Press 2015

Paul Chrystie Tel: 215-686-9721,
Jamila Davis Tel: 215-686-9727,

Press Releases 2015

December 31, 2015
affordable housing for press


Mayor Nutter Announces $13.4 Million in Affordable Housing Funding: City Commits to Fund Eight Developments Totaling 388 Homes



Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that Philadelphia has committed $13.4 million to fund eight affordable housing developments. These developments will produce 388 affordable homes.

“Nearly 4,000 affordable homes have been built in Philadelphia since January 2008,” said Mayor Nutter. “These new developments will add another 300 affordable homes to our housing stock and preserve 80 affordable homes.”

The eight projects will further the City’s commitment to serve people with disabilities, adding 86 accessible units to the City’s housing stock.

“Philadelphia desperately needs housing accessible to people with disabilities,” said Mayor Nutter. “These homes will enable 86 people to live more independently.”

The development cost for all eight projects is $118.7 million. The City’s $13.4 million investment will leverage more than $105 million.  The Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) selected the developments through a Request for Proposal process.

“These developments are not just about affordable housing,” said Deborah McColloch, director of OHCD. “They will help revitalize the neighborhoods in which they are located.”

The award of City funding is a key step for these developments.

The next step is to apply to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). An “Intent to Submit” for LIHTCs must be submitted to PHFA by January 8, 2016. City funding will strengthen each application.

2016 – Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Awards – 9% Credits – City Subsidy
Project Name Organization  Address Units Accessible City  TDC
GALA – Golden Age Living Accommodations Conifer Realty, LLC 2030 E. Haines St. 62 11 $1,300,000 $16,790,895
Anthony Wayne Sr. Housing Phase III ELON Group (Altman Group) 1701 S. 28th Street 45 8 $1,500,000 $14,748,806
Nichole Hines Townhomes WCRP 400 blk E. Wister St. 35 8 $1,500,000 $13,077,744
AWF Plaza: A Passive House Senior Living Comm. AWF 2200 blk W. Venango St. 45 16 $1,500,000 $15,701,782
Dauphin House 1400 Dauphin Associates, LLC 1400 blk W. Dauphin St. & 2200 blk N. Carlisle St. 52 15 $815,000 $13,321,581
APM Preservation Project APM N. 6th, N. 7th, N. Marshall & Diamond Sts. 80 12 $1,213,000 $19,607,379
1817 E. York St. Project HOME 1817-41 E. York St. 30 6 $3,500,000 $11,607,183
SUBTOTAL $11,328,000 $104,855,370
Awarded 4% Credits – City Subsidy
Project Name Organization Address Units Accessible City  TDC
Susquehanna Square Community Ventures 2100 Blks. Of N. 15th & 16th, 1500 blk of Diamond 39 10 $2,100,000 $13,907,293
Total 388 86 $13,428,000 $118,762,663



December 16, 2015
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Wynne Senior Residences Replacing Blight in Overbrook: Ground Broken for New Senior Apartments and Commercial Space




Mayor Nutter, Pennrose Properties, LLC and Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corporation (WORC) breaks ground on Wynne Senior Residences.

Wynne Senior Residences, a 51-unit apartment building for seniors in West Philadelphia, will be built on the site of the former Wynne Theater.  The theater has been a source of blight in the community for many years, and was unsafe for the neighbors. The theater will be demolished with signature architectural elements from the original building incorporated into the new structure.

“This development is key to West Philadelphia and will provide much needed quality and affordable housing for seniors.” said Mayor Michael Nutter. “Wynne Senior Residences continues the revitalization of the Wynnefield community and will serve as a gateway to further development.”

“This project has tremendous support from the neighborhood and the City of Philadelphia,” said Harry Moody, developer with Pennrose. “It is a strategic reuse of underutilized land, and provides much needed residential and economic opportunities for existing and future residents of this community.”

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 will include a community room and commercial space.  The commercial space will have neighborhood-focused businesses consistent with the economic development efforts that WORC has successfully accomplished.

Wynne Senior Residences will be built to Passive House and Enterprise Green Communities standards, which is expected to 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 will also offer covered parking for eleven cars, bike racks, and tree-lined green space.

“WORC is proud to be a partner in the redevelopment of the long vacant Wynne Ballroom into the new Wynne Senior Residences,” said Gerald T. Murphy, Executive Director Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corporation (WORC). “While it will not only provide much needed senior housing, it will also serve as an economic catalyst for the revitalization of the 54th Street business corridor.”

Wynne Senior Residences will be in an area that has amenities that benefit seniors. Grocery stores, senior centers, public transportation, pharmacies, hospitals and more are only a short distance from the Wynne site.

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.



December 15, 2015
HTF for press icon


Celebrating 10 Years of the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund Providing and Preserving Homes, Preventing Homelessness




Mayor Michael Nutter was joined by advocates, residents and developers to celebrate the impact of the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund over the last ten years.

“The Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund has been an important funding stream for the City of Philadelphia,” said Michael A. Nutter, Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. “I am pleased to have voted to create the Housing Trust Fund as a member of Council, and to have overseen its accomplishments for the past eight years as Mayor.”

A HTF is a dedicated source of local revenue, set aside to address the housing needs of a community. The first HTFs were created in the late 1970s.  Today there are more than 745 across the country, including more than 52 in Pennsylvania. Nationwide they generate $1 billion annually to meet local housing needs.

The Philadelphia HTF has been a key funding tool for the development of new affordable housing opportunities, for preservation of existing housing, and for homelessness prevention. This fund helps Philadelphians pay their utility bills, provides disabled citizens better mobility in their homes, and creates homes are that energy efficient, cost effective, and aesthetically pleasing.

Since 2005, the Housing Trust Fund has assisted more than 27,000 households. It has done this through production of 1,482 new homes, major repairs to 2,281 homes, improved accessibility for 1,381 households, homelessness prevention for 2,713 households, repair of 12,986 heaters, and utility assistance for 6,399 Philadelphia families. In addition, more than 9,600 constructions workers have been employed working on HTF funded developments.

The homelessness prevention programs also resulted in savings to the City. The programs cost $7.4 million, in comparison to the nearly $32 million it would have cost to have placed these persons in emergency shelter.

“The funding that is generated by HTF has been a significant boost to what we are able to do to help Philadelphians in need,” said Deborah McColloch, Director of the Office of Housing and Community Development. “With federal funds decreasing each year, this funding stream has been able to help thousands of households that we otherwise would not have been able to serve.”

“The HTF funding has made a significant impact in Philadelphia, and I am looking forward to the way in which it will continue to benefit the everyday lives of our citizens,” said Rick Sauer, Executive Director of Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations.



December 1, 2015
centennial logo


Centennial Village Replacing Blight in West Parkside: Ground broken on new apartments, single-family homes and shopping




Blight and vacancy will give way to homes and businesses in West Parkside. Community members today joined Mayor Michael A. Nutter, City officials, Community Ventures and the Parkside Association of Philadelphia to break ground on Centennial Village.

Centennial Village will transform 52nd Street between Columbia and Parkside Avenues, and some areas nearby. This project will remove blight, and link Fairmount Park to this community. This is a mixed-use rental project. Centennial Village features an apartment building with 30 new units. It will also rehabilitate eight single-family homes and one duplex. It will include 7,633 square feet of commercial space.

“Centennial Village is a key project for the revitalization of Parkside,” said Mayor Nutter. “The project eliminates blight and improves quality of life for residents. This impacts 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.”

The apartment building is designed to accommodate seniors and people with special needs. Most of the units will be affordable at the 20 percent and 60 percent of area median income level. The building will have a community room and commercial space. Centennial Village will enable people with physical disabilities to live more independently. It includes nine accessible units, 21 adaptable units, 22 visitable apartments and five visitable single-family homes. Philadelphia Senior Center (PSC) will offer services to tenants. Services include case management, financial literacy, life skills, health screening, and computer education classes. Residents will benefit being near several shopping centers, and link them to nearby employment centers in University City, Center City, and City Avenue.

“Centennial Village is an exciting project that will make a huge impact in the Parkside community,” said David La Fontaine, Executive Director of Community Ventures.

Community Ventures is developing the project. Partners include the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, PNC Bank, and the Parkside Association of Philadelphia.The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority is  providing financing and project oversight.



October 27, 2015
Orinoka press image


Groundbreaking Set For Vacant Mill Conversion: NKCDC and the City Eliminating Blight and Revitalizing Kensington




Orinoka before

Orinoka Civic House will bring affordable housing and community, retail and office spaces to Kensington.

The Civic House is the first step in NKCDC’s North of Lehigh Revitalization Plan. Neighborhood residents identified rehabilitation of the mill as a linchpin to improving the community.

“Replacing blight with a community asset is key to neighborhood transformation,” said Deborah McColloch, Director of the Office of Housing and Community Development. “Our investment in Orinoka Civic House is part of the City’s strategy to revitalize the neighborhood.”

Orinoka Civic House will include 51 units of affordable, accessible and sustainable housing. It will also contain community space for neighborhood residents, retail space, and office space for NKCDC.

Located at Ruth and Somerset Streets, the transit-oriented development is less than a five-minute walk from the Somerset station on the Market-Frankford line. Its proximity to the El will provide Civic House residents with access to jobs across the region.

“The mill is a dangerous eyesore,” said Sandy Salzman, Executive Director of NKCDC. “It has served as a cover for illegal activity.”

“This project will continue the positive momentum in Kensington,” Salzman continued.  “We are excited about the lasting effect Orinoka Civic House will have on the community.”

The Civic House will include supportive services provided by NKCDC. There will be open space for both residents and the community to enjoy, improved security, sidewalk repair and street trees.



October 21, 2015

Tajdeed press image


Ribbon Cutting for Tajdeed Residences, a new development in Kensington – 45 New Construction Energy Efficient Affordable Homes




Tajdeed Residences is removing blight, creating jobs, and providing energy efficient housing in Kensington. Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez, Arab-American Development Corporation, Conifer Realty, LLC, and the community gathered today for a ribbon-cutting.

Tajdeed street view

Tajdeed Residences is a 45-apartment complex on formerly vacant land at Oxford and Bodine streets. The community consists of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments. Six units are fully accessible to people with disabilities.

The homes are affordable to households earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income. For a family of three this is $42,600 per year.

“Not only did this project provide construction employment, but also it now provides quality, affordable housing,” said Deborah McColloch, Office of Housing and Community Development. “Tajdeed is an example of the City’s resolve to remove blight and promote sustainability.”

Tajdeed features a community room with a kitchenette, a lounge area, a fitness room, a computer lab for residents, a laundry room, and a community garden.

It includes a green roof, densely insulated exterior and interior walls and ceilings, high SEER air condensers, wrapped mechanical equipment, low-flow fixtures, and ENERGY STAR appliances and light fixtures.

“This community, and many parts of Philadelphia, are quickly changing,” said Marwan Kreidie, Executive Director, Arab-American Development Corporation. “Tajdeed Residences is critical to this area. We are committed to affordable housing. Keeping housing affordable and creating jobs improves not just this community, but the entire city.”

The project cost is approximately $14.4 million. The City of Philadelphia provided $2.1 million. Conifer Realty raised $11 through Low Income Housing Tax Credits awarded by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. The Community Lenders CDC provided approximately $1 million in financing.



October 7, 2015
Ingersoll press image


City Celebrates Phase 1 of Ingersoll Commons: 10 New Affordable Homes, with Park and Rain Garden in Phase 2



New homeowners joined City officials to mark the rebirth of a formerly vacant lot at 16th and Master Streets. Ingersoll Commons is a two-phase effort to meet the City’s affordable housing, stormwater management and open space goals.

Phase 1 is a 10-unit, energy-efficient, affordable homeownership development.

“Ingersoll Commons brings affordable, energy-efficient homes to this community,” said Deborah McColloch, Director of Office of Housing and Community Development. (Second from right in photo) “We are replacing blight with homeowners and hope.”

“This development is part of our strategy to revitalize the community,” said Council President Darrell Clarke. “The public and private sectors – working together – are improving the quality of life in this neighborhood.”

“Ingersoll Commons meets a tremendous need,” said David La Fontaine, Executive Director of Community Ventures. (At left in photo) “We received over 40 applications to purchase these 10 homes.”

The homes are energy-efficient with tankless water heaters, gas-fired furnaces and Energy Star 3.0 insulation. All homes will face the new park. The development will manage its stormwater with an infiltration basin under the parking area and new street.

Each home has:

  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2 ½ Bathrooms
  • Basement
  • Sizable private back yards

One home is accessible for persons with disabilities. The homes are affordable to a family of four earning $64,900 a year.

Phase 2 will create a new City park featuring a lawn, large shade trees, native plants, paths and benches. The park will manage stormwater from surrounding streets, and two rain gardens will manage rain that falls on the property. The park will be lit with solar-powered pedestrian lights.

Ingersoll Commons is part of the City’s “Green Plan Philadelphia” initiative to bring new open space to underserved neighborhoods. It also supports “Green City, Clean Waters”, the City’s stormwater management plan.

“Conserving and managing water helps green our environment, create a more livable city and reduce our costs,” said Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug. “Through partnerships like Ingersoll Commons, we are building a more sustainable city.”

Phase 2 of Ingersoll Commons will be completed in spring 2016.

Funding: The total project cost is approximately $4.9 million:

OHCD provided $2.5 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds

Philadelphia Water provided $500,000

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation provided $400,000 from a Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant

Sales proceeds will total $1.5 million



September 29, 2015
St Raymonds press image


Ribbon Cutting for New Homeless Housing Development St. Raymond’s House which provides housing and services for most vulnerable



The City of Philadelphia, Depaul USA, and St. Raymond’s parish have teamed up to open new housing, St. Raymond’s House, for chronically ill homeless men and women.

St Raymonds for web press page

The new housing features 27 rooms, 14 of which are fully accessible. There are shared restrooms on every floor, along with communal spaces for residents to gather. Support offices are located on the first floor and basement area. The building also features laundry facilities, storage, computer lab, communal space, and a library (photo right).

“With each project like this, we are getting one step closer to eliminating homelessness once and for all,” said Deborah McColloch, Director of Office of Housing and Community Development (photo left). “It is the City’s goal to meet the needs of the most vulnerable individuals in our communities. By doing that, we improve our City.”

The housing is targeted for the aging homeless population, many of whom have chronic health concerns and concurring behavioral health diagnoses.

“The chronically ill homeless population is one that has been hit particularly hard over the years,” said Charles Levesque, President & Executive Director of Depaul USA (photo right). “These individuals frequently use the emergency room for primary care purposes, which is not only insufficient for their needs, but creates a burden on the healthcare system. This new development enables us to provide the stability for each person to fully recover from their illnesses, while offering the support they need to make a fresh start.”

St. Raymond’s House will offer chronically ill homeless individuals a place to stay for an unlimited time where they can focus on their recovery, no matter what their illness.



March 11, 2015
Bigham press image


Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Bigham Place, affordable housing near public transit, jobs, education and shops




Bigham Ribbon cutting March 11 2015 b

City and state officials joined People’s Emergency Center (PEC) to celebrate the opening of Bigham Leatherberry Wise Place (Bigham Leatherberry Wise) in West Philadelphia. Bigham Leatherberry Wise transformed a vacant lot and an existing structure into 11 new affordable homes, seven of which are for formerly homeless women with special needs and their children.

Bigham Leatherberry Wise includes six two-bedroom units and five three-bedroom units (for a total of eleven units). Two of the units will be fully accessible to people with disabilities and one will be accessible to individuals with sensory impairments. The project reflects community objectives laid down in the 2004 West Powelton/Saunders Park Neighborhood Plan and the more recent Lower Lancaster Revitalization Plan.

“As part of People’s Emergency Center’s mission to nurture families, strengthen neighborhoods and serve as a catalyst for positive change, Bigham Leatherberry Wise is important to this neighborhood because it provides affordable rentals in a changing neighborhood, and coincides with the homeownership projects in the pipeline in this neighborhood,” said Kathy Desmond, Interim President and CEO of PEC.

Residents of Bigham Leatherberry Wise have access to supportive services through PEC. Services include case management, children’s programs, affordable childcare, counseling and therapy, drug and alcohol out-patient treatment, and employment and training programs. A case management office is located on site for residents to access services and referrals. Bigham Place also features a courtyard containing a rain garden and seating area for residents, as well as a large rear yard to provide a space for children to play.

“Quality, safe, and affordable housing gives families the opportunity to focus on building a home,” said Deborah McColloch, Director, Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD). “Providing housing for women and their children gives the parents and the children the chance to thrive in our communities and schools.”

Over the past two decades, the area around the Bigham Leatherberry Wise project has been the focal point of more than $54 million in investments from PEC’s real estate developments and has leveraged many millions more from both the public and private sectors. Not far from Bigham Place, PEC alone has transformed 157 vacant properties into 241 units of affordable housing, including Jannie’s Place, Cloisters III, Homeownership Phase I, Bernice Elza Homes, and Fattah Homes.

Bigham Leatherberry Wise Place is named in honor of three local community organizers who have been important to either the needs of the community or championing the needs of homeless families. Helen Bigham was a PEC Board Member and volunteer crossing several decades of PEC’s history. John Leatherberry and Elsie Wise both hold leadership positions with the West Powelton Concerned Citizens Council, and are long-standing community organizers.

Seventy-one people were employed building Bigham Place. The development received funding from the City’s Office of Housing and Community Development and Office of Supportive Housing, as well as FHLBank Pittsburgh, TD Charitable Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and The Reinvestment Fund, for a total investment of $2,695,000.

The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) provided financing assistance for the development.