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Press Releases 2019
City Officials And Partners Announce New Home Repair Loan Program
Providing Low Interest Home Repair Loans for Working Philadelphians
March 13, 2019
Today City officials announce the new Restore Repair Renew (RRR) program. This program is a partnership between the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) and nonprofit service providers to offer affordable home repair loans of up to $24,999 to eligible homeowners.“Today is a great day for middle income individuals and families in the City of Philadelphia,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “We understand that there are some families that work every day, and still need assistance in maintaining and preserving their home. These Philadelphians may not be able to qualify for a traditional home repair loan, and may need some assistance. The Philadelphia Neighborhood Home Preservation Loan Program, better known as Restore, Repair, Renew or RRR, is the answer.”
Restore Repair Renew was proposed by Council, and created by PRA. This program is in support of the City’s goal of creating and preserving affordable, quality homes in neighborhoods where the markets are rapidly changing, and in stable neighborhoods at risk of decline. part of a wide-ranging effort to increase housing security for low-income people, working-class families, and seniors.
“The Restore Repair Renew program is a critical part of Council’s strategic plan to support equitable growth and inclusive neighborhoods throughout the City of Philadelphia,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) said. “People with lower incomes shouldn’t pay proportionately more for basic home repairs and modifications, yet many do when the only financing options available to them are precious savings or high-interest credit cards. I’m grateful to our lending and nonprofit partners who recognize that people’s ability to maintain their homes and age in place helps keep neighborhoods stable and primed for investment.”
PRA selected three program intermediaries and two lenders to support this program. Clarifi, Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement (PCCA), and Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) are the program intermediaries.
“For too long, government has overlooked the ‘middle’ — homeowners in working-class neighborhoods who are not poor enough for grant programs but who are also denied loans by big banks. I am proud to have been able to take the lead on behalf of the City Council of Philadelphia in helping to design Restore Repair Renew with these households, along with all Philadelphians, in mind. This program provides an affordable tool for residents in middle neighborhoods and throughout our great city to preserve their most prized asset – their home. In order to stabilize neighborhoods, we need to invest in them now. As we know, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.”
“Clarifi is one of three intermediaries that will be providing direct services to homeowners for the RRR program,” said Jill Roberts, Executive Director, Healthy RowHouse Project. “Over our 53-history, Clarifi has delivered budget, credit and housing counseling, financial education workshops and a comprehensive continuum of outcome-driven financial capability services. The program was a perfect fit for our agency, and the clients we serve.”
“PCCA’s long-term commitment to the revitalization of City and surrounding counties and the economic wellbeing of the people we serve was the perfect fit for planning, testing, implementation, and participation in the Restore, Repair, and Renew program,” said Alfredo de la Peña, President of PCCA and CEO of Mission First Housing Group. “We are looking forward to the launch of this program.”
“There is an undeniable correlation between physical and mental health and financial stability,” said Richard J. Cohen, President and Chief Executive Officer of PHMC. “Helping individuals access the funds to improve the safety and quality of their homes increases individual wellness, stabilizes neighborhoods and supports overall community health. We are proud to partner with the City and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority to assist local homeowners to maintain and improve one of their most important assets.”
The two lenders selected to take part are Univest and FINANTA.
“Univest Bank and Trust Co. is excited to serve as a partner for the Restore, Repair, Renew program,” said Dana Brown, Executive Vice President of Consumer Banking for Univest. “Since entering the city in 2015, Univest continues to expand its presence in Philadelphia and a large part of those efforts is to support programs and organizations that are making a difference in local communities across the city. The RRR program is a perfect fit with our mission which challenges us to be a strong leader in our markets and to be active in our communities.”
“We are thrilled to be a partner of the Restore, Repair, Renew Philadelphia Home Preservation Loan Program and to be able to provide an affordable home repair financing option for Philadelphia home owners,” said Michael Alles, Vice President of Lending for FINANTA
City Marks Transfer of $19 million to Housing Trust Fund for Affordable Housing
February 28, 2019
The City of Philadelphia on Thursday announced the next steps for an historic funding increase for the Housing Trust Fund in order to support the preservation and creation of new affordable housing.
In September 2018, the Kenney Administration and City Council committed to a $19 million contribution to the Housing Trust Fund this fiscal year, with the goal of expanding affordable rental and homeownership opportunities in order to meet affordable housing demand.
“Today we announce $19 million that we’ve accumulated in the first year of these tax abatements for affordable housing and housing stabilization initiatives,” said Mayor Kenney. “These new funds will help preserve and produce more affordable homes for sale or rent, help families buy their first home, and help homeowners avoid foreclosure and renters avoid eviction. These funds will also strengthen neighborhoods, and help low- and moderate-income Philadelphians across the city. By using this new revenue we are ensuring that all Philadelphians benefit from our real estate boom. This is an exciting day for the City.”
City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez (7th District)
Councilmember Mark Squilla (1st District) recommitted to increasing appropriations to the Housing Trust Fund in order to address shortages in affordable housing stock and to lower unjust barriers to housing, such as the overreliance on credit history used by some private lenders.
“The establishment of a Housing Trust Fund Sub-Fund will provide financial assistance in a number of ways to those facing housing challenges throughout the City,” Councilmember Squilla said. “Our residents deserve housing security and this fund will afford them ability to buy homes with access to money for down payment and closing costs. Renters will be able to stay in their homes with support from the fund when they face financial difficulties.”
Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez added: “I am proud of our unprecedented commitment of $19 million in additional resources for affordable housing this year. We have far more work ahead, and I look forward to leading a public conversation about making development incentives fairer and more effective so that all of our neighborhoods enjoy the right to diverse, inclusive, and affordable living.”
“City government should be a bridge between the private sector and underserved communities, and I am incredibly proud that the Housing Trust Fund will now support down payment and closing cost assistance to aspiring homebuyers who face hurdles in the traditional lending market,” Council President Clarke continued. “I thank Mayor Kenney and Councilmembers Sánchez and Squilla for moving Philadelphia closer to our goal of diverse and inclusive neighborhoods that offer opportunities to working and low-income people to live in good health and safety, raise families, and retire with security.”
City of Philadelphia, PRA, and City Council Celebrate the Ribbon-Cutting of 16 Workforce Housing Homes
February 27, 2019
The City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, and City Council work developers, Mo Rushdy and Larry McKnight of The Riverwards Group, celebrate the ribbon-cutting of the Francisville Workforce Housing project, located on Parrish Street between 15th and 16th streets.
These 16 homes are three-bedroom units being sold for $229,990. Each unit has spacious private backyards, a 10-year tax abatement, and no condo or HOA fees.
“Affordable Housing for working class homeowners is so important,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “As neighborhoods across the City continue to change and grow, it is imperative to have housing for Philadelphians at all income levels. Philadelphia’s Workforce Housing Initiative was designed to leverage the value of publicly-owned land to create housing opportunities that will be affordable to households within a certain income level. This is a necessary part of the affordable housing creation model, and I look forward to more developments like this across the city.”
“We are honored to have been the developer on this project,” said Mo Rushdy of the Riverwards Group. “Because the requirements for workforce housing states that buyers must earn no more than $73,000 to qualify, this gives many more Philadelphians the chance to live in a great neighborhood like Francisville. These houses won’t be “flipped” and local residents get to stay in their neighborhood. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
“Our Workforce Housing Initiative is just one example of how cities can leverage existing assets to shore up their core strengths: diverse neighborhoods populated by working people who can raise families and plan for retirement in comfort,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke, 5th District said. “A strong housing market should not be frightening; rather, it should provide benefits that make our neighborhoods better, more welcoming places for all. I am grateful to all of our partners here who are committed to ensuring that the City of Philadelphia continues to manage growth in a fair and responsible way, with the goal of making every neighborhood a community of choice.”
“Francisville Workforce Housing development is a perfect example of how the private sector, teaming up with the public sector, can provide a good product (single family homes) at great pricing for hard-working, working class families,” said Larry McKinght of the Riverwards Group said “This isn’t the first time that The Riverwards Group participated in this great program. In fact, we did the first workforce housing development for the city two years ago and now Francisville is next. We want to do our fair share of giving back to this great city and can’t wait to do more when provided the opportunity.”
“I always wanted to buy a house in the neighborhood I grew up in, but I couldn’t afford it,” said first time Fransville homebuyer LaTonya McDaniels. “When I heard about this workforce housing development, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”
Another new homebuyer Kris Johnson said that he had rented until now. “To become a homeowner is something very special,” Johnson said.
Press Releases 2018
Roberto Clemente Homes Celebrate Ribbon Cutting
Wednesday, November 14 at 1:00 pm
ESPERANZA BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO HUNTING PARK MIDDLE SCHOOL: HOSTS RIBBON-CUTTING CEREMONY OF THE ROBERTO CLEMENTE HOMES
Creating an opportunity community in north Philadelphia
Esperanza hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the newly renovated Roberto Clemente Homes (3921-61 North 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140) at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14. The ceremony, which took place at the former Roberto Clemente Middle School building, celebrated the completion of a year-long transformation in which the structure was converted into 38 units of affordable rental housing and 5,000 square feet of new commercial space.
“We’re very happy that PHA (Philadelphia Housing Authority) has partnered with us to create a much-needed development in the Latino community. I’m excited for the families that will breathe new life into this historical building.” said Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr., Founder, President and CEO of Esperanza.
Speakers included baseball broadcaster and former professional baseball player Roberto Clemente Jr.; Councilwoman Maria Quiñónes-Sanchez; Brian Hudson, Executive Director and CEO of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency; and Kelvin Jeremiah, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Housing Authority.
This project completes the transformation of a facility that had previously offered employment and educational opportunities to the neighborhood but had over the years become vacant and blighted. “It will now once again become a community asset, providing quality, affordable housing to Hunting Park residents,” said David Ortiz, Esperanza’s Vice President of Housing & Economic Development.
Esperanza is grateful to the many partners who have collaborated with us on this project, including the City of Philadelphia – Division of Housing and Community Development, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, M&T Bank, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, PZS Architects, Philadelphia Housing Authority, the Philadelphia Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, PNC Bank, the Reinvestment Fund, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Esperanza is a national community-based organization founded in 1987 by Rev. Luis Cortés and the Hispanic Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity with the biblical mandate to serve and advocate for “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40). Beginning with a local initiative, with programs targeted to address the unmet needs of North Philadelphia’s Hispanic community, Rev. Cortes is now sought by national and international leaders alike on issues of economic and workforce development, housing, immigration, and education. Under his leadership, Esperanza has grown from a small 20- person operation to a $40 million organization with more than 450 employees.
City, Community Celebrate Ribbon-cutting of Anthony Wayne Senior Housing Phase III
Ribbon-cutting for 45 Affordable Units Coming to Grays Ferry
September 25, 2018
Department of Housing and Community Development’s Melissa Long and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson joined the Altman Group of Companies to celebrate the ribbon-cutting of Anthony Wayne Senior Housing Phase III. The new senior housing development is located at the northeast corner of South 28th and Pierce Streets in the Grays Ferry neighborhood of South Philadelphia.
Anthony Wayne Phase III provides affordable rental housing to those 62 and older. The development offers 34 one-bedroom apartments and 11 two-bedroom apartments. It is accessible via public transportation and is also near several retail centers, emergency services, a post office, and medical care.
“At DHCD, we work tirelessly to maximize our resources to create more affordable housing for our seniors in Philadelphia,” said Melissa Long. “Safe, affordable and accessible housing and services are critical, and Anthony Wayne III meets those needs.
“Anthony Wayne III keeps seniors in their community,” said Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. “The affordable development is another great addition to the neighborhood and builds a sense of unity among people of all ages in the neighborhood.”
The development is available to low-and moderate-income households. Each resident can access onsite services provided by the Philadelphia Senior Center. Six of the bedroom units are fully accessible and each unit meets visibility standards.
Every unit is equipped with Energy Star Appliances, low flow water fixtures, and low VOC paint to help reduce impact on the environment. The building is designed using Passive House Design features. The building was developed by the Altman Group’s development entity, Elon Development Co. Inc. It was built by Elon’s affiliated construction firm, Allied Construction Services.
“Anthony Wayne III is the last phase to complete the city block, and brings the total to 130 units of decent, safe and senior affordable housing”, said Francis Vargas Vice President of Elon Development Company. “That is something to be proud of.”
“The Altman Group is pleased that our time, resources and investments support seniors and this South Philadelphia community. said Brett Altman, a principal of the Altman Group. “Anthony Wayne Senior Housing is the result of many years of hard work and the public and private sectors working together for one common goal.”
The City of Philadelphia provided $1.5 million for the development. An additional $12.5 million was leveraged in private equity provided by Hudson Housing Capital and Capital One through the purchase of Low Income Housing Tax Credits awarded by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority is underwriting the financing of the development. The Department of Planning and Development’s Development Services division also assisted with the construction process. Altman Group also worked collaboratively with Grays Ferry Community Council.
PHA Breaks Ground for Norris Apartments Phase III
September 10, 2018
The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) and the City of Philadelphia celebrated the start of construction for Norris Apartments Phase III at a groundbreaking today in the city’s North Central neighborhood. The development represents the third of five phases developed following the award of a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant to the City of Philadelphia and PHA by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in June 2014.
“We’re thrilled to see the renewal of this neighborhood as we work toward building a stronger, safer, more vibrant and sustainable community,” said PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah. “The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant that is making this and other redevelopment activities possible is one of the most significant investments in affordable housing by the federal government in recent years.”
PHA and the City of Philadelphia were awarded a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant by HUD in June 2014 to revitalize the North Central neighborhood. A series of community meetings identified a number of resident priorities: more job training and opportunities; reduced crime and increased neighborhood safety; elimination of trash-strewn vacant land; and high-quality educational resources. The North Central Philadelphia transformation plan will address all of these areas of concern.
“This groundbreaking is an exciting step forward for Philadelphia,” said Senator Casey. “I was proud to support this project from the start and pleased that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development chose to invest in the City. I look forward to the project’s completion and the resulting economic growth, job creation and new affordable housing.”
“Norris Phase III – and the Norris Development overall – is a great example of the kind of great outcome the City and PHA can accomplish together, especially when we listen to the community for what they think a choice neighborhood should include,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I congratulate PHA and all of the entities and City departments who put so much effort into this venture.”
“This collaborative, community-driven effort to build a truly inclusive Philadelphia is possible in great part because of the Choice Neighborhoods grant. I want to thank again our partners at the state and federal levels who helped us bring these investments home so that North Central Philadelphia may thrive,” said City Council President Darrell Clarke, “This is what happens when all government aligns for one goal to serve the people.”
“The residents here just want to come out of their apartments and be proud of their neighborhood,” said Norris Resident Council President Donna Richardson. She worked with officials on the successful grant application.
Norris Phase III complements ongoing private housing and commercial development in the neighborhood. PHA expects completion of the construction by November 2019.
Norris Phase III consists of 50 newly constructed rental units. It will partially replace a low-rise development that dated back to late 1959 and early 1960, and which has become obsolete. The development covers an area generally bounded by Marvine Street to the west, 11th Street to the east, West Norris Street to the south, and a new subdivision line about 80 feet south of Diamond Street.
To obtain the grant, the City worked with more than 40 partners, including the School District of Philadelphia, Temple University, the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA), the Philadelphia Police Department, local leaders and community stakeholders through the Division of Housing and Community Development to create the resident-driven North Central Philadelphia transformation plan.
The new development has high sustainability goals and will seek certification from LEED, EnergyStar Homes and Enterprise Green Communities. Ultimately, five phases of construction will take place in the North Central neighborhood over five years with the creation of 267 rental units and 30 homeownership units.
Centennial Village Transforms West Parkside
Ribbon cutting and opening of mixed-use development
August 23, 2018
The City of Philadelphia, Community Ventures and Parkside Association of Philadelphia celebrate the ribbon cutting and grand opening of Centennial Village, Thursday, August 23, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. on the 1700 block of N. 52nd Street. Centennial Village provides 51 units of affordable housing and 7,227 square feet of commercial space. Community members, City and State officials, project funders, and Centennial Village new residents were in attendance.
“The completion of Centennial Village is an pivotal part of the revitalization efforts in the Parkside community,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This project eliminated a large area of blight, and brought more affordable housing units to our city. Projects like these impact levels of crime, property values, and community pride. The new apartments, homes, and commercial spaces showcase the City’s continuous commitment to invest in Philadelphia neighborhoods.”
“Centennial Village has transformed the vicinity of 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue. The project rejuvenated 44 formerly vacant and blights lots and buildings into a vibrant new neighborhood anchor,” said David La Fontaine, Community Ventures’ Executive Director. “The opening of Centennial Village is the culmination of almost a decade of planning and acquisition, years of funding applications, and a twenty-month construction process. We have partnered with Parkside Association of Philadelphia over the past twenty years to build multiple phases of affordable housing in the community. We look forward to discussing the next project.”
“Parkside Association has been working to build and preserve this West Park Community since 1997,” said Lucinda Hudson, Parkside Association of Philadelphia’s Executive Director and long-time community advocate. “The Shopping Center was one milestone. In partnership with Community Ventures, the housing renovation project was the next milestone. Now we are so proud to have partnered with Community Ventures again for this latest residential and commercial project, Centennial Village. This will further the growth of West Parkside area. Thank God! God willing more projects will be coming to the West Parkside area.”
The ribbon cutting included food provided by Star Fusion Express “Home of the Specialty Wing & Spring Roll Bar”, which will be opening in the former Parkside Inn at 5178 Parkside Avenue in the next few months.
The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority provided financing and project oversight.
About Centennial Village
Centennial Village features new housing and mixed-use buildings on both sides of N. 52nd Street including a 30-unit apartment building, a mixed-use building with six residential units and two commercial spaces, the renovation of the former Parkside Inn on the corner of 52nd & Parkside and the renovation or new construction of seven single-family homes and one duplex.
The commercial space includes 7,227 square feet across three buildings along N. 52nd Street and connects the WestPark Town Center to Parkside Avenue and Fairmount Park. Two commercial tenants have already been identified.
Centennial Village is made possible through the financing from City of Philadelphia, Division of Housing & Community Development, Department of Commerce, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, West Philadelphia Empowerment Zone, PNC Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia Housing Authority and Reinvestment Fund.
Troy Hannigan, Community Ventures, 215-564-6004 x102
10 Years of Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program
City, Nonprofits, Lenders and Court of Common Pleas Team Up to Save Over 11,000 Homes from Foreclosure
June 14, 2018
Mayor Kenney, Council President Clarke, the City’s Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Courts of Common Pleas and the participants in the City of Philadelphia’s Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program marked the program’s tenth anniversary.
Since June 2008, the Program has saved over 11,000 homes from foreclosure.
In April 2008, the First Judicial District issued an order that no owner-occupied residential property in Philadelphia could be foreclosed upon without the homeowner having the opportunity to meet with the lender in a court-supervised conciliation process. The City funded a hotline (SaveYourHomePhilly hotline, 215-334-HOME), outreach to homeowners, housing counseling and legal assistance for homeowners.
“When the economic and foreclosure crisis hit, Philadelphia responded,” said Melissa Long, Director for DHCD. “The City spends nearly $3 million annually to help keep Philadelphians from losing their homes to foreclosure. This program has kept more than 11,000 families in their homes, and stabilizes blocks across the city. Our success is a direct result of the City’s 40-year commitment to housing counseling and neighborhood services.”
The Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program efforts are at no cost to the participant, and include:
- Outreach by neighborhood organizations to reach homeowners facing foreclosure at their homes and to alert them to available resources
- SaveYourHomePhilly hotline to connect homeowners to housing counselors following case analysis by trained paralegals
- Housing counselors to assist homeowners in negotiating mortgage modifications with lenders and to help them develop the financial skills to stay in the home
- Pro bono attorneys to provide legal assistance when necessary in negotiating with lenders
“I am very proud to be a part of a program that helps keeps persons in their homes,” said Judge Rosalyn K. Robinson. “This program is part of the fabric of this great City. It embodies our desire to make sure every resident can be fairly informed and represented. I am excited about the work we’ve done, and the work we will continue to do.”
The Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program has been recognized both nationally and internationally.
Philadelphia Selected For New Anti-Displacement Policy Network
March 22, 2018
PolicyLink has selected Philadelphia to participate in the first cohort of the All-In Cities Anti-Displacement Policy Network. With support from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and The Kresge Foundation, the network of 10 cities will work together over the next year on strategies to fight displacement and build inclusive, prosperous cities. The cities selected for the cohort are:
- Austin, TX;
- Boston, MA;
- Buffalo, NY;
- Denver, CO;
- Nashville, TN;
- Philadelphia, PA;
- Portland, OR;
- San José, CA;
- Santa Fe, NM;
- twin cities Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN.
“As leaders in their communities, the participants in this network are advancing strategies to halt the forces that are pushing low-income people and people of color out of cities, while creating the conditions for cities and communities to thrive,” said Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of PolicyLink. “We hope this network will provide an opportunity to sharpen these strategies, develop new and innovative ideas, and amplify what is working so that we can spread success across the nation.”
Each city has created teams of up to six local leaders, including local mayors and city council members, senior city staff, and community leaders. Philadelphia’s team includes:
- Eleanor Sharpe,
Deputy Director, Department of Planning & Development, City of Philadelphia (lead applicant)
- Eric Bodzin,
Legislative Aide, Councilmember Maria Quiñones Sánchez
- Yvonne Boye,
Senior Director, Office of Neighborhood and Economic Development, Department of Commerce, City of Philadelphia
- Nora Lichtash,
Executive Director, Women’s Community Revitalization Project
- Melissa Long,
Director, Division of Housing and Community Development, City of Philadelphia
- Beth McConnell,
Policy Director, Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations
The city teams will advance a range of strategies, including renter protections, community land trusts and community ownership models, commercial neighborhood stabilization, inclusionary zoning and other equitable development strategies. Participants will work to build the power, voice, and capacity of communities directly impacted by displacement in defining the challenges and advancing solutions.
Network activities will include virtual learning labs, individualized coaching sessions with national experts, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. The network participants will first meet at the PolicyLink Equity Summit in Chicago, April 11-13, with one additional network gathering in Fall 2018.
Previous research conducted by PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) shows that reducing rent burdens, one of the main causes of displacement, would put $124 billion back in the pocketbooks of renters to spend in their local communities. Renters are the majority in the 100 largest cities in America, yet 51 percent are rent burdened (paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent). Over 60 percent of households led by women of color are rent burdened.
“Our goal is to identify strategies to create equitable, diverse and affordable neighborhoods,” said Eleanor Sharpe. “Working with this national team will help us leverage the assets that we have to create communities of choice.”
“Philadelphia has a broad network of housing and equity advocacy organizations with a long history of collaboration,” said Beth McConnell. “Our team will tap all these existing networks as we work to eliminate displacement.”
The All-In Cities initiative provides policy research, data, and capacity-building and implementation support to city governments and community coalitions as they develop and implement tailored policy solutions to create stronger cities for all. All-In Cities includes: policy research and development through the All-In Cities Policy Toolkit; data disaggregated by race/ethnicity, income, neighborhood, and other demographics through the National Equity Atlas (a partnership between PolicyLink and PERE); and place-based engagements and field building, including the All-In Cities Anti-Displacement Policy Network.
Press Releases 2017
Gloria Casarez Residence Breaks Ground
Project HOME Honors Legacy of Gloria Casarez, American Civil Rights Leader and LGBTQ Activist, Naming Newest Property in her Honor
December 6, 2017
Project HOME announced today its newest property will be named in honor of Gloria Casarez, Philadelphia’s first director of the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs and a passionate and committed advocate for justice and equality in our city. Casarez passed away in 2014. The property will be the first LGBTQ-friendly, young-adult-only permanent supportive housing in Pennsylvania.
“We lost a tireless and dynamic voice for human rights and a smart, compassionate public servant in 2014,” said Sister Mary Scullion, Project HOME co-founder and Executive Director. “Our work with Gloria started during the very beginnings of Project HOME’s founding and continued through her passing, when we worked with her as part of an LGBTQ homeless youth committee. It’s in honor of that work and her legacy that we have named our newest property the Gloria Casarez Residence, which will house young adults aging out of foster care and at risk of homelessness in an LGBTQ-friendly environment.”
The success of the project is due largely to the leadership of Arthur Kaplan, Duane Perry, Mel Heifetz, John Alchin and Hal Maryatt, the Philadelphia Foundation and many other caring Philadelphians who have shown tremendous leadership and commitment to solving LGTBQ youth homelessness.
“Without the strategic leadership of these key partners, this project would not have been realized,” said Sister Mary. “We have a strong LGBTQ community in Philadelphia, and they too believe that homelessness is not inevitable and is solvable in our lifetime.”
The Gloria Casarez Residence is the sixth project funded by MPOWER, a Project HOME community investment partnership that’s multiplying the impact of Project HOME’s proven approaches to breaking the cycle of homelessness. The partnership focuses on revitalizing entire communities, including building new homes and programs to support the vulnerable individuals of today and tomorrow and breaking the cycle of homelessness for young adults.
About the Gloria Casarez Home Groundbreaking
A groundbreaking celebration for the new property at 1315 8th St. will be held on Dec. 6, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. The ceremony will include remarks from Mayor Jim Kenney, Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, Pennsylvania State Representative W. Curtis Thomas, Pennsylvania State Representative Lawrence Farnese, Project HOME Board Members Leigh and John Middleton, Project HOME co-founders Joan McConnon and Sister Mary Scullion and Jessie Keel, a young adult resident at Project HOME’s Ruth Williams House.
“We’re thrilled to be able to move forward with this crucial project after such a long, uncertain process,” said Project HOME Vice President of Development and Communications Annette Jeffrey. “It shows just how much passionate individuals and communities can accomplish – what we call the ‘Power of We.’ Thanks to tireless efforts and support from the City of Philadelphia, Arthur Kaplan and Duane Perry, the William Penn Foundation and many others we will have the first LGBTQ-friendly housing for young adults in the state.”
Development of the Gloria Casarez Residence
Project HOME contracted to purchase the property from North Philadelphia Health System (NPHS). Late last year, NPHS filed for bankruptcy, disrupting the planned sale. Reed Smith provided pro bono services to help Project HOME navigate the court process after additional bids were submitted for the land. On Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Magdeline D. Coleman approved the sale of the property to Project HOME.
The new property will be developed in two phases. The first building will consist of 30 units of LGBTQ-friendly housing for young adults who have aged out of the foster care system and/or are homeless. The second building will provide 40 units of affordable housing for adults who have experienced homelessness.
The 36,547-square-foot building will include a community room that will open out to a courtyard of a size sufficient to host indoor and outdoor events and programming for residents and the larger community. Programming is slated to include art program activities, classes, and shows, community conversations, “potlatches”, advocacy committee meetings and other activities in partnership with area organizations.
“Nationally, young adult homelessness is on the rise, and an estimated 40% of homeless young adults identify as LGBTQ. Through the Neubauer Catalyst for Young Adults Program, Project HOME currently serves more than 50 young adults living primarily at JBJ Soul Homes, Francis House of Peace, and Ruth Williams House. The Gloria Casarez Residence will provide homes and support for an additional 30 young people and offer a central location for the program with outdoor space, a community room with a kitchenette, laundry, exercise space, storage, bike room, and meeting and office space for residential services.”
The Gloria Casarez Residence is made possible through the support of public and private partners with a substantial award from the City of Philadelphia. It was established with support from Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, TD Bank, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Philadelphia Housing Authority, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, City of Philadelphia Division of Housing and Community Development, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Leigh and John Middleton, John Alchin and Hal Marryatt, William Penn Foundation, Arthur Kaplan and Duane Perry, Mel Heifetz, Aileen and Brian Roberts, Ira Lubert and Pam Estadt and The Philadelphia Foundation.
MPOWER is a Project HOME Community Investment Partnership drawing on a powerful network of people and ideas that multiplies Project HOME’s impact in five key areas: investments, relationships, resources, advocacy, and evidence In just five years, the partnership’s impact multiplier model has leveraged $20 million into $200 million which has helped to provide services to more than 15,000 people, including ending chronic street homelessness for more than 800 people.
About Project HOME
Since 1989, Project HOME has helped thousands of people break the cycle of homelessness and poverty by providing a continuum of care that includes street outreach, supportive housing and comprehensive services that focus on health care, education and employment through both adult and youth education and enrichment programs at the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs and community-based health care services at the Stephen Klein Wellness Center. Project HOME and its partners have pledged to end chronic street homelessness in Philadelphia, housing 2,200 people – 1,000 people who have been long-term street homeless, 200 youth who are homeless and/or aging out of foster care, and 1,000 people who are homeless on the street and addicted but ready for recovery and work. To learn more, visit www.projecthome.org.
DHCD Awards Seven Projects Preservation Funds
DHCD is preserving more than 350 affordable homes across the City
May 18, 2017
The Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) announce the funding of seven projects that will preserve affordable rental housing across the City.
Over $4.6 million in funding will preserve 364 homes.
These seven projects have been granted funding:
- Lillia Crippen Townhomes, 1824-46 N. 6th St.
- Ann Thomas Presbyterian Apartments, 2000 S. 58th St.
- Imani Homes Preservation, Various Locations in West Powelton and Mantua
- Mission First Northeast Affordability Initiative, Various Locations in Northeast
- Villas del Caribe, 161 W. Allegheny Ave.
- Mission First Center City Affordability Initiative, Various Locations in Center City and Parkside
- Inglis Apartments at Elmwood, 6200 Eastwick Ave.
In December of 2016, DHCD and PHA solicited proposals to preserve multi-family affordable housing developments. These developments serve low- and moderate-income households. This was DHCD’s first Request for Proposals specifically for preservation. The RFP is part of a larger strategy identified in DHCD’s Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) plan.
“The City is always looking for innovative ways to preserve affordable housing,” said Fred Purnell, Deputy Director for Housing and Community Development. “The RFP was influenced by the data and stakeholder information we gathered during the AFH process. The need to preserve affordable housing is significant. These funds will keep more than 350 homes affordable.”
Funding will come from Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund, federal HOME and/or Community Development Block Grant funds. Developers will leverage other available resources including Four-Percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
Wynne senior residences RESTORES SITE OF Area LANDMARK TO GRANDEUR
Ribbon-cutting for new senior apartments and commercial space
May 19, 2017
Today, City and State Officials, Pennrose Properties, LLC and Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corporation (WORC) celebrated the grand opening of Wynne Senior Residences.
Wynne Senior Residences, a 51-unit apartment building for 62 and older seniors in West Philadelphia, was built on the site of the former Wynne Theater. The theater had been unoccupied since 1993 and fallen into disrepair, causing safety concerns for the neighborhood.
“This development is very important to West Philadelphia and provides much needed quality affordable housing for seniors.” said Fred Purnell, Deputy Director for Housing and Community Development. “Wynne Senior Residences is an example of the revitalization happening in the Wynnefield community, and serves as an anchor for further investment in the neighborhood.”
“This support for this development from the neighborhood and the City of Philadelphia has been overwhelming,” said Harry Moody, developer with Pennrose. “Wynne Theater was such a hub of neighborhood activity in its heyday, and this project will also have a positive impact to the area.”
The project consists of one and two bedroom units that will be affordable to seniors with incomes up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income. The building includes a community room, fitness room, computer room, on-site laundry facilities and commercial space.
“In “Middle Neighborhoods” which are incomes above the poverty guidelines, these publicly funded projects are the difference between communities on the rise or decline,” said Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. “After decades, the Wynne Ballroom is back!”
Wynne Senior Residences was built to Passive House and Enterprise Green Communities standards, which can significantly reduce energy and utility bills for the community and residents. Outdoor amenities include a generous patio and private yard that are directly accessible from the first floor lounge. It also offers covered parking for eleven cars, bike racks, and tree-lined green space.
“WORC is proud to be a partner in the redevelopment of Wynne Ballroom into the brand new Wynne Senior Residences,” said Gerald T. Murphy, Executive Director Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corporation (WORC). “While it not only provides much needed senior housing, it also serves as an economic catalyst for the revitalization of the 54th Street business corridor.”
The City is investing over $3.4 million dollars, and the project is receiving over $12.5 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit Equity. Financing and project oversight are being provided by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority.
Homeowners Begin Receiving Free Home Repair & Modification Assistance Authorized By City Council
Ramped Up Housing Preservation Programs Will Help Stabilize Neighborhoods, Create Jobs
May 17, 2017
Mayor Jim Kenney, Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District), and Councilwoman Cherelle Parker (9th District) on Wednesday joined City housing officials and affordable housing advocates to celebrate fresh funding for key City housing preservation assistance programs.
Thousands of Philadelphians on waiting lists for the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation’s (PHDC) Basic Systems Repair Program (BSRP), Adaptive Modifications Program (AMP), and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) will soon receive urgent home repairs and modifications that will allow them to remain in their houses for years to come. The first of many residents have begun receiving assistance because of $100 million authorized by City Council last year to eliminate the three-to-five year waiting lists for programs that assist with home repairs, long-term disability modifications, and energy-efficiency weatherization.
“These programs are very important to our most vulnerable neighbors,” Mayor Kenney said. “These funds help repair roofs, fix heaters, replace sewer pipes, and enable other repairs that not only help a homeowner’s quality of living, but help keep them in their homes by providing these much needed repairs that may be prohibitively expensive otherwise.”
“Housing preservation assistance is a cost-efficient and highly effective way to create jobs, prevent homelessness and displacement, and stabilize neighborhoods at risk for decline,” Council President Clarke said. “With the help of committed partners in the Administration and the affordable housing advocacy community, Philadelphia can be an example to other cities of managing growth in an equitable way. Homes are not islands; we should all care about our neighbors and about making sure every Philadelphian is able to live in a community of choice.”
“As a longtime advocate for housing preservation, I am pleased to have one of the first homes
impacted by these additional funds be in the 9th District,” said City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker. “Residents in this district, and across the City, have been waiting for services, but funding has been very limited. These additional funds give PHDC the ability to positively impact so many homeowners across our great city! I am glad to be a part of that today.”
In 2016, Council President Clarke proposed a modest increase in the real estate transfer tax to raise $100 million to eliminate the BSRP, AMP, and WAP backlogs and to ensure more Philadelphians could remain in homes suffering from wear caused by age and weather. Low-income residents and seniors on fixed incomes often struggle to pay for home repairs, which left unaddressed can create larger problems such as high energy bills, mold, or severe structural damage.
As of 2014, Philadelphia had a homeownership rate of 52.9 percent, higher than the average for the 30 largest U.S. cities. Nearly 36 percent of Philadelphia homeowners have annual household incomes at or below $35,000 – the second highest low-income homeownership rate among the 30 largest cities. Philadelphia’s housing stock is also older relative to other cities: half of all owner-occupied housing here was built before 1945.
City officials and affordable housing advocates spoke outside the home of Hagar Redmond, who was receiving plumbing and insulation repairs more than three years after being approved for BSRP assistance.
“I am thankful to City Council and PHDC for allowing me to have one less thing to worry about,” said Redmond, who works as a Philadelphia Police dispatcher and resides with her daughter and grandson. “Having a leaky roof and cracked floor sent my utility bills up, and made me worry about making ends meet. Thanks to this program, I can have peace of mind that my grandchild will be warm in winter.”
“Since January, PHDC has been hiring and training additional staff and partnering with additional contractors to develop an effective strategy to administer these additional funds to the existing waiting list,” said Fred Purnell, Deputy Director for Housing and Community Development. “We are excited to be here today to serve this resident, and look forward to serving many Philadelphians in significantly less time.”
Maria N. Gonzalez, president of HACE and board vice president of the Philadelphia Association of CDCs (PACDC), said: “Community development advocates have long been frustrated by the limited amount of resources available to meet demand for affordable housing assistance. This new funding to attack waiting lists for critical home repair programs is a great relief, and will go a long way toward making sure more Philadelphians live in healthy and affordable housing.”
BSRP provides free repairs to roofs, electrical, plumbing and heating systems for owner-occupied homes in Philadelphia. AMP is designed to help Philadelphians with permanent physical disabilities remain in their homes. WAP provides free weatherization and energy-efficiency improvements to owner-occupied houses and tenant-occupied rental units located in the City of Philadelphia. Each program has income requirements and other criteria for participation.
For more information on these programs and to apply for assistance, residents are encouraged to visit the website: http://www.phila.gov/dhcd/home-repair/.
DHCD Releases RFP for Affordable Rental and Special-Needs Housing
April 27, 2017
PHILADELPHIA – The Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop affordable rental and special-needs housing. The RFP is to provide gap financing for projects that will seek Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency later this year.
The RFP seeks projects to implement the goals and strategies in the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) prepared in 2016.
“Residents and stakeholders told us how they wanted the City to invest its resources,” said Fred Purnell, Deputy Director for Housing and Community Development. “This RFP incorporates their guidance.”
DHCD will advance AFH goals by prioritizing developments that:
- Provide units with three or more bedrooms to serve large families
- Include accessible units beyond DHCD’s minimum requirements
- Offer services and access to amenities to promote independent living for seniors
- Provide permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals and families
- Extend long-term affordability and/or prevent conversion to market rate housing
- Include commercial space to revitalize neighborhood business corridors and expand the City’s employment base
- Are located in strong markets with limited or no affordable housing
- Preserve affordability in appreciating neighborhoods
- Are located in the Sharswood Choice, Norris Choice, 22nd Police District, and Mantua Promise Zone neighborhoods
“This RFP will add affordable, quality housing for Philadelphians,” said Anne Fadullon, Director of Planning and Development. “It will also open access to opportunities in neighborhoods with jobs and amenities.”
To maximize scarce resources, DHCD is coordinating the RFP with PHA’s RFP for public housing operating subsidies. Responses to this RFP may also be coordinated with the Philadelphia Continuum of Care Request For Proposals for New Projects for the 2017 Continuum of Care competition, which provides funding for acquisition, rehabilitation, new development, rental assistance, leasing, operating, supportive services, and/or administration funding for housing projects serving people experiencing homelessness.
Proposals are due June 16, 2017. DHCD will hold a briefing for interested developers on May 16.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Mt. Vernon Manor
Sustaining Affordable Housing in Mantua section of Philadelphia
April 19, 2017
Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA), and Philadelphia City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell joined community members, public officials, and community partners to celebrate the completion of Phase II renovations for Mt. Vernon Manor. Mt. Vernon Manor II is located in the Mantua section of Philadelphia at 34th and Wallace.
Mt. Vernon Manor II is 46 affordable apartments. The mission of the project is to preserve affordable housing options in the rapidly changing Mantua neighborhood.
“Mt. Vernon Manor is the type of investment the 3rd District needs,” said Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell. “I support this project because it gives the community access to quality affordable housing. I know how hard people are working to support their families, and they deserve to live in a decent neighborhood that they can call home.”
“The former design and operations of the apartment buildings were a deterrent to the community,” said Michael Thorpe, Chairman of the Mt Vernon Manor Board. “This project encourages businesses, homeowners, and tenants to invest in the neighborhood, making it a great place to live and work.”
“These apartments will remain affordable, even as rental and sales values in this community continue to rise,” said Fred Purnell, Deputy Director for Housing and Community Development. “This neighborhood is in the process of transformation. The increase in housing developments to cater to the area university students and staffs created a gap for individuals in need of affordable quality housing. Mt. Vernon Manor II will help fill that gap.”
The project is a continuation of the We Are Mantua! neighborhood plan created by community stakeholders, including the effective and productive nonprofit partner in the project, Mt. Vernon Manor, Inc.
All of the apartments are Energy Star certified to ensure low utility and operating costs for the residents. In addition, each apartment features its own washer & dryer, ceramic tile floors, central air conditioning, and video camera doorbell entry system.
Notice of Finding Of No Significant Impact And Notice of Intent To Request Release of Funds
Philadelphia, PA – April 4, 2017
The City of Philadelphia has completed the Environmental Review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) for 1315 North 8th Street Project, Philadelphia, PA and has determined that this project will have no significant impact on the human environment.
PURPOSE: The 1315 North 8th Street Project will be the new construction of thirty (30) LGBTQ-friendly affordable apartments for otherwise homeless youths, ages 18 – 25. The finished development will include four (4) stories and will house thirty (30) one-bedroom apartments. The building will be approximately 36,500 gross square. The 1315 North 8th Street Project will be the new construction of affordable youth housing in the West Poplar neighborhood of Philadelphia. Once complete, the new youth oriented housing development will greatly add to the stability of the neighborhood. This development will develop a vacant lot that has been vacant and underutilized for decades. Surrounding neighbors will have a viable occupied development, in lieu of an open lot that has been an attractive nuisance over the years. Project HOME will act as the developer of 1315 North 8th Street Project.
For more information, please visit our legal notices page.
PHDC Release’s Requests For Home Improvement Contractors
3-5 year backlog tackled with $60M Bond
PHDC hosts contractors from across the city to discuss City’s $60M bond to reduce BSRP, AMP, WAP waitlist!
PHILADELPHIA, PA – April 3, 2017
Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC) released today Request for Qualifications and Proposals to hire additional contractors for its home improvement programs. The requests are part of PHDC’s efforts to largely eliminate the three-to-five year waiting list that currently exists in the home repair programs. Requests can be found at www.phdchousing.org.
Philadelphia’s City Council approved the issuance of $60 million in bond funds to eliminate the waiting lists of Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation’s (PHDC) Basic Systems Repair Program (BSRP), Adaptive Modifications Program (AMP), and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), creating the Housing Preservation Program in December 2016. The waiting lists for these programs are currently 3-4 years, with over 7,000 Philadelphians waiting for services and repairs. The City considers these programs, and this bond issuance, key to keeping seniors and income-restricted individuals and families in safe, functioning homes that remain affordable
BSRP provides free repairs to roofs, electrical, plumbing and heating systems f owner-occupied homes in Philadelphia. AMP is designed to help Philadelphians with permanent physical disabilities remain in their homes. WAP provides free weatherization and energy-efficiency improvements to owner-occupied houses and tenant-occupied rental units located in the City of Philadelphia. Each program has income requirements and other criteria for participation.
“Since the approval of the issuance of bonds, PHDC has been ramping up our efforts to eliminate our waiting list, and —effectively serve those in need of emergency repairs,” said Fred Purnell, Deputy Director for Housing and Community Development. “This RFP helps us to add more skilled contractors to our existing contractor base. This is a busy and exciting time at PHDC, and we are looking forward to directly impacting thousands of Philadelphians with this much needed new source of funding.”
“Housing preservation assistance is the most cost-efficient way to maintain quality in neighborhoods with older housing stock. Providing a means for income-restricted people to stay in their homes also prevents environment-related illnesses and homelessness,” City Council President Darrell L. Clarke said. “The bond issuance approved by City Council meets the needs of over 7,000 residents, many of whom are elderly and have limited means to pay for home repairs. Ramping up this work will also create jobs, providing a shot in the arm for local economies.”
Skilled, licensed, and insured contractors that specialize in roofing, electric, carpentry, masonry, plumbing, asbestos removal, HVAC, and other trades are needed. Proposals are due by 12:00 PM on Friday, April 21, 2017. Visit http://www.phdchousing.org/rfps.htm to apply.