Project team members celebrated alongside Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, ACTION-Housing, Inc. leadership, state and city representatives, and special guests.
Flats on Forward, a mixed-use affordable housing project located on the corner of Forward and Murray Avenues, one of the primary gateways to the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, offers 43 fully equipped residential units, a rooftop community room, and ground-level office space. The celebration of the highly anticipated development was inaugurated by emcee Larry Swanson, Executive Director of ACTION-Housing, Inc., followed by congratulatory remarks from elected officials including State Senator Jay Costa, State Representative Dan Frankel, and Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey.
Other local and regional representatives, including City Councilwoman Barb Warwick and Allegheny County Controller Corey O’Conner, shared their excitement about increasing accessibility to dignified housing in the city. Lena Andrews, the Vice President of Real Estate Development at ACTION-Housing, Inc., celebrated the hard work of ACTION-Housing, Inc.’s development team and the project team, calling the project “one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.” After the ribbon cutting, guests joined the organization’s staff members––future occupants of the ground-floor offices––for a tour of the building.
The design of Flats on Forward sensitively integrates much-needed affordable housing into a neighborhood context of rental and owner-occupied housing, a dynamic commercial corridor, places of worship, grocery stores, and parks and playgrounds; all the necessities for daily living. Units range from one to two bedrooms and have views of the surrounding neighborhood hills. Angled brick recesses at the facade off Forward Ave mimic the residential window openings above, giving breathing room on the sidewalk, and marking building entries. The community room on the top floor serves as a space where residents can enjoy panoramic views while creating neighborly bonds between families.
Built on a hillside, the mixed-use development stands tall, welcoming community members and visitors. Susheela Nemani-Stanger, Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Executive Director, described it as “a true urban design puzzle and one of the most complicated Tetris games I think anyone has ever played,” adding, “We are going to be looking at this as a case study for years to come.”