Deborah McColloch, Director: 1234 Market St., 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Google Plus facebook   tweet

Elm Street Program
The Philadelphia Elm Street Program is funded through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).  The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) oversees this program to strengthen the residential blocks in older neighborhoods adjacent to “Main Street” commercial areas.  These residential areas have suffered from low property values, a negative image, and perceptions of poor public safety. Without a coordinated effort to revitalize both the residential and commercial areas, improving the quality of life in these neighborhoods will be difficult. 

The Elm Street concept implements simultaneous actions in five focus areas, integrated through a community-based strategic planning process. The elements of the “five-point approach” include:

  • Clean, Safe and Green
  • Neighbors and Economy
  • Design
  • Image & Identity
  • Sustainable Organization

Elm Street is intended to operate in tandem with existing commercial corridor revitalization programs.  OHCD selects and funds neighborhood-based non-profit organizations to implement the comprehensive strategy.  Each organization develops and implements a plan of action for its area.

OHCD and the Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) provide training and technical assistance to Elm Street communities.  Each Philadelphia Elm Street organization attends the annual and regional meetings of PDC and completes the training programs offered by PDC. 

Clean, Safe & Green
Philadelphia’s Elm Street communities improve neighborhood appearance and security through neighborhood clean-up programs, public lighting enhancements and the creation of public spaces and recreational opportunities.  Elm Street organizations work with local police officials to identify and resolve neighborhood hot spots and improve safety in the communities.  OHCD has supported these efforts by providing funds for public greening, tree planting and community gardens, while the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s Philadelphia Green Program has provided local groups with technical support.  

Neighbors & Economy
The Philadelphia Elm Street organizations support the physical improvement of each neighborhood and the economic growth of its residents by referring eligible residents to an array of City-funded services.  Through code enforcement, neighborhood clean up, town watch, neighborhood security, recycling, home improvement and employment training and placement programs, the Elm Street program helps residents take advantage of initiatives designed to improve buildings and land and to increase economic opportunities.

Elm Street organizations compile and maintain current information regarding neighborhood conditions, including vacant structures, vacant lots, structures requiring demolition, deteriorated occupied housing and general block conditions. 

Elm Street organizations work closely with other groups located in their communities, including the Main Street organizations that focus on the nearby commercial corridors.

Design
The Philadelphia City Planning Commission has developed Neighborhood Design Guidelines to assist community development corporations and neighborhood-based organizations develop and implement a consistent image in their areas. Using funding from DCED’s New Communities Program, the City supports façade and public infrastructure improvements. In addition, the Philadelphia Mural Arts program brings vibrant color and striking images to neighborhoods with murals that engage local residents in the design process.

Image & Identity
Philadelphia works in Elm Street-designated neighborhoods to promote a community image and identity through activities and amenities. Each Elm Street neighborhood hosts at least one community event each year.   Past successes include a holiday walk, a summer music series, first Friday activities, jazz festivals and employment and health fairs. Elm Street neighborhoods also develop identities through amenities such as greenways and recreational facilities.

Sustainable Organization
Philadelphia only funds organizations that have the capacity to carry-out an Elm Street program and that commit to continue the Elm Street principles after the initial funding period.

 

Current Elm Street Communities

New Kensington CDC
Neighborhoods:
Fishtown/Kensington/Port Richmond

Boundaries:
North: Kensington Avenue
East: Allegheny Avenue
South: Delaware River
West: Front Street
(to North Delaware Avenue)

Coral Arts House

Coral Arts House

Hispanic Association of Contractors & Enterprises (HACE)
Neighborhoods:
Fairhill/St. Hugh

Boundaries:
North: Glenwood Avenue
East: B Street
South: Lehigh Avenue
West: 6th Street

Lawrence Court

Lawrence Court

Peoples Emergency Center CDC
Neighborhoods:
Belmont/Mantua/West Powelton/
Saunders Park

Boundaries:
North: Lancaster Avenue/Wallace Street
East: 37th Street
South: Market Street
West: 44th Street

Bernice Elza

Bernice Elza Homes

Elm Street in Philadelphia –
What’s Next

Later this year, OHCD will issue a Request for Proposal as part of the process of selecting the next round of Elm Street communities.

Questions regarding the Elm Street Program may be directed via email to James O'Toole

Map of the Current Elm Street Communities

Map of Elm Street Communities

Policy - Planning Housing - Programs Acquisition/Disposition City Initiatives Financials

Consolidated Plan

Housing Counseling

Housing Resource Guide

Legal Notices

Press Releases

RFPs

Reports

Affordable Housing

Homeownership Programs

Home Repair Programs

Homes for Sale

Income Guidelines

Rental Housing

Special-Needs

Acquisition

Online Property Info

Vacancy/Disposition

Contact Us/FAQs

Link to PHDC website

Link to PRA website

Foreclosure Prevention

Avoid Foreclosure Scams

Anti-Predatory Lending

Housing Trust Fund

NACs

NSP

Elm Street Program

Homeownership Rehab

Auditing

HUD

Job Openings

PHFA

Tax Abatement

Open Records Policy
©2014 OHCD all rights reserved: click here for Terms of Use

It is the policy of the City of Philadelphia to provide services without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, having AIDS or being perceived to have AIDS, national origin, ancestry, physical handicap or age.

Site Design Tiger Productions