
From 1939 to 1944, in spite of massive social, financial and human problems, a total of seven housing developments were constructed: Bedford Dwellings, Addison Terrace, Allequippa Terrace, Arlington Heights, Allegheny Dwellings, Glen Hazel Heights and Broadhead Manor. These developments, however, were not sufficient to keep up with the growing need for housing. This was partly due to two of the developments, Broadhead Manor and Glen Hazel Heights, being designated as war housing during World War II.
After the war, life began to return to normal, and in 1949 HACP built two more communities, Bedford Addition and St. Clair Village. As public housing facilities grew in the City of Pittsburgh, so did the activities provided for the residents of the communities. Programs were implemented by the Red Cross, Carnegie Library, the Board of Education, and Parks and Recreation. Residents also participated in sports, arts and crafts, social clubs, carnivals and parties.