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 2016
October 28, 2016
City Commemorates Over 10,000 Saved Homes
The City’s Foreclosure Prevention Program Stabilizes Neighborhoods
PHILADELPHIA- October 28, 2016-Mayor Jim Kenney, City Council President Darrell Clarke, the City’s Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and other officials and community leaders celebrated over 10,000 homes saved through the City’s Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program at the home of a homeowner who benefited from the program.
“Philadelphia responded quickly by providing resources to homeowners when the economic and foreclosure crisis hit,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The program has provided millions of dollars in supportive services to keep over 10,000 families in their homes when they fell on hard times and helped to keep neighborhoods all over the city stabilized. I’m proud to celebrate this tremendous milestone.”
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. DHCD launched a “SaveYourHomePhilly” hotline (215-334-HOME), conducted outreach to homeowners, and provided housing counseling and legal assistance for homeowners.
“The Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Program’s success reflects the City’s commitment to providing housing counseling and neighborhood services to those households who need it,” said Fred Purnell, Deputy Director for Housing and Community Development. “The foreclosure crisis remains an issue. Property tax foreclosures, reverse mortgage foreclosures, and traditional foreclosures are still problems, and this program is still serving Philadelphians each and every day.”
The City Foreclosure Prevention Program has been recognized both nationally and internationally, and has been replicated in places like Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Delaware, and Maryland.
October 27, 2016
City of PHILADELPHIA, Philadelphia Housing Authority Release Assessment of Fair Housing
CONTACT: Paul Chrystie, DHCD, 215-686-9721
Nichole Tillman, PHA, 215-684-4139
After hearing from thousands of residents, meeting with dozens of stakeholders and analyzing reams of data, the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Housing Authority have released the City’s 2016 Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). The release kicks off a public comment period that will end on Dec. 12, 2016.
Developing the AFH is a requirement under a 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule adopted by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The AFH is an analysis of fair housing issues, including access to opportunity, in the city.
“Listening to our neighbors has helped us to identify the challenges we face and strategies to address them,” said Anne Fadullon, Director of the city’s Office of Planning and Development. “People told us they want a balanced approach to housing and opportunity, and the AFH offers that approach.”
Philadelphia will be the first large city to adopt an AFH under the new rule. The deadline for PHA, however, was 2019.
PHA agreed to submit its AFH three years early to support a collaborative planning approach.
“Working together on the AFH is a collaborative way to identify the need to expand our limited public resources,” said Kelvin A. Jeremiah, President and CEO of PHA. “By collaborating on planning for fair housing, we can ensure that we are working together to expand opportunity.”
The goal of the AFFH rule is to promote access to opportunity for all residents. The AFH provides a framework for strategies and actions to overcome patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities.
The AFH also frames Philadelphia’s challenges. Nearly 250,000 households face at least one housing problem, such as unaffordable housing or overcrowding. At the same time, federal housing funds for both PHA and the City have been declining. The new AFFH rule does not bring new funding with it.
“It is clear that our funding won’t meet our need,” said Fadullon. “Our challenge is to work with partners to identify new strategies to address the housing and community needs of our residents.”
The AFH also identified barriers beyond housing. Issues such as lack of education and job readiness contribute to significant areas of poverty and segregation in the city.
“We have a moral imperative to find new ways to strengthen our communities, provide affordable housing options to Philadelphians of all income levels, and improve and expand services to residents,” said Jeremiah. “It’s not just about housing anymore: it’s about creating access to opportunity and the means to use that access.”
A significant change in the AFFH rule is the role of the public. In the past, public engagement was brief and linked to a specific housing plan. Under the new rule, public engagement is ongoing and will continue for five years.
The first step in that engagement was robust public outreach to gather resident input for the AFH. The City and PHA conducted a survey that was completed by more than 5,000 residents, including 1,000 PHA residents. They held five community focus groups, including one in Spanish and one for people with disabilities.
PHA held three “Resident Roundtables” for residents to offer input. Finally, the City and PHA held stakeholder meetings to obtain input from professionals working on housing and other issues.
That public input, combined with analysis of HUD-provided data and data developed locally, contributed to the development of AFH goals, including:
- Expand fair housing outreach, education and enforcement
- Ensure open access to all housing resources and programs
- Preserve existing affordable rental housing
- Develop new affordable rental housing opportunities
- Preserve existing affordable homeownership
- Develop new affordable homeownership opportunities
- Expand accessible and affordable housing for persons with disabilities
- Expand permanent housing for homeless and special needs populations
- Use a coordinated approach to invest in struggling communities
- Enhance and expand resident mobility
“These goals support the balanced approach residents and stakeholders told us they want,” said Jeremiah. “We will invest in neighborhoods that need assistance and leverage assets in strong communities to expand the opportunities they offer.”
The City is not starting from square one in addressing non-housing issues such as education and community amenities. “Many of Mayor Kenney’s initiatives are already tackling the issues we found in drafting the AFH,” said Fadullon. “Creating community schools, expanding pre-K and facilitating improvements for neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries through the REBUILD initiative all promote equity and opportunity.”
HUD supported development of the AFH by providing technical assistance. That technical assistance covered community participation and data analysis.
“The Fair Housing Act requires communities to actively promote equal opportunity and access to housing for all,” said Jane C.W. Vincent, Regional Administrator of HUD’s Mid-Atlantic region. “Today’s release of the city’s Assessment of Fair Housing is an important step in that direction.”
July 14, 2016
Developers Receive More Than $9.3 Million To Fund Affordable Housing In Philadelphia
Tax Credits will Help Build 495 Homes in the City
Today, eight developers received more than $9.3 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) to construct affordable housing in the City of Philadelphia. The tax credits will support the building of 495 affordable homes. Two of these developments will receive additional funding from the City. The tax credits awarded to developers will be used to attract more than $98.6 million of investment funding for building and rehabilitating multifamily housing offering affordable rents.
“Affordable housing is a critical need for our city,” said Anne Fadullon, Director of the City’s Office of Planning and Development. “The homes this funding will support are important, not just to the families who will live in them but also to the neighborhoods where they are located.”
The LIHTC will complement more than $2.7 million in funding from the City. The Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) made funding commitments to two of the developments through a Request for Proposal process.
“This funding does more than build housing,” said Fred Purnell, Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development. “It helps strengthen neighborhoods and create jobs, which benefits the entire city.”
Collaboration between the City and PHFA has resulted in some of the city’s most visible recent affordable developments. Paseo Verde (9th & Berks), Presser Senior Apartments (101 W. Johnson St.) and Nicetown Court (4330 Germantown Ave.) are all projects that have been developed with a combination of LIHTC and City funds.
“Our partnership with the City is making a difference in communities all over Philadelphia,” said Brian A. Hudson, Sr., Executive Director & CEO of PHFA. “Philadelphia, its developers and its community groups are leveraging tax credits into neighborhood revitalization.”
Low-Income Housing Tax Credits enable developers to raise construction financing through private capital. The developer who is awarded the tax credits sells them to an investor who will receive a credit on his/her taxes for 10 years. A developer who is awarded a $1 million tax credit and has an investor willing to pay $0.97 per dollar can raise $9.7 million for development costs. LIHTC help finance 100,000 rental homes per year in the United States.
The developments receiving funding are:
|Development Name||Developer||Total Units||Tax Credit
|Witherspoon Senior Apartments
2050 S. 58th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143
|Philadelphia Presbyterian Homes & Services for the Aging||60||$1,200,000|
|Anthony Wayne Senior Phase III
1701 S. 28th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19145
|Elon Group, Ltd.||45||$1,185,889|
|Edison 64 Veterans Community
700 W. Somerset Street
Philadelphia, PA 19133
|Orens Brothers, Inc.||66||$1,152,609|
Philadelphia, PA 19104
|WPRE IV, LLC||60||$1,183,778|
Philadelphia, PA 19122
|Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha, Inc.||80||$1,200,000|
|Philadelphia Presbyterian Homes & Services for the Aging||61||$1,200,000|
|Strawberry Mansion Apartments
Philadelphia, PA 19121
|Philadelphia Housing Authority||55||$1,183,694|
|Haddington III Preservation Initiative
|Mission First Housing Development Corporation||48||$995,711|
June 27, 2016
Mayor Kenney Requests, Developer Agrees to Contribute to Housing Trust Fund
$3.75 Million Deposited to Resolve Height Bonus at One Water Street
At the request of Mayor Kenney, PMC has contributed $3.75 million to the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund to maintain eligibility for the height bonus at One Water Street. The payment was made on June 23.
“We’re pleased that the height bonus that PMC received will result in additional affordable housing for Philadelphia,” Mayor Kenney said. “Development funding provided by the Housing Trust Fund is leveraged many times over, making the value of this funding $15 million or more.”
PMC had originally obtained the 48-foot height bonus by agreeing to include 25 affordable units in their One Water Street development. When the building was nearly complete, PMC announced that they would retroactively seek approval for their height bonus without the affordable housing units by using other bonus mechanisms.
“Mayor Kenney felt it was important that the original bonus trigger – affordable housing – be the end result of this discussion,” said Anne Fadullon, director of the City’s Office of Planning and Development. “We are pleased that we have achieved that outcome.”
To obtain a certificate of occupancy for One Water Street PMC had two options. They could satisfy the permits they had in hand by providing either affordable housing units or funding for the Housing Trust Fund, or they could obtain new permits by going through the zoning review process again, and pursuing alternate bonuses.
The Kenney Administration had made clear that the zoning process required to obtain new permits – including the Civic Design Review Board process – would be followed, and that no certificate of occupancy would be issued until that process was complete.
“This announcement is not only an example of the Kenney administration holding a developer accountable to the zoning code, but also to equitable development in the interest of low- and moderate-income Philadelphians,” said Rick Sauer, executive director of the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations.
The Office of Housing and Community Development calculated the amount of the contribution pursuant to the Zoning Code and its implementing bulletin. It is based on the price of a home affordable to a household at or below 80 percent of area median income, multiplied by the number of units (25) needed to obtain the height bonus. Housing is considered affordable when its cost is no more than 30 percent of household income.
The Housing Trust Fund was created in 2005 to support the development and preservation of affordable housing. Over its ten years approximately $30 million in HTF development funding has leveraged nearly $50 million in other public funding and more than $300 million in private funding. It has supported the production or rehabilitation of nearly 1,500 homes and the employment of nearly 10,000 construction workers. Most recent Housing Trust Fund report.
May 10, 2016
City of Philadelphia Issues: Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact and Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds – NewCourtland Apartments
The City of Philadelphia has completed the Environmental Review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) for NewCourtland Apartments and LIFE Center at St. Bartholomew Complex, 5364 Jackson Street, Philadelphia, PA and has determined that this project will have no significant impact on the human environment.
PURPOSE: The NewCourtland at St. Bartholomew complex will be constructed in three phases and will contain a total of 144 apartments for low income seniors as well as a LIFE (Living Independently for Elders) Center on the ground floor. Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a nationally known healthcare model that serves elders with chronic care needs by providing access to a full continuum of preventive, primary, acute, and long term care services. The NewCourtland LIFE Program serves individuals who are aged 55 or older, have health related problems that make it difficult for them to manage their own needs independently at home and in-fact qualifies them for a nursing home level care by the Pennsylvania Department for Public welfare and Philadelphia Corporation for Aging. The development parcel is approximately 1.5 acres.
The phases are as follows:
- Phase 1
of the project includes the new construction of a 15,500 sf ground floor LIFE Center with a five story tower above containing 42 one-bedroom apartments, estimated total cost of this phase is $26.9 million.
- Phase 2
will be a six-story tower with 48 apartments and parking beneath the building at grade level, estimated total cost of this phase is $15.0 million.
- Phase 3
will consist of a six story tower with 54 apartments and parking at grade level, the estimated cost of this phase is $16.5 million.
May 5, 2016
City of Philadelphia Issues: Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact and Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds – Norris
The City of Philadelphia has completed the Environmental Review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) for North Central Philadelphia – Norris-Blocks bounded by Marshall Street to Marvine Street, Berks Street to Diamond Street, Philadelphia, PA and has determined that this project will have no significant impact on the human environment.
PURPOSE: The City of Philadelphia through the Office of Housing and Community Development in collaboration with the Philadelphia Housing Authority developed a Transformation Plan for the north central Philadelphia neighborhood. The Transformation Plan includes a phased strategy with a mix of housing types. The North Central housing strategy consists of five phases over the next five years and will create 267 mixed-income rental units and 30 mixed-income homeownership units and provide $134 million of housing development in the neighborhood through the demolition and redevelopment of the existing 147 units at Norris Apartments and redevelopment of vacant land, which is currently publicly owned, in this North Central neighborhood.
- Phase 1:
A total of 30 homeownership units to be redeveloped in and around 10th and Norris and 7th and 8th Streets between Berks and Norris Streets.
- Phase 2:
A total of 89 affordable rental units (74 replacement housing units) at Berks to Diamond, Marshall to 9th
- Phases 3 and 4:
A total of 57 rental (22 replacement housing units) and 5 homeownership units at Diamond to Berks and Marvine to Adler Streets.
- Phase 5:
A total of 121 rental units (51 replacement and 22 market rental) at Norris to Berks and 10th to 11th
Revitalization and reuse of vacant lots in key areas into a range of affordable and accessible housing units will strengthen this neighborhood for existing and future residents.
May 3, 2016
City of Philadelphia Issues: Notice of Finding of No Significant Impact and Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds – Centennial Village
The City of Philadelphia has completed the Environmental Review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) for Centennial Village, North 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue, Philadelphia, PA and has determined that this project will have no significant impact on the human environment.
PURPOSE: The project will develop 52 units of affordable housing and 7,421 square feet of commercial space. This large mixed-use development project will occupy almost all of both sides of the 1700 Block of North 52nd Street and portions of adjoining streets. The site will include extensive off-street parking and two community parks. The main site, along the west side of the 1700 block of North 52nd Street and the 5200 block of Parkside Avenue is currently occupied by vacant lots and deteriorated residential structures. This site will be developed into a 30-unit mixed-use apartment building. The site on the east side of North 52nd Street will accommodate four 3- and 4-bedroom, 3-story single-family houses and a mixed-use building with two commercial units on the first floor, two bi-level, 3-bedroom apartments and four one-bedroom units above. Additional single properties will also be rehabilitated for a total project of 52 affordable, rental units.
April 21, 2016
City of Philadelphia Announces New Deputy Director for Housing and Community Development, Frederick Purnell, Sr.
Anne Fadullon, Director of Planning and Development for the City of Philadelphia, today announced the appointment of Frederick Purnell, Sr. as the Deputy Director for Housing and Community Development.
As Deputy Director Mr. Purnell will oversee the City’s three core agencies supporting housing and community development – the Office of Housing and Community Development, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. Together those agencies support the development and preservation of affordable housing, the redevelopment of vacant property and the funding of community economic development programs.
Mr. Purnell served for 16 years as executive director of the Wilmington (DE) Housing Authority (WHA). While there he directed the development of Low Income Housing Tax Credit units and managed public housing units and the Housing Choice Voucher program.
Under Mr. Purnell the WHA completed Delaware’s first tax credit and mixed finance public housing development. In 2007 its Village of Eastlake development was voted “Best Affordable Housing Opportunity in America” by Housing Finance Magazine. During his tenure the WHA secured more than $50 million in competitive grants.
“Fred brings a wealth of experience and knowledge,” said Anne Fadullon. “His leadership and expertise will be invaluable as the City strategically aligns its housing and community development work.”
“I am excited to apply my housing and community development experience to make a difference for people and communities,” said Mr. Purnell. “I look forward to working with our dedicated professionals to transform neighborhoods across Philadelphia.”
Mr. Purnell is a native of Philadelphia and a graduate of Central High School and Pennsylvania State University.
He starts as Deputy Director on May 9.
Mayor Kenney recognizes Elhadji Ndiaye, a White House Affordable Care Act “Champions of Change”
Elhadji Ndiaye, Neighborhood Program Coordinator for City of Philadelphia’s Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD), has been selected as “White House Champions of Change for the Affordable Care Act.” Mr. Ndiaye is among 10 individuals that will be recognized by the White House on Friday, March 25.
The “Champions of Change” were selected by the White House for their leadership and tireless work to ensure that individuals in their communities are benefitting from the Affordable Care Act. In 2015, Mr. Ndiaye helped lead a partnership with BenePhilly and Enroll America to enroll Philadelphians in the Health Insurance Marketplace under the ACA. Under Mr. Ndiaye’s leadership hundreds of community members learned about ACA and many signed up for a healthcare plan that met their healthcare financial needs.
“I want to personally congratulate Elhadji for his efforts in helping Philadelphians sign up to receive health insurance benefits,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Being recognized by the White House is a significant honor, and I am proud that he works for our great city. Elhadji is dedicated to serving our city and its residents in a way that can positively impact their lives. That truly does make him a champion.”
This week, on the six-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, the White House celebrates the 20 million more Americans who now have the security of health insurance.
“I am humbled and extremely fortunate to be recognized by the White House as a Champion for Change,” said Mr. Ndiaye. “Over the last few months I was able to witness individuals and families receive healthcare benefits, which gave them a sense of security. It was a great experience, and I was honored to be a part of the program. And now for our work to be recognized, it is amazing!”
The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. The event will be live streamed on the White House website at www.whitehouse.gov/live/ on Friday, March 25, at 10:30 AM ET. Follow the conversation at #WHChamps.
March 9, 2016
Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority appoints Gregory Heller as Executive Director: Heller brings extensive planning and development expertise
The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) Board appointed Gregory Heller as the Authority’s new Executive Director at its meeting today.
Heller is currently the Chief Executive Officer of American Communities Trust. His experience also includes positions with Econsult Solutions, Inc. and The Enterprise Center Community Development Corporation.
He is the author of “Ed Bacon: Planning, Politics, and the Building of Modern Philadelphia.” His writings on urban development and planning have been published in numerous publications, including Next City and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Heller was a speaker at TEDx Philadelphia in 2015, and in February 2016, Urban Innovation Exchange (UIX) named him Innovator of the Week.
“Greg Heller is a forward-thinking leader who will continue the positive community development impact that PRA has made,” said Anne Fadullon. “He brings valuable expertise in planning and development, as well as a personal commitment to improving neighborhoods across this city.”
“After spending the past few years working on community development projects across the country, it is an honor to have this opportunity to serve the citizens of Philadelphia,” said Heller. “The PRA has a deep legacy as an agency at the center of transforming our city, and I look forward to working with the City, community partners, and staff to build a positive future for our neighborhoods.”
Heller will begin work at PRA on April 4.
March 8, 2016
City Invests $2,000,000 in Project HOME’s New Residence at 2415 North Broad Street
On March 8, 2016 Project HOME held a groundbreaking event for its newest residence to be located at 2415 North Broad Street. The residence will be a mixed-use development including retail, offices and 88 apartment units for formerly homeless and low-income adults, including young adults at risk of homelessness.
“Homelessness is a serious concern to the human fabric of our City,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Organizations like Project HOME address the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical needs of those that are homeless, while providing stable housing-something which is critical to human safety and existence. I am often reminded by projects like this that in most cases, those that are homeless never planned to be on the street, and just need some dedicated help and support to get on their feet. Developments like this meet those needs.”
“2415 North Broad Street will serve the most vulnerable in our city, including young adults who are homeless and at risk of homelessness” said Sister Mary Scullion, co-founder and executive director of Project HOME. “Young adults are sadly a growing group within the homeless population. The Middleton Partnership seeks to both end and prevent chronic homelessness in our City.”
Residents in 2415 North Broad Street’s supportive units will be linked to medical and behavioral health services and substance abuse treatment and recovery services, as needed. All residents will be eligible to receive employment and education services through Project HOME’s employment services program.
The building, slated to open in early 2017, received both public and private funding. The City of Philadelphia provided $2,000,000, and other funding was received from Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Capital One, National Equity Fund, FHLBank Pittsburgh, PNC Bank, TD Bank and Deborah M. Fretz. The lead private funding comes from the Middleton Partnership, including lead funders Ruth and Morris Williams.
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|
|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|
|Awarded 4% Credits – City Subsidy|
|Susquehanna Square||Community Ventures||2100 Blks. Of N. 15th & 16th, 1500 blk of Diamond||39||10||$2,100,000||$13,907,293|