Paul Chrystie Tel: 215-686-9721, Paul.Chrystie@phila.gov
Jamila Davis Tel: 215-686-9727, Jamila.Davis@phila.gov
Our Press page hosts all of our press releases, both recent ones and prior years.
If we think a news story really captured what we’re doing, we’ll put it on our DHCD in the News page.
Press Releases 2017
December 6, 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
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.