Deborah McColloch, Director: 1234 Market St., 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107
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Press Releases 2009

Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009

COUNCILMAN CLARKE, STATE REP. OLIVER, HOUSING DIRECTOR MCCOLLOCH JOIN HAVEN PENIEL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION IN DEDICATION OF HAVEN PENIEL SENIOR CITIZENS RESIDENCE

PHILADELPHIA- Councilman Darrell Clarke, State Representative Frank L. Oliver, Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development Director Deborah McColloch and Director of Multi-family Housing Resources, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Encarnación Loukatos today dedicated the newly constructed Haven Peniel Senior Citizens Residence located in the Sharswood section of North Central Philadelphia.

Formerly the site of a lawn-mower factory, this 3/4-acre vacant lot was transformed into a viable neighborhood asset where long-time residents can continue living in their community as they age. 

“Senior citizen housing is important to this city,” said Director McColloch. “Communities are strengthened when long-term residents are able to remain in their neighborhoods.”

“This residence is a valuable addition to our community,” said Councilman Darrell Clarke. “Not only because it is a unique opportunity but because it is targeting low-income seniors. The creation of these homes provides affordable, permanent housing in a state-of-the-art complex for 54 Philadelphians who may not have been able to otherwise afford it.”

The construction of this senior residence was largely driven by members of the 130-year-old Haven Peniel United Methodist Church. Not only did the congregation raise $10,000 seed money by holding concerts, trips and special events but professional services were also donated. The grant writing, financial services, accounting services, audits and preliminary legal services were all volunteered. Architectural services were secured with Joseph P. Young who grew up four blocks from Haven Peniel Senior Citizens Residence.

"Thanks to the dedication and determination of the Haven Peniel congregation, a vacant lot has transformed into a beneficial living space for our aging neighbors," said state Senator Shirley M. Kitchen in a statement. "Residents will be able to continue to live in their community in a safe, comfortable and affordable environment."

“The creation of this residence has truly been a neighborhood effort,” added State Representative Frank L. Oliver. “I am very grateful and happy and applaud the members of Haven Peniel Church, Haven Peniel Community Development Corporation and the Sharswood neighborhood for this tremendous opportunity for our seniors.”

According to Reverend Misty Fuller, the pastor at Haven Peniel United Methodist Church “the creation of this development speaks volumes for what a small group of dedicated people can achieve. I am proud of my church and my community.”

The development consists of 54 affordable one-bedroom apartments targeted toward seniors aged 62 and older and one unit for a resident superintendent. Amenities include two exercise rooms, community and computer rooms, laundry facilities on each floor and 24-hour security. In addition, a social services coordinator and church-based senior ministry will organize Bible study, movie nights, health fairs, computer classes and other social activities.

Funding sources and amounts include $1 million from the Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development and $8 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Monday, November 23, 2009

MAYOR NUTTER ANNOUNCES $30 MILLION IN RECOVERY ACT WEATHERIZATION FUNDING FOR PHILADELPHIA

Mayor Michael A. Nutter visited a home in North Philadelphia today to announce that Philadelphia has been awarded almost $30 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program, an investment that will create jobs, cut energy bills, and lower energy use for individuals and families across the city. The total amount of additional funding for weatherization coming to Philadelphia is $29.8 million, with $15.9 million allocated to the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, a City agency, and $13.9 million allocated to the Energy Coordinating Agency, a non-governmental organization.

“This is yet another example of how we’re using the Recovery Act funding to create jobs, grow our green economy, and achieve real and lasting improvements in the lives of Philadelphians,” said Mayor Nutter. “With this money we are replacing windows and doors, insulating roofs, upgrading heating systems and much more. These improvements are generating hundreds of dollars in annual energy cost savings for those Philadelphians who need it the most and are helping us achieve our Greenworks goal of becoming the number one green city in the United States.”

“Energy efficiency and weatherization have been ECA’s business for over two decades now and this additional investment will provide a fantastic boost to our efforts,” said Liz Robinson, Executive Director of the Energy Coordinating Agency. “We are especially excited by the boost to our training programs that this new investment will provide, enabling us to train additional people, and get more Philadelphians to work in the green economy.”

This funding flows to Philadelphia through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and DCED Secretary George Cornelius praised the progress that has been made by the City of Philadelphia.

“Philadelphia has been second to none in gearing up for the enormous growth of weatherization funds from the federal recovery act,” said Secretary George Cornelius. “Over many months, there have been preparations to open a training center, to forge partnerships with utilities, and to make sure this unprecedented chance to create jobs and economic opportunity in the community gets done in the best possible way. We're looking forward to the next several years because these funds will help families save money, conserve energy and help put people to work.”

The additional investment in the Weatherization Assistance Program through the ARRA will roughly double the total number of homes in Philadelphia served on an annual basis. With this new funding the PHDC and the ECA will be able to serve approximately 4,000 homes this year, compared to approximately 2,000 homes served last year. At the same time the ARRA will vastly increase the amount of money that can be spent per home from $2,500 to $6,500 allowing much more work to be done in each property. It is expected that improvements made to these properties will result in energy savings for the homeowner of 30-40% in the first year. Eligible homeowners must be high energy users whose incomes are below 200% of the federal poverty level, so the funding is targeted at the lowest income Philadelphians.

The ECA expects to train at least 200 weatherization workers in the next year, a ten fold increase, and the PHDC has contracted with 25 additional contractors creating approximately 75 additional weatherization jobs. Approximately 50% of these contracts have gone to minority and women owned enterprises. All contractors were chosen through an open and transparent, public RFP process, heavily publicized through ethnic media publications. 

The announcement took place in North Philadelphia, at 6th and Diamond, outside the home of Ms. Juanita Miller. Ms. Miller called the PHDC hotline (details below) to see if her property was eligible for energy efficiency improvements through the Weatherization Assistance Program. After being approved, an energy audit of her property was conducted and she was assigned a contractor. Over recent days a number of improvements to her home have been made – including pipe replacements, heater tuning, insulation of water pipes, caulking, and window replacements – all of which will result in lower energy bills for Ms. Miller and a reduced energy use for her property.

Clients whose properties are weatherized also receive energy efficiency education at each step of the process and as well as receiving improvements to their home, they also receive a caulk gun, radiator key, and information on how they can continue to reduce their energy use.

Mayor Nutter was joined at the announcement by Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) who, as Chair of the Congressional Urban Caucus, has long advocated for energy efficiency block grants, weatherization programs and other applications of federal resources for energy conservation in our urban areas.

“Weatherization works and weatherization dollars work in lots of different ways,” said Congressman Fattah. “As homeowners across Philadelphia will find out, these types of improvements will keep their homes warm, lower energy costs as well as providing federal stimulus funds to create jobs.”

The press conference took place in the Fifth Council District represented by Councilman Darrell Clarke:

“This is a success story for the Federal Recovery Act. Resources will be going to citizens with the most need for weatherization and job opportunities will be created for a substantial number of people, all while enhancing the City's ability to become energy efficient.”

Also present was state Senator Shirley M. Kitchen who represents the Third Senatorial District in Philadelphia.

“Every winter, we hear the same stories about individuals and families who can't afford to pay their heating bills. Many of these simply don't earn enough income to account for the inevitable rise in heating bills,” said state Senator Shirley M. Kitchen. “This year, we have more people out of work because of the recession, and this stimulus funding specifies a crucial need to help people stay warm. It's a critical investment that will help so many residents protect their houses from the cold and increasing heating costs this winter and for future winters. Especially for next year, when the PECO electric rate caps are scheduled to come off.”

State regulations require PHDC and ECA to first serve eligible residents (those below 200% of the federal poverty level) who appear on a list of previously identified high-energy users to ensure that the program achieves maximum energy savings. When all residents on that list have had the opportunity to receive service, PHDC and ECA will serve clients who sought weatherization through the agencies' standard intake process.

Homeowners wishing to find out whether they are eligible for weatherization assistance should call the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation Weatherization Assistance Program Hotline on 215-448-2160 (Mon-Thurs) or contact your local Neighborhood Energy Center, details to be found through the Energy Coordinating Agency: www.ecasavesenergy.org/nec .html.

Monday, Nov. 16, 2009

MAYOR NUTTER, COUNCILWOMAN QUIÑONES-SÁNCHEZ TO JOIN HISPANIC ASSOCIATION OF CONTRACTORS AND ENTERPRISES IN GROUNDBREAKING FOR LAWRENCE COURT

WHO: Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Councilwoman Maria D.Quiñones-Sánchez; Guillermo (Bill) Salas, Jr., president, Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises (HACE); Deborah McColloch, director, Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD); Brian Hudson, director, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA); David Buches, vice-president, Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh; Craig Williams, vice-president, Sovereign Bank; other banking and housing officials; community representatives; community residents
 
WHAT:   Ceremonial groundbreaking for Lawrence Court homeownership development.

WHEN:  Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009 10 a.m.

WHERE: 3301-61 N. Lawrence Street

DETAILS: Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Councilwoman Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez will join HACE in the groundbreaking for Lawrence Court, a new 50-unit homeownership development located in the St. Hugh neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Homes are being built on a vacant former industrial parcel and are part of a continued neighborhood revitalization effort. Nearby neighborhood anchors include 191 units of HACE’s Caribe Zone rental developments, Marín Elementary School and the Ramonita Rivera-Negrón Recreation Center.

All homes are Energy Star- rated and targeted toward low- to moderate-income families. Forty-six of the 50 homes will be either wheelchair visitable or fully accessible units.

This is HACE’s first large-scale homeownership development to date. The project was funded by a combination of federal, state and city funds.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR $8 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR SPECIAL-NEEDS HOUSING

PHILADELPHIA- Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) Director Deborah McColloch and Office of Supportive Housing (OSH) Director Dainette M. Mintz today announced steps to produce 133 units of affordable housing for special-needs populations. Units will be targeted toward homeless veterans, individuals and families, adults with autism and disabled persons. Housing will be created through development and leasing.

OHCD has awarded $4.36 million to five special-needs housing developments. “The need for affordable housing is even more urgent for special-needs populations,” said McColloch. “OHCD is proud to support these initiatives and help secure homes for some of our most vulnerable individuals and families.”

Developers, funding amounts and populations served are:

  • Autism Living and Working, Inc., $250,000, housing for four adults with autism;
  • Citizens Acting Together Can Help (CATCH), $1.8 million, housing for 15 chronically homeless veterans with mental health disorders and/or substance abuse disorders;
  • Gaudenzia Foundation, $673,100, housing for six homeless families where the head of household is recovering from substance abuse or co-occurring disorders;
  • Liberty Housing Development Corporation, $434,550, housing for 13 persons with disabilities who are transitioning from nursing homes to independent living.
  • People’s Emergency Center Community Development Corporation (PEC), $1.2 million, housing for seven homeless families with substance abuse, mental illness or physical disabilities.

In addition to the awards made by OHCD, OSH will request $3.62 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development later this month to leverage funds committed by OHCD and to create additional housing opportunities. “Our ability to solve homelessness in Philadelphia depends on the creation of affordable housing and sustained partnerships with entities that provide supportive services for people with disabilities,” said Mintz. “We are pleased to have a host of skilled developers and program practitioners to recommend for this competitive funding opportunity.”

Developers, funding amounts and populations served are:

  • Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM), $422,226 to lease 13 permanent housing units for families whose head of household is a homeless ex-offender;
  • Pathways to Housing, $1.37 million to lease 65 housing units for chronically homeless Philadelphians; and
  • Resources for Human Development, $212,184 to lease 10 permanent-housing units for chronically homeless individuals with mental illness.

An additional $880,696 for CATCH, $145,712 for Gaudenzia and $587,528 for PEC will be included in the OSH application to HUD.

A panel of City housing and development experts recommended projects to OHCD as part of a competitive selection process. Awards include HOME and Community Development Block Grant-Recovery (CDBG-R) funds to support affordable housing development. Supportive Housing Program (SHP) funds will leverage housing development funding and provide for leasing, program operation and supportive services costs for homeless individuals and families.

Wednesday October 28, 2009

COUNCIL PRESIDENT VERNA, SEN. FARNESE, SEN. WILLIAMS, REP. JOSEPHS AND HOUSING DIRECTOR McCOLLOCH JOIN UNIVERSAL COMPANIES AT PROJECT GROUNDBREAKING

PHILADELPHIA- Council president Anna C. Verna, Sen. Lawrence Farnese, Sen. Anthony H. Williams, Rep. Babette Josephs and housing director Deborah McColloch today joined Universal Companies in a project groundbreaking for Osun Village senior residence.

This state-of-the-art 16-unit apartment complex will be located in the Grays Ferry neighborhood of South Philadelphia and consist of one-bedroom apartments exclusively for low- to moderate-income seniors. It will be a mixed-use development and is in close proximity to public transportation, shopping and the amenities of Center City.

City Council president Anna C. Verna said, “This development represents one of the few opportunities left in the community to preserve affordable housing and combine it with commercial space. I am happy to see it coming to fruition.”

Deborah McColloch, director, Office of Housing and Community Development added, “We are proud to work with Universal Companies on such a unique and commendable project. By creating Osun Village, Universal will help to bridge the affordable housing gap for seniors in Philadelphia.”

The Osun Village Partnership was the vision of Lois Fernandez, founder of ODUNDE and her daughter, Bumi Fernandez, CEO of ODUNDE, Inc. Explaining Universal’s on-going relationship with ODUNDE, founder Kenny Gamble said, “I have known the work of Lois and her organization since its inception some 30 years ago and felt compelled to help her make the dream of Osun Village a reality.”

The development is scheduled for completion in December 2010. It is a joint-venture between Osun Village Partnership, Universal Community Homes and Susie White Inc., an affiliate of ODUNDE.

Funding amounts include $ 1.5 million to support housing and $220,000 to support commercial development from the Office of Housing and Community Development.

Universal Communities is a not-for-profit community development corporation founded in 1993 by Kenneth Gamble, world renowned musical writer and co-founder of Philadelphia International Records. In its 16 years, Universal has introduced a community led homeownership initiative, constructed nearly 1,000 residential units and continues to manage four public schools and a state-of-the-art “green” community playground.

Wednesday October 28, 2009

URBAN OUTFITTERS, MT. CARMEL BAPTIST CHURCH JOIN ACHIEVEability IN DEDICATION OF AFFORDABLE HOMES

PHILADELPHIA-Urban Outfitters, Mt. Carmel Baptist Church and local nonprofit ACHIEVEability today dedicated Project Phoenix, four affordable homes for sale and rent in West Philadelphia. These completely rehabilitated homes are targeted to low- to moderate-income Philadelphians and are listed for sale at $60,000 to $119,000. These three-bedroom homes feature central air, hardwood floors, new windows and modern kitchens with ceramic tile. One of the homes also features a garage.

"We are proud to introduce four new affordable homes into our community," said Marcus Allen, CEO, ACHIEVEability. “Since our inception ACHIEVEability has developed hundreds of units of affordable housing. The creation of Project Phoenix enables us to continue helping Philadelphia families break the cycle of poverty and achieve upward mobility and self-sufficiency.”

Project Phoenix is the first of the three-phase West Philadelphia Urban Housing Project. The second phase will provide 10 more affordable homes in 2010 and the third will result in a 24-unit-affordable-housing development by 2012. The project was funded by a combination of federal and private funds.

ACHIEVEability works to permanently break the cycle of poverty for single parent, low-income families, many formerly homeless, by providing a range of supportive services, including education, job readiness, and housing assistance.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

MAYOR NUTTER, COUNCILWOMAN BLACKWELL JOIN PEOPLE’S EMERGENCY CENTER
IN DEDICATION OF HOMES NAMED FOR BLACKWELL’S MOTHER

PHILADELPHIA - Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and People’s Emergency Center (PEC) President Gloria Guard today dedicated PEC’s Bernice Elza Homes in the West Powelton section of the city. The Homes, a six-unit permanent-rental-housing complex for homeless teen mothers aging out of foster care and their children, is named for Blackwell’s mother, the late Bernice C. Brooks, and Guard’s mother, the late Elza Marques Guard.

“Bernice Elza Homes provides a unique opportunity that will balance the autonomy of independent living with the safety and stability of on-site counseling and programs,” said Mayor Nutter. “I applaud PEC not only for providing six families with a place to call home but for building an energy-conscious development that is on track to be silver LEED-certified.”

Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell added her praise for the project. “Our community needs a facility such as this,” she said. “We are grateful that PEC has once again stepped up to the plate. I am especially honored that this wonderful building will commemorate my mother and Gloria’s mother. We are both very fortunate to have had such outstanding role models.”

“I too am proud to honor two such terrific women as Councilwoman Blackwell’s mother and my mother,” said Guard. “Many of the young women who will live in these homes have not been as fortunate as we have been. PEC and Councilwoman Blackwell are committed to providing a full array of comprehensive social services to help these young women set out on life in a positive way.”

In addition to addressing the needs of an underserved-population, Bernice Elza Homes is expected to achieve silver-LEED certification. The development focuses on energy-efficiency and is a collaborative work between PEC and the University of Pennsylvania School of Design’s Center for Innovation in Affordable Housing Design, which is funded by a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Outreach Partnership Center New Futures grant. All homes come equipped with programmable thermostats and energy-efficient appliances, windows and insulation. PEC anticipates that such environmentally conscious features will keep tenants’ costs to a minimum.

Funding for this project include $682,000 in federal HOME funds distributed by OHCD; a Community Outreach Partnership grant through HUD; $400,000 in HUD Supportive Housing Program funds; $70,000 in Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh Affordable Housing Program funds (with Citizens Bank as a partner); $20,000 from TD Bank; $20,000 from Bank of America; $20,000 from JP Morgan Chase Bank and $6,417 from State Farm Insurance.

Since 1972 PEC has nurtured families, strengthened neighborhoods and driven change. They provide comprehensive supportive services to homeless women and their children, revitalize neighborhoods, and advocate for social justice. They are committed to increasing equity and opportunity throughout West Philadelphia.

Friday, July 24, 2009

DEVELOPER SELECTED FOR FRANCISVILLE PROPERTY
The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) announced today that Cameron Square Neighborhood Development, LP has been selected as the developer for a site at 19 th and Wylie Streets in the Francisville section of the city. Cameron proposed 69 total units in a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom condominiums and three-bedroom townhouses. Sales prices on seven of the units will be restricted to be affordable to middle-income households.

Cameron’s proposal also included purchasing the lot on which the development will take place from the City for $900,000. Construction on the self-financed project is expected to begin in spring 2010 and take approximately one year.

“Cameron’s ability to proceed without bank financing gave us confidence that this much-anticipated development would move forward on schedule,” said OHCD director Deborah McColloch. “That the developer also proposed to purchase the site for almost $1 million was obviously a factor in their favor as well.”

OHCD and Cameron will immediately begin negotiating a final contract for development of the site. Negotiations will address issues such as income restrictions for the affordable units, transfer of the city-owned land to the developer, equal opportunity requirements for subcontractors and employees, and the timing of the development.  

19th & Wylie Homeownership Development Project Details

Site Location: Francisville, bounded by North 19 th, Wylie, Cameron & Vineyard Streets
Site Size: 1.43 acre city-owned site; 0.07 acres of developer-owned parcels
Unit Distribution: 8 one-bedroom condominiums (4 affordable), 36 two-bedroom condominiums, 25 three-bedroom townhouses (3 affordable)
Accessibility: 7 units are accessible to persons with mobility impairments, 1 unit is accessible to persons with a vision or hearing impairment, and all 69 units are VisitAble, which means that a person in a wheelchair may access the entire main level floor, including a powder room
Income Guidelines: Middle-income affordable units are restricted to households earning 150 percent of area median income. As of March 10, 2009, the maximum annual income for a household of one person was $81,750, a two-person household was $93,300, and a four-person household was $116,700. (Guidelines are available for other size households.)

Thursday, July 16

MAYOR NUTTER, HUD DEPUTY SECRETARY SIMS, HOUSING DIRECTOR MCCOLLOCH DISCUSS NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION ON CITY TOUR
Philadelphia - Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) Director Deborah McColloch were joined by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Deputy Secretary Ron Sims on a tour of Philadelphia to discuss the City’s recent application for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP2) Grant. This $58.8 million program would help restore neighborhoods with heavy concentrations of vacant property.

Deputy Secretary Sims’ tour began in City Hall courtroom 676 where he viewed Philadelphia’s Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program in the process of saving homes. This program is a partnership between the City, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, housing counseling agencies and lenders.

Next, Sims traveled to Kensington to visit GreensGrow, a hydroponics farm built on formerly vacant land. GreensGrow is the recipient of $175,000 from the City for acquisition and related start-up costs. The garden began in 1998 and is committed to being a profitable, urban, green business dedicated to growing the best products, people and neighborhoods.

The last stop on the tour was a green lot at 8th and Berks Streets in North Philadelphia where Mayor Nutter, Deputy Secretary Sims and Director McColloch recapped the tour and the NSP2 application.

“ Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods and as such our success depends on their strength,” said Mayor Nutter. “We are going to fight for every dollar possible from the federal stimulus in order to help our neighborhoods during this difficult time.”

“We are very excited to showcase the impact our programs have had on homeowners and neighborhoods throughout the city,” added OHCD Director McColloch. “We look forward to our continued partnership with HUD in revitalizing communities.”

NSP2 activities proposed to effectively address and stabilize market conditions in Philadelphia include:

  • Homebuyer Incentives: Financial incentives will be offered to owner-occupant buyers of foreclosed homes.
  • Purchase and Renovation: The City’s NSP1 program will be expanded to purchase, renovate and sell foreclosed and long-term vacant houses.
  • Gap-Financing for Market-Catalyzing Anchor Developments:
    • New Housing: Gap financing for affordable new construction on blighted, vacant land
    • Foreclosed Multifamily Property: Gap financing for the redevelopment of key occupied or vacant foreclosed, multifamily structures.
  • Code Enforcement and Demolition: Expanded code enforcement and selective demolition of blighted structures, especially old industrial or commercial buildings.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

PHDC HOSTS OPEN HOUSE TO HIGHLIGHT “GREEN” HOMES IN NORTH PHILADELPHIA

WHO: Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. (PHDC)
WHAT: Open House
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 6, 2009
WHERE: 1603 W. Norris Street

DETAILS: PHDC continues building green! One of seven new energy-efficient homes will be on display to low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers on Saturday, June 6, 2009. In an effort to keep energy use and associated costs to a minimum, all homes are equipped with R30 insulation in the ceilings, R13 insulation in the walls, insulated steel exterior doors and double-glazed vinyl windows.

PHDC is eager to continue promoting energy awareness.

According to PHDC’s Executive Vice President, Anthony C. McIntosh, PHDC recognizes the importance of energy conservation and the link between energy bills and the cost of homeownership. “The PHDC Weatherization Manual,” says McIntosh “has always addressed energy-related concerns with respect to renovations. Now, in addition to educating homeowners about energy-conscious repairs, we are pleased to offer a unique home buying opportunity. We are confident that homeowners will reap energy-saving benefits for years to come.”

Qualified homebuyers are eligible for 10-year tax abatement and first-time homebuyer grant and tax credit.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

COUNCILWOMAN QUIÑONES-SÁNCHEZ JOINS WOMEN’S COMMUNITY REVITALIZATION PROJECT IN DEDICATION OF “GREEN” HOMES

WHO:

  • Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez
  • Lisa Nutter, Board Member, WCRP
  • Deborah McColloch, Director, Office of Housing and Community Development
  • Brian Hudson, Director, PHFA
  • Prospective tenants

WHAT: Dedication of Evelyn Sanders Townhouses Phase I
WHEN: 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 3, 2009
WHERE: Tent at 3015 N. Hutchinson Street

DETAILS: Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez and WCRP board member Lisa Nutter will join community leaders and residents in the dedication of WCRP’s Evelyn Sanders Phase I development in Eastern North Philadelphia. This development consists of 40 new permanent-rental homes reserved for very low-income formerly homeless families . The homes were constructed using sustainable building practices, are energy efficient and qualify for a silver LEED rating.

Located on the 3000 blocks of Percy and Hutchinson Streets , these two- and three-story homes feature two to four bedrooms, central air, washers and dryers in every unit, generous floor plans, and an on-site community room. Eight wheelchair accessible homes are available. Total development costs equal $13.18 million.

Funding sources include City of Philadelphia, National Equity Fund, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (Citizens Bank), Local Initiatives Support Corporation, TDBanknorth Foundation, Home Depot Foundation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Singer and Disability Advocate Join in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

WHO:Keeya Faison, local gospel singer, Michele A. Leahy , secretary, Board of United Spinal Association and transitional work incentive coordinator for AHEDD, Children of employees of OHCD and the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp.
WHAT: Local observance of National Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day  
WHEN: Thursday, April 23, 2009
Keeya Faison – 1 p.m .
Michele A. Leahy – 1:30p.m.
WHERE: OHCD, 1234 Market St., 17 th floor, Board Room

DETAILS: Two speakers will discuss careers with children whose families work for two city housing agencies. At 1 p.m., Keeya Faison will explain her unique journey from secretary to gospel singer. At 1:30 p.m., Michele A. Leahy will discuss her personal experiences on how she advocates as a woman with a disability and what it’s like to be a professional in the nonprofit sector.

The young participants will engage in related activities and suggested readings. Originally called Take Our Daughters to Work Day, this national observance helps children 8 to 12 discover and develop their strengths and abilities in order to prepare for the working world. It also explores gender roles and the balance between work and family.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mayor Nutter to Address Philadelphians on Homeownership Opportunities in the City During The Philadelphia Housing Fair

PHILADELPHIA - Mayor Michael A. Nutter will address potential homebuyers at The Philadelphia Housing Fair in Dilworth Plaza on Tuesday, April 14. The fair is being held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will focus on neighborhood stability through homeownership. Developers, Realtors, city agencies, nonprofit organizations, mortgage companies, housing counseling agencies and more will be stationed on the northwest-side of City Hall distributing real-estate information and acting as a “one-stop-shop” for homebuyers. Despite the recent economic downturn, the Housing Fair will highlight the advantages of buying a home in the current market.

The Philadelphia Housing Fair is cosponsored by the City of Philadelphia, Building Industry Association, Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors and NeighborhoodsNow.

For more information visit www.phila.gov/ohcd and click on events or call 311. Entrance to the fair is free.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mayor Nutter, TruMark Financial and APM to cut String of ‘Money’ to Dedicate First Financial Institution in More Than 50 Years in Eastern North Philadelphia

WHO: Mayor Michael A. Nutter; State Sen. Shirley Kitchen; State Sen. Christine Tartaglione; Pennsylvania Secretary of Banking Steven Kaplan; Richard F. Stipa, TruMark Financial Credit Union CEO; Nilda I. Ruiz, president and CEO, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha Inc. (APM); Deborah McColloch, director, Office of Housing and Community Development ; banking and community representatives

WHAT: Dedication of TruMark Financial Credit Union
WHEN: 11 a.m., Thursday, April 2, 2009
WHERE: Tent at 1900 N. 5 th St. (5 th & Berks Streets)
DETAILS: Mayor Michael A. Nutter will join state legislators, banking officials and community leaders and residents in the dedication of TruMark Financial Credit Union. Built on a formerly vacant lot,

TruMark Financial is the first financial institution in Eastern North Philadelphia in more than 50 years. Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha (APM) worked closely with TruMark Financial to bring the branch office into its Borinquen Plaza shopping center which serves residents of APM’s Pradera Homeownership Zone. Located next to Cousin’s Market, TruMark Financial features a bilingual, multicultural staff.

TruMark Financial is a not-for-profit cooperative dedicated to helping members reach their financial well-being. Membership is open to people who live, work, worship, go to school or volunteer in Philadelphia and four surrounding Pennsylvania counties.

March 26, 2009

Lynn T. Newsome Appointed Compliance Director
From a hair salon in West Chester, PA to an executive position with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Lynn Newsome has experienced dramatic changes in her career. The latest is a move from state to city government as Compliance Director of the Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD).

Newsome oversees the Compliance Department in monitoring and promoting minority participation in contracts funded by OHCD, Redevelopment Authority and the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. She also manages a staff of four. Newsome plans to streamline the department’s processes by making minority contract statistics publicly available in a central location. Currently, such data needs to be gathered from various departments. In addition to making the Compliance Department more efficient, Newsome is dedicated to training and pre-qualifying minority-contract workers so that they are at the ready for city jobs.

OHCD Director Deborah McColloch referred to Newsome’s unconventional entrée into government as a reason for her great success. “ Lynn’s in-depth knowledge is a result of the many roles she has played,” McColloch said. “OHCD is confident that her experience will benefit our staff and our clients.”

So how does a person who was trained as a cosmetologist, worked a “stint at the Clarin cosmetic counter” and owned a salon for 14 years decide to make a dramatic life change, earning a bachelor’s degree in political science from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in public administration from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s certificate in compliance administration accredited by Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md.?

“Through one of my clients, who, at the time, was president of the West Chester Borough Council,” explained Newsome. “One day I asked her about the block captains in my community. I wondered ‘who elected them? How can I do that?’” From there Newsome became active in local government and community development, went to Cheyney University of Pennsylvania to further study the political process and to Pennsylvania State University in Harrisburg which led to several employment positions with the state and now with the City of Philadelphia.

An avid Eagles, Sixers and Phillies fan, Newsome is also active in the American Contract Compliance Association and is currently regional coordinator for the northeast region comprised of 11 states.

Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009

MAYOR NUTTER WELCOMES $16.8 MILLION IN HUD FUNDING FOR PHILADELPHIA’S ANTI-FORECLOSURE EFFORTS
Philadelphia , January 15 – U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Steve Preston today approved the City of Philadelphia’s plan to address the devastating effects of abandoned and foreclosed properties on neighborhoods. Under HUD’s new Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), the City of Philadelphia will receive $16,832,873.

The City’s NSP plan, produced by the Office of Housing and Community Development, (OHCD), allocates the funds for acquisition, rehabilitation and resale of vacant foreclosed properties in areas with high rates of foreclosure. The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority will implement NSP, creating partnerships with both for-profit and nonprofit developers.

“In light of our current fiscal crisis, we are especially grateful to HUD for recognizing the need to mitigate the effects of home foreclosures in Philadelphia neighborhoods,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “The City’s plan provides a clear outline for putting empty homes back into productive and affordable use. A solid community of tax-paying homeowners benefits the local economy and keeps home values stable.”

OHCD Director Deborah McColloch explained that while specific addresses and blocks have not yet been identified, properties will be selected based upon community impact. To prevent future foreclosures, all buyers will be required to undergo at least eight hours of housing counseling at one of the 32 OHCD-funded housing counseling agencies citywide.

“Counseling will help buyers choose mortgage financing most appropriate to their budgetary circumstances,” McColloch said.

The City expects to renovate more than 180 properties in the first 18 months of NSP. As those properties are completed and sold, sale proceeds will become available to support further housing activity, thus expanding NSP’s impact.

Philadelphia ’s NSP plan can be downloaded from www.phila.gov/ohcd/nsp.htm

Press Releases 2008

Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008

$1 Million Home Depot Grant To Nurture Green Neighborhoods
PHILADELPHIA – A grant from The Home Depot Foundation will help turn old and new housing in eastern North Philadelphia into environmentally sustainable, affordable communities.

The Home Depot Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The Home Depot, has donated $1 million over four years to the Philadelphia offices of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) to support an environmentally friendly housing and community greening pilot program in partnership with the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM). The program will be coordinated by a partnership of LISC, the City of Philadelphia, PHS, APM, and the Fairmount Park Commission.

The plans will be unveiled Thursday, Nov. 20, 1:30 p.m., at the southeast corner of 8th and Berks Streets in North Philadelphia. Mayor Nutter will join the Home Depot Foundation, leaders of LISC, PHS, APM and the community in announcing the program and planting the first of many trees in this innovative program.

“As Mayor, I have pledged to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America. In these current economic times, it is more important than ever to work with the private sector to achieve this goal,” Mayor Nutter said. “I am grateful for the Home Depot Foundation’s commitment to making urban communities more sustainable and for choosing to invest in Philadelphia.”

“Efficient, environmentally-friendly home building and green neighborhoods can be a model for the future of Philadelphia,” said Kelly Caffarelli, executive director of The Home Depot Foundation. “This pilot program is a tremendous example of how we can help reshape and, ultimately, strengthen entire neighborhoods through smart community design.”

Philadelphia Green, the urban revitalization program of PHS, will use funds from the grant over the next four years for greening and streetscape improvements. The greening efforts will support the new affordable housing and other civic development being spearheaded by APM as well as the retrofitting of existing homes to make them more energy efficient.

Plans for the greening of the neighborhoods by PHS, the Fairmount Park Commission and other agencies include new street trees along Berks Street, Germantown Avenue, Norris Street and around area schools; the creation of green gateways and streetscapes at key locations; and the cleaning and greening of strategically located vacant land in the area.

Philadelphia Green also will work with APM to coordinate greening workshops, community development activities and civic engagement to create a corps of residents and groups to care for the new landscapes and trees. The goal is a lasting community network and infrastructure for the area.

“APM is thrilled to have the neighborhoods we’ve revitalized through affordable housing and commercial development be the target area for this pilot project. This is a multilayered approach that will yield great results for the greening of Philadelphia as a whole but especially for the families in the community who commit to making a home not only of their four walls, but the land that supports it,” said APM President and CEO Nilda Ruiz.

Depending on the needs of existing homes assessed by APM in partnership with the city Office of Housing and Community Development and LISC, environmental retrofits may include white roofs, energy efficient windows, rain barrels, environmentally friendly and efficient water heaters, and landscaping that would improve energy efficiency.

“Through greening and environmental retrofits of existing structures, in support of new affordable housing and development, the old and the new will be knit together in a sustainable way,” said Blaine Bonham, executive vice president of PHS. “We thank the Home Depot Foundation for this great opportunity to take a multi-layered approach to transforming the urban landscape.”

PHS, the nation’s first horticultural society, is the leading organization for greening in the region, and the Philadelphia Green program has become a model of urban revitalization for cities around the country.

APM is a Latino-based health, human services and community development organization committed to assisting Philadelphia area families to achieve their full potential by offering a conglomerate of programs and services including education for children, mental health support, drug and alcohol treatment, health prevention and promotion and access to affordable housing options. APM serves more than 9,000 families a year as it works with public-private funders to help improve the quality of life for all Philadelphians.

The Home Depot Foundation was created in 2002 to further the community building goals of The Home Depot. The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to building homes for working families that are healthy to live in and affordable to own. To make homes healthy and affordable, the Foundation encourages developers to incorporate responsible design and use durable and quality materials to ensure that homes are more energy and water efficient, have good indoor air quality, and provide a safe and healthy space to live. Since its formation, The Home Depot Foundation has granted $70 million to nonprofit organizations and supported the development of more than 50,000 affordable, healthy homes. For more information, visit www.homedepotfoundation.org.

 

Wednseday, November 12, 2008

OHCD Director Announces Recipients of More Than $11 Million in Rental Development Support

PHILADELPHIA - Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) Director Deborah McColloch announced the awarding of $4.2 million in Housing Trust Fund monies and $6.9 million in federal funds to seven nonprofit housing developments. The seven rental projects will produce 325 units of affordable rental housing throughout Philadelphia. Developments include special-needs housing, rehabilitation of existing housing, senior housing and new construction. Awards range from $197,500 to $1.75 million per project. Recipients were selected by OHCD which issued a Request for Proposals. OHCD administers the funds. Total development costs for all 325 rental units exceed $97 million.

“These developments will create more affordable and accessible rental opportunities in Philadelphia.” McColloch said. “The creation of rental housing is especially important because there is great demand for quality, affordable rental housing and we are trying to meet that need. The Housing Trust Fund brings new resources to create viable rental opportunities and helps to narrow the gap between the supply and the demand for affordable housing.”

Federal funds awarded are comprised of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) funds. Homeownership developers, funding amounts and project locations are:

  • H.E.L.P. USA, $1 million in Housing Trust Fund (HTF), $1.5 million in federal funds for 6100 Eastwick Ave.;
  • New Courtland Elder Services, $700,000 in HTF, $1.3 million in federal funds for 319 W. Johnson St.;
  • Nicetown Court Associates, $1 million in HTF, $1.8 million in federal funds for 4300 block Germantown Avenue;
  • People’s Emergency Center CDC, $700,000 in HTF for 611-27 N. 40 th St., 3900 Spring Garden St.;
  • Philadelphia Preservation Group, $1.75 million in federal funds for 101 W. Johnson St.;
  • Women’s Community Revitalization Project, $600,000 in HTF, $400,000 in federal funds for 3000 blocks Percy and Hutchinson Streets;
  • 1260 Housing Corp., $197,500 in HTF, $197,500 in federal funds for 1700 N. 16 th St.

The Housing Trust Fund was signed into city and state law by Mayor John F. Street and Gov. Edward G. Rendell in July 2005. Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI) bond proceeds of $1.5 million were used to create the fund. A doublingof the city’s mortgage-recording fee, from $72 to $144, in addition to other document-recording fee increases, generates annual revenue.

The Housing Trust Fund is the result of discussions held with housing advocates at the request of Councilwomen Jannie Blackwell and Blondell Reynolds Brown. More than 100 groups supported the Trust Fund’s creation, including the Philadelphia Affordable Housing Coalition (PAHC), the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC), ACORN and the Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project.

(Note to Editors: Click here for a complete list of Housing Trust Fund awards.)

Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008

City Employees Heed Call To Help Less Fortunate

WHO : Records Commissioner Joan Decker; City officials and employee volunteers; representatives of 13 participating charities

WHAT : Kick-off event for the 26 th annual City of Philadelphia Employees’ Combined Campaign
WHEN : Friday, Oct. 31, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. (THIS EVENT IS FOR CO-CHAIRS ONLY)
WHERE : Crowne Plaza Hotel Ballroom, 18 th and Market Streets

DETAILS : On the heels of an economic crisis that threatens to undermine charitable campaigns nationwide, Philadelphia city employees devote themselves to giving. Commissioner Decker will kick off the 26 th year of the City of Philadelphia Employees’ Combined Campaign with a breakfast featuring 13 recipient organizations representing 3,500 charities. Entertainment will be provided by the Ken Pendergast Jazz Trio. Invited speakers include: John McNesby, President of FOP Lodge #5, Bette MacDonald, Secretary Treasurer of DC 33 and Kevin Vaughan, Deputy Health Commissioner. “It is an honor for me to accept the City’s offer to remain Chair of the Combined Campaign,” said Decker, the first Chair to serve two-terms in Combined Campaign history. “Now more than ever, people in need require a helping hand from our organization. Despite economic set backs, we’re going to make it a great year!”

The Combined Campaign enables City employees to contribute to their favorite charities through one yearly fund-raising drive. Employees have donated more than $32 millionsince 1983. It is one of the nation’s most successful combined campaigns in dollars raised. Participating charities are: AIDS FUND, America’s Charities, Bread & Roses Community Fund, Catholic Charities Appeal, Community Health Charities of Pennsylvania, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund, Environmental Fund for Pennsylvania, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Global Impact, Police Athletic League of Philadelphia, United Negro College Fund, United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and WOMEN’S WAY.

Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008

8 New Townhouses in North Central Philadelphia for Sale by Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. With 10-Year Tax Abatement

WHO: Staff of Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. (PHDC), community residents; prospective homebuyers

WHAT: Eight new townhouses will be offered for sale by PHDC during a public meeting in the neighborhood.
WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m.
WHERE
: Tanner Duckery School, 1501 W. Diamond St.

DETAILS : PHDC is building eight townhouses and selling them at $137,500 each to qualified, first-time homebuyers. The city’s 10-year real-estate tax abatement applies. Buyers may also qualify for the American Dream Downpayment Initiative of up to $10,000. Called the Norris Street Townhouses, the development comprises: 1601, 1603, 1605, 1607 W. Norris St.; 1600A, 1600B, 1624, 1628 Page St. The two-story homes feature three bedrooms with one full bath and one powder room. PHDC is building green with energy-efficient insulation, insulated doors and double-glazed windows. Other features include a shingle roof, gas heat, central air conditioning, modern kitchen, wall-to-wall carpeting, fenced backyard and off-street parking. Full descriptions of the properties including floor plans will be available at the meeting. For information, call 215-448-3139.

Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008

COUNCILMANCLARKE, HOUSING DIRECTOR MCCOLLOCH JOIN GROUNDBREAKING FOR HAVEN PENIEL SENIOR CITIZEN RESIDENCE, 55 RENTAL UNITS IN NORTH PHILADELPHIA 

WHO: Councilman Darrell Clarke; Deborah McColloch, director, Office of Housing and Community Development; State Sen. Shirley Kitchen; State Rep. Frank Oliver; Elvis Solivan, Special Assistant to the Regional Director, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Bishop Peggy Johnson, Eastern Conference, United Methodist Church; community residents

WHAT: Groundbreaking for Haven Peniel Senior Citizen Residence
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008, 10 a.m.
WHERE: 1615 N. 23 rd St .

DETAILS: City, state, federal and community representatives will joinHaven Peniel Development Corp. in the groundbreaking for Haven Peniel Senior Citizen Residence, a five-story building with 55 rental units for very low-income elderly residents. Formerly the site of a lawn-mower factory, this 3/4-acre of vacant land will be transformed into a viable neighborhood asset. Longtime residents will be able to continue living in their community as they age.

The Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community Development provided $186,000 for environmental cleanup and $825,000 for construction. Other funding sources include $8 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Construction will be completed in 2009. For rental information, contact the HPDC Office at 215-765-7119.

Oct. 10, 2008

MAYOR NUTTER, COUNCILWOMAN QUINONES SANCHEZ JOIN IN DEDICATION OF TWINS AT POWDERMILL, 50 NEW TOWNHOUSES IN JUNIATA PARK  

WHO: Mayor Michael A. Nutter, Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez; John G. Bravacos, regional director, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Brian A. Hudson Sr., executive director, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency; Deborah McColloch, director, Office of Housing and Community Development; community residents

WHAT: Dedication of Twins at PowderMill
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2008, 10 a.m.
WHERE: 1508 E. Cayuga St .

DETAILS: City, state, federal and community representatives will joinImpact Community Development Corp. (Impact CDC) in the dedication of the Twins at PowderMill in the Juniata Park section of the city. This development consists of 50 new homes targeted toward first-time homebuyers of all income levels. Twenty units are reserved for buyers making less than 80 percent of median income (for example, a household of four making up to $59,450 a year). Bounded by Castor Avenue and Cayuga and Wingohocking Streets, these three- to four-bedroom homes will feature two or two and one-half baths, brick and vinyl siding, off-street parking and garages. The homes are also energy-efficient and in close proximity to parks, shopping and the Juniata Golf Club. Six disabled-accessible homes will be available. Development partners include the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, OKKS Development and Impact CDC. Twins at PowderMill received $3.1 million in federal funds, $1.75 million from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, $1 million in City of Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund monies and $650,000 in Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development funds. Sales price for all homes is $164,999. Qualified buyers are eligible for a grant of up to $10,000 through the American Dream Downpayment Initiative. For sales information, contact Gil Velez at 215-291-1600.

 

October 9, 2008

PHDC Offers Free Energy Repairs During Energy Awareness Month and Year-Round

PHILADELPHIA – A sweltering summer has faded and the cold winds of winter are approaching! This October, take advantage of Energy Awareness month and prepare your home for the icy weather lying ahead. Call 215-448-2160 to find out how you may qualify to receive free weatherization and energy-efficient repairs to your home. Applicants may also obtain the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation(PHDC) Weatherization Manual which offers more than 40 pages packed with cost-saving tips. This free manual is available in English and Spanish.

PHDC developed the Weatherization Assistance Program to help low-income Philadelphia homeowners and renters obtain energy-related repairs to their homes. All repairs are done by qualified professionals. Whether having their doors weatherstripped or heaters modified for efficiency, Philadelphians can reap the cost-saving benefits of weatherization repairs.

“An energy-efficient home helps combat rising energy prices,” explains Anthony C. McIntosh, PHDC executive vice president. “In addition to installing energy-conservation features, we believe in-home education will result in even greater savings for homeowners; that is why each applicant is given a free energy audit and in-home energy education along with needed weatherization repairs.”

Chapters in the PHDC Weatherization Manual include easy-to-understand instructions on seasonal home-maintenance measures that compliment the Weatherization Assistance Program repairs and help to keep homes efficient year-round.

“For decades we’ve turned thousands of Philadelphia homes into safe, comfortable residences through our free home-repair programs,” McIntosh says. For example, since its inception in 1987, the Weatherization Assistance Program has weatherized 30,000 homes at a cost of nearly $72 million.

The Weatherization program is funded by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. For more information about PHDC’s Weatherization Assistance Program, call 215-448-2160 or visit www.phdchousing.org.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Free copies of the PHDC Weatherization Manual in English and Spanish are available by calling 215-686-9723. Copies are also available for download at www.phdchousing.org.

Monday, August 4, 2008

OHCD Director Announces Recipients of $4 Million in Housing Trust Fund Awards

PHILADELPHIA - Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) Director Deborah McColloch announced the awarding of $4.13 million in Housing Trust Fund monies to nine nonprofit housin g developments. The six rental and three homeownership projects will produce 275 units of affordable housing throughout Philadelphia. Developments include special-needs housing, senior housing, rehabilitation of existing housing and new-construction homeownership. Awards range from $165,500 to $1 million per project. Recipients were selected by OHCD which issued a Request for Proposals in February. OHCD administers the fund.

“These developments will create more affordable housing opportunities throughout our city,” McColloch
said. “The demand for affordable and accessible housing in Philadelphia far exceeds the available supply. The Housing Trust Fund brings new resources to narrow the gap.” An added boost this year will be an additional $3 million in General Funds from the City to support the Housing Trust Fund for a total of $15 million.

Total development costs of the nine projects exceed $48 million, representing a leveraging ratio of 11-to-1 for Trust Fund resources.

McColloch noted the Trust Fund received nearly $11.6 million in proposals; almost three times the amount originally budgeted.

Homeownership developers, funding amounts and project locations are:

  • Allegheny West Foundation, $270,000 for various sites;
  • Hispanic Association of Contractors & Enterprises, $1 million for 3300 block North Lawrence Street;
  • PEC CDC, $500,000 for various sites.

Rental developers, funding amounts and project locations are:

  • Gaudenzia Foundation, $250,000 for 2100 W. Venango St. and 2101 W. Atlantic St.;
  • Liberty Resources Inc., $165,500 for 7600 E. Roosevelt Blvd. and $328,250 for 1100 S. Broad St.;
  • New Courtland Elder Services, $450,000 for 319 W. Johnson St.;
  • Pradera Corp., $270,000 for 2327-2333 N. 7 th St.;
  • Salvation Army, $900,000 for 4050 Conshohocken Ave.

The Housing Trust Fund was signed into city and state law by Mayor John F. Street and Gov. Edward G. Rendell in July 2005. Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI) bond proceeds of $1.5 million were used to create the fund. A doubling of the city’s mortgage-recording fee, from $72 to $144, in addition to other document-recording fee increases, generates approximately $12 million in annual revenues.

The Housing Trust Fund is the result of discussions held with housing advocates at the request of Councilwomen Jannie Blackwell and Blondell Reynolds Brown. More than 100 groups supported the Trust Fund’s creation, including the Philadelphia Affordable Housing Coalition (PAHC), the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC), ACORN and the Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project. The first Housing Trust Funds were established in the 1970s. Currently, there are more than 350 Trust Funds across the country, including 53 in Pennsylvania, raising a total of more than $750 million a year.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Open House on Aug. 2 at 10 a.m. to Showcase 2129 & 2133 S. Cecil St.; Two Fully Renovated Rowhouses, Affordably Priced at $80,000 Each

If you’re looking to buy a home in Philadelphia, be sure to attend the open house at 2129 S. Cecil St. on Saturday, Aug. 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Also for sale is 2133 S. Cecil St . (not open for inspection).

The Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. (PHDC) has completely renovated these two-story Southwest Philadelphia rowhouses. Each one features two bedrooms, one bathroom, modern kitchen with new gas range, wall-to-wall carpeting, full basement and fenced back yard. You’ll save on utility bills with the energy-efficient new plumbing and gas heating systems, new electrical system, central air conditioning, R30 insulation in ceilings, new insulated steel exterior doors, new double-glazed vinyl windows and new rubber roof with warranty. The house contains hookups for washer, dryer, refrigerator and dishwasher (no appliances included), as well as security system capability.

Sales price for each house is $80,000 with down payment as low as $4,000. Monthly mortgage is approximately $580. A qualified first-time buyer may be eligible for the city’s American Dream Downpayment Initiative.

For more information and directions, call PHDC at 215-448-3139.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Open House on July 12 at 10 a.m. to Showcase 1553 Lardner St., a Fully Renovated Rowhouse, Affordably Priced at $110,000

If you’re looking to buy a home in Philadelphia, be sure to attend the open house at 1553 Lardner St. on Saturday, July 12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. (PHDC) has completely renovated this two-story Northeast Philadelphia rowhouse. Features include three bedrooms, one bathroom, modern kitchen with new gas range, hardwood floors, full basement and rear garage. You’ll save on utility bills with the energy-efficient new plumbing and gas heating systems, new electrical system, R30 insulation in ceilings, new insulated steel exterior doors, new double-glazed vinyl windows and new rubber roof with warranty. The house contains hookups for washer, dryer, refrigerator and dishwasher (no appliances included), as well as security system capability.

Sales price is $110,000 with down payment as low as $3,300. Monthly mortgage is approximately $750. A qualified first-time buyer may be eligible for the city’s Settlement Assistance Grant.

For more information and directions, call PHDC at 215-448-3139.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Dedication of Dewey Housing by AchieveAbility to feature Chire Harden
who rose from homelessness to homeownership
 

WHO: New homeowner Chire Harden; Elvis Solivan, special assistant, U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development; Deborah McColloch, acting director, Office of Housing and Community Development; Loree D. Jones, president & CEO, and Joel Lawson III, board treasurer, both AchieveAbility
WHAT:  Dedication of Dewey Housing
WHEN: Wednesday, June 11, 2008, 10 a.m.
WHERE: 132 N. 61st St.
 
DETAILS: AchieveAbility program participant Chire Harden will be joined by city, state and federal officials, community representatives and AchieveAbility staff in the dedication of Dewey Housing, 10 units of homeownership scattered throughout the Haddington-Cobbs Creek sections of West Philadelphia. All houses have been rehabilitated by AchieveAbility for sale to first-time, low- to moderate-income buyers.  The two-story rowhouses contain either three or four bedrooms.  Each home features new electrical, plumbing and heating systems, roof, windows, doors, bathroom, kitchen with appliances, hardwood floors and carpeting.  Project financing for this $1.9-million project included $950,000 in federal HOME funds through the Office of Housing and Community Development and $150,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank.  For sales information, call Sister Anne Marie Weisglass at 267-257-3332. AchieveAbility, a nonprofit housing and social services provider, has developed nearly 200 units of affordable housing throughout Philadelphia with the goal of helping families break the cycle of poverty and achieve upward mobility and self-sufficiency. As a client, Ms. Harden journeyed from addiction and a shelter stay to earning a college degree, full-time employment and now, homeownership.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

STATE AND CITY OFFICIALS TO JOIN IN GROUNDBREAKING FOR NORRIS STREET TOWNHOUSES

WHO: State Sen. Shirley Kitchen, State Rep. Jewell Williams, Councilman Darrell Clarke, representatives from Philadelphia Housing Development Corp., community leaders and residents
WHAT: Groundbreaking for Norris Street Townhouses
WHEN: Wednesday, May 21, 2008, 10 a.m.
WHERE: Tent at 1600 W. Norris St.

DETAILS: City, state and community representatives will join officials of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. in groundbreaking ceremonies for the Norris Street Townhouses in North Philadelphia. Bounded by Broad and Diamond Streets and Cecil B. Moore Avenue, this development will consist of eight new homes. Each two-story house will feature three bedrooms, one and one-half baths, a backyard with a concrete patio and a driveway. The twin homes will restore formerly vacant land into a viable part of the neighborhood surrounding Temple University and will continue the developmental growth of North Philadelphia.  In the past decade, PHDC has developed nearly 2,000 homes throughout the city. Call 215-448-3139 for sales information.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mayor Nutter to address 275 developers and real estate professionals on opportunities to develop Philadelphia’s future

WHO Mayor Michael A. Nutter; Andrew Altman, Deputy Mayor, Planning & Economic Development
WHAT Philadelphia’s 8th Annual Developers Breakfast and Neighborhood Tour
WHEN: Thursday, May 22, 8 a.m.
WHERE: Temple University Health System Corporate Office, 2450 W. Hunting Park Ave., Philadelphia

DETAILS: Mayor Michael A. Nutter will address more than 275 members of the region’s development community during Philadelphia’s 8th Annual Developers Breakfast and Neighborhood Tour.  This year’s theme, “Developing Philadelphia’s Future,” will focus on the City’s plans to continue advancing its economic growth.  Three concurrent workshops will feature dialogues about planning for growth, developing clean and green city neighborhoods and supporting business and development. The guided bus tour will highlight current and potential development sites, including transit-oriented projects, in the neighborhoods of North and Northwest Philadelphia.  This yearly event is sponsored by the Philadelphia Department of Commerce and the Office of Housing and Community Development. Other supporters are the Empowerment Zone/Renewal Community, Office of Business Services, Office of the City Representative, Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Philadelphia Commercial Development Corp., Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. and Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. Temple University Health System is the breakfast host for 2008.

 

Monday, February 25, 2008

MAYOR NUTTER JOINS APM IN GROUNDBREAKING FOR LUDLOW VILLAGE V/PRADERA III HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

WHO: Mayor Michael A. Nutter; State Sen. Shirley Kitchen; Councilman Darrell Clarke; Deborah McColloch, acting director, Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD); Pedro J. Rivera, Esq., board chair, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha  Inc. (APM); and Nilda I. Ruiz, APM president and CEO; John G. Bravacos, regional director, US Department of Housing and Urban Development Region III; Robert Bobincheck, director, Strategic Planning & Policy, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA); banking and community representatives and honored guest, Marvin Louis, director, Ludlow Community Association.
WHAT: Groundbreaking for Ludlow Village V/ Pradera III
WHEN: Wednesday, Feb.27, 2008 at 10 a.m.
WHERE: Tent on 1500 N. Franklin St.
 
DETAILS:  City, state and community representatives will join APM in groundbreaking for Ludlow VillageV/ Pradera III in Eastern North Philadelphia. This development consists of 22 newly constructed homes and three rehabilitated properties targeted toward low- and moderate-income first-time buyers. The neighborhood is bounded by Oxford, Franklin, Jefferson and 8th Streets. It is the third of a three-phase homeownership initiative that will provide a total of 128 single, twin and fully accessible units. This $9.6-million project will be completed with the support of federal HOME monies through OHCD, PHFA’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (Homeownership Choice Program), the state Department of Community and Economic Development and the Federal Home Loan Bank. Eligible buyers can receive a grant of up to $10,000 under HUD’s American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) which is administered in Philadelphia by OHCD. Pradera I was completed in 2003 and Pradera II in 2007. For sales information on Ludlow Village V/Pradera III, contact APM at 215-235-6070.

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008            

5 Renovated Rowhouses in Brewerytown for Sale at $80,000 under PHDC’s Homestart Program

WHO: Staff of Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. (PHDC), members of Greater Brewerytown Community Development Corp., prospective homebuyers
WHAT: Five rowhouses renovated by PHDC will be offered for sale under its Homestart Program during a public meeting in the neighborhood.
WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 6:15 p.m.
WHERE: United Temple Worship Center, 31st & Jefferson Streets

DETAILS: PHDC is completely renovating five rowhouses in the Brewerytown section of North Philadelphia and selling them at $80,000 each to qualified, first-time homebuyers.  Addresses are: 1423, 1435, 1447, 1451 N. 30th St. (3-story, 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths) and 3018 Redner St. (2-story, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, 1 powder room). Full descriptions of the properties including floor plans will be available at the meeting.  A PHDC representative will explain details of the Homestart Program.  Buyers may also qualify for the American Dream Downpayment Initiative of up to $10,000.  For information, call 215-448-3139.

Press Releases 2007

Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007

OHCD First Deputy Deborah McColloch Joins Housing Advocates in Support of Amended Inclusionary Housing Bill Up for Final Vote         

WHO: First Deputy Deborah McColloch, members of the Philadelphia Campaign for Housing Justice
WHAT: Rally in support of the amended version of the Inclusionary Housing bill set for final vote by City Council on Thursday
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 12, 11 a.m.
WHERE: City Council Caucus Room, Room 401 City Hall

DETAILS: First Deputy Deborah McColloch will join affordable-housing advocates in an endorsement of an amended version of the Inclusionary Housing legislation, scheduled for final vote by City Council on Thursday.  The bill ensures that market-rate developers contribute to affordable housing, either by giving money to an affordable housing fund or by building houses affordable to people with a wider range of incomes than under the first proposed bill. For example, the modified bill will serve households earning 0 to 125 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or up to $90,000 annually for a family of four.
“This amended bill represents our best efforts to remain true to the bill’s original intent yet respond to advocates’ testimony and also be practical and realistic,” Housing Secretary Kevin R. Hanna says.  “I believe we have accomplished our goal of creating a viable housing policy to serve all Philadelphians.” Hanna and the Philadelphia Campaign for Housing Justice will work with City Council to design developer-incentive programs for introduction next spring.

Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007
             
Groundbreaking service for Mt. Tabor Cyber Village,
56 rental units for senior citizens in Northern Liberties

WHO: Councilman Darrell Clarke; representatives of Mt. Tabor Community Education and Economic Development Corp. and its development partner, Seventh Street Senior Housing Inc.; members of Mt. Tabor African Methodist Episcopal Church; prospective tenants; community residents

WHAT: Groundbreaking service for Mt. Tabor Cyber Village
WHEN Saturday, Oct. 20, 11 a.m.
WHERE: 961 N. 7th St. (Mt. Tabor African Methodist Episcopal Church, between Girard Avenue and Poplar Street)

DETAILS: Councilman Darrell Clarke will join Bishop Richard Norris, Brother E. Larry Lang, Rev. Dr. Mary L. Moore and Rev. Martha A. Lang in a groundbreaking service for Mt. Tabor Cyber Village.  The new-construction project will provide 56 units of affordable rental housing for senior citizens, including 12 accessible units for tenants with physical disabilities and three for those with vision or hearing impairments. To be located at 973 N. 7th St., the four-story building will feature a computer room, lounge, library, physical fitness center and community room. Development funding sources include $900,000 from the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund through the Office of Housing and Community Development and $1.1 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.  The Community Design Collaborative of AIA Philadelphia granted almost $40,000 for preliminary design services.

Monday, Oct. 15, 2007

Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund Celebrates
2 Years of Financing New Construction, Home Repairs

WHO: City administration officials, members of City Council, affordable housing advocates, representatives of community development corporations and community residents
WHAT: Second anniversary celebration of the passage of the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund
WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 16, 10 a.m.
WHERE Pradera Homes, 1800 block North 7th Street (tent between Berks and Montgomery)

DETAILS: Pradera Homes, the first homeownership development to receive Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund support, will be the site of the Trust Fund’s second anniversary celebration. Community leaders and residents will explain the positive impact of the Housing Trust Fund on rental and homeownership projects throughout the city. Signed into city and state law by Mayor Street and Gov. Rendell in 2005, the Housing Trust Fund finances development of affordable new housing and the repair of existing housing. It also prevents homelessness through emergency housing assistance and short-term rental assistance. To date, the Housing Trust Fund has supported the construction of more than 1,100 new units and the repair of more than 600 occupied homes. Housing Trust Fund awards total $17 million so far. Administered by the Office of Housing and Community Development, the Fund was established with $1.5 million in Neighborhood Transformation Initiative bond funds. The City’s recording fees generate $14 million annually.

*Note* This outdoor-event will take place rain or shine.                  

Oct. 2, 2007
PHDC’s Weatherization Manual Promotes Energy Conservation
40 pages packed with cost-saving tips, available in English and Spanish

PHILADELPHIA –A sweltering summer has faded and the cold winds of winter are approaching! This fall, take the time to weatherize your home and prepare yourself for the icy weather ahead. Get the English or the Spanish version of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC) Weatherization Manual now and you’ll find tips on how to reduce energy use, access energy-assistance programs and save money.

PHDC developed the manual to help low-income and elderly Philadelphians beat rising fuel costs.  It’s being distributed free to residents who apply for PHDC’s Weatherization Assistance Program as well as to the general public. (For a copy, call 215-686-9723.)

“An energy-efficient home helps combat rising energy prices,” explains Anthony C. McIntosh, PHDC executive vice president. “In addition to installing energy-conservation features, we believe in-home education will result in even greater savings for homeowners.”
 
Chapters in the PHDC Weatherization Manual include easy-to-understand instructions on caulking, weatherstripping and insulating.  You’ll learn how installing a programmable thermostat and energy-efficient windows will maximize your energy savings. Ways to chart your energy use, such as reading your home’s gas and electric meters and energy bills, are included.   The benefits of studying the Energy Star label before buying new appliances are explained. Following the manual’s monthly and seasonal home-maintenance schedule will help you keep your home efficient year-round.  When you’re finished reading the manual, you can test your knowledge of energy use with the included self-quiz.

PHDC has a unique perspective on the cost of energy use in city households. 

“For decades we’ve turned thousands of Philadelphia homes into safe, comfortable residences through our free home-repair programs,” McIntosh says.  For example, since its inception in 1987, the Weatherization Assistance Program has weatherized 30,998 homes at a cost of nearly $76 million. 

A description of PHDC’s Weatherization Assistance Program is included in the manual’s four pages on local energy-assistance programs.  Funded by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the weatherization program provides free weatherization and energy-conservation services to eligible low-income renter and homeowner households.  To apply, call 215-448-2160.

For a free copy of the English or Spanish PHDC Weatherization Manual, call 215-686-9723.

You may also access it at www.phila.gov/ohcd/homerepairprograms.htm.

May 22, 2007

City’s Sustainable Development Policies; The Reinvestment Fund Updates Housing Market Value Analysis
During annual breakfast for developers, Mayor cites new Local Action Plan for Climate Change; TRF pinpoints areas of market growth

PHILADELPHIA – Addressing 250 members of the region’s development community, Mayor John F. Street today described Philadelphia’s sustainable development polices as “protecting our natural resources, building our economy and strengthening our community.”  He lauded their role in shaping Philadelphia into one of the nation’s most sustainable cities.

Based on its current update to the analysis that had been the original data framework for the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative, The Reinvestment Fund’s Policy Director Ira Goldstein told the audience, “The data show there has been an extraordinary transformation of the residential downtown. The market strength that several years ago was more or less limited to Vine to South and river to river now extends from Fairmount to Washington Avenue. Other notable areas of strength include the expansion of Northern Liberties into the communities of Fishtown and Kensington; the growing market strength of East Oak Lane; continued increase in market strength in South Philadelphia, east of Broad Street; complete stabilization and strength of the communities up through Roxborough, Manayunk and Andorra.“

Mayor Street and Goldstein detailed these positive advances during Philadelphia’s Annual Developers Breakfast and Neighborhood Tour.  This year’s theme of “Sustainable Neighborhoods – Locations of Choice” focused on the expanding opportunities for sustainable residential, commercial and recreational growth in city neighborhoods.  The audience included national and local developers, realtors, business owners, financiers, planners and architects.

“Philadelphia is committed to promoting environmentally friendly policies and programs,” Mayor Street said.  “Our new Local Action Plan for Climate Change lays out sustainability strategies for buildings, transportation, industry, and open space. These include implementation of codes for building green and transit-oriented development.”  He credited the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI), the Empowerment Zone and the Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) with laying the
foundation for sustainable development by using existing infrastructure, such as walkable streets and a public transit system, to rebuild neighborhoods and open up new investment possibilities.

Event participants also learned the Street administration has initiated the ReStore Philadelphia Corridors program (ReStore) which weaves NTI’s principles with economic development strategies.  ReStore is supported by $65 million from a $150-million bond issue for cultural and commercial corridors, approved by City Council last October. 

“ReStore will revitalize neighborhood commercial corridors and re-establish their historic roles as central places to shop, work and socialize,” Mayor Street said.  Corridors throughout the city will receive services that will increase their ability to bring quality goods and services to residents.  For example, a Small Business Loan Guarantee Pool will improve the access of small businesses to mainstream lenders.

A second sustainable goal is to reduce the environmental impact of development.  One breakfast workshop focused on redeveloping industrial areas and explained the city and state programs that help developers access, safely clean and sustainably reuse environmentally contaminated industrial and residential properties.

“Building Green in Philadelphia” featured LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and Energy Star.  These new technologies incorporate environmental design into residential and commercial developments, thereby decreasing contaminants and curbing energy consumption.

Led by the Philadelphia Water Department, a workshop on storm-water management explained the agency’s $50-million investment in immediate capital improvements to the city’s sewer system which will reduce pollutants entering rivers and streams when storm sewers overflow.  Attendees also learned about the new storm-water regulations specifically for developers.

The neighborhood tour visited current and potential development sites in North and Northwest Philadelphia.

This year’s event was held in the Pearl Theatre at Avenue North, 1600 N. Broad St., in the Avenue of the Arts North district.  Built by Tower Investments with its development partner Beech Interplex on vacant land owned by the city, Avenue North is the largest private development in North Philadelphia history and has revitalized the area.  The $75-million complex encompasses seven movie theaters, two levels of retail shops and rental housing for 800 Temple University students.

The city’s annual breakfast and tour is sponsored by NTI and OHCD.  Other supporters are the Empowerment Zone/Renewal Community, Mayor’s Business Action Team, Philadelphia Department of Commerce, Philadelphia City Planning Commission, Philadelphia Commercial Development Corp. and Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007
                                               
Recipients of $11.7 Million in Housing Trust Fund Awards for FY08 announced
696 Affordable Housing Units to be Produced Throughout City

PHILADELPHIA – Mayor John F. Street announced the awarding of nearly $11.7 million in FY08 Housing Trust Fund monies to 21 nonprofit housing developments.  The 13 rental and eight homeownership projects will produce 696 units of affordable housing throughout Philadelphia.  Developments include special-needs housing, senior housing, rehabilitation of existing housing and new-construction homeownership.  Awards range from $80,000 to $1 million per project.  Recipients were selected by the Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) which issued a Request for Proposals in December.  OHCD administers the fund.

“These projects will produce much needed affordable and accessible housing for Philadelphians,” Mayor Street said.  “Earlier this week, I signed an Executive Order to create an Inclusionary Housing Working Group to develop a plan to further increase housing for those who need it most.  These projects will help, but the supply of housing is still not enough to meet the demand for safe, decent and affordable housing for moderate-income families and those needing affordable housing.”

Secretary of Housing Kevin R. Hanna called the Trust Fund a “lifesaver” because it picks up the slack created by the recent federal funding cuts.  “Without the Housing Trust Fund, many projects would either not happen or would be put on hold for several years,” he said.

Total development costs of the 21 projects exceed $142 million, representing a leveraging ratio of 11-to-1 for Trust Fund resources.

Hanna noted the Trust Fund received nearly $19.4 million in proposals, almost three times the amount originally budgeted.  “In response to this need, OHCD decided to step forward and commit additional money to projects already underway or in the pipeline,” he explained.

Hanna said the advantage of the Housing Trust Fund is that it can respond in flexible and innovative ways to meet the city’s housing needs and opportunities.  For example, the Trust Fund awards will allow several developments to proceed to construction.  Other projects, such as Nicetown Court, were awarded funds in support of their current applications to the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits or for Homeownership Choice funds.

Homeownership developers, funding amounts and project locations are:  Allegheny West Foundation, $730,000 for various sites; Friends Rehabilitation Program, $700,000 for 1900 and 2000 blocks North 31st Street; Impact Services Community Development Corp. and OKKS, $1 million for Castor Avenue and Wingohocking Street; Peoples Emergency Center Community Development Corp., $250,000 for 515 N. 40th St.; Pradera Corp., $800,000 for 1801-69 N. Sheridan St.; The Partnership Community Development Corp., $80,000 for 4500 block Sansom Street; Tioga United Inc., $400,000 for various sites; and University Commons Development Corp., $500,000 for 16th and Tioga Streets.

Rental developers, funding amounts and project locations are:  Allegheny West Foundation, $300,000 for 1900 block West Lehigh Avenue; Covenant House, $400,000 for 2600 block Kensington Avenue; Gaudenzia Foundation, $500,000 for 2100 Venango St.; Mt. Tabor Community Education and Economic Development, $900,000 for 973 N. 7th St.; Mt. Zion Community Development Corp., $1 million  for 1413 S. 50th St.; New Courtland Elder Services, $700,000 for 319 W. Johnson St.; Nicetown Community Development Corp., $858,000 for 4340-4350 Germantown Ave.; Peoples Emergency Center Community Development Corp., $100,000 for 3803-09 Brandywine St. and 520 N. 39th St.; Pilgrim Gardens, $300,000 for 7023 Rising Sun Ave.; Project H.O.M.E., $240,000 for 1850 N. Croskey St.; Salvation Army, $600,000 for 5520 Arch St.; Spring Garden Development Associates LP, $1 million for scattered sites; and St. Ignatius Nursing Home, $300,000 for 4400 Fairmount Ave.

In addition, OHCD awarded $1 million in Housing Trust Fund monies to Tenant Union Representative Network as administrator for the new Homeless Prevention Program.  This rental assistance program will help homeless families living in transitional housing make the move to permanent rental housing.

OHCD is presently reviewing proposals to administer the Targeted Housing Preservation Program (THPP) which funds home repair and façade improvements for existing owner-occupied homes located around newer housing developments.  Once the administrator has been selected, community-based nonprofit organizations will be able to apply for home repair funds on a rolling basis.  THPP will be funded during its first year with $1.5 million in Trust Fund monies.
 
The Housing Trust Fund was signed into city and state law by Mayor Street and Gov. Edward G. Rendell in
July 2005. Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI) bond proceeds of $1.5 million were used to create the fund.  A doubling of the city’s mortgage-recording fee, from $72 to $144, in addition to other document-recording fee increases, generates approximately $10 million in annual revenues. 

The Housing Trust Fund is the result of discussions the Street administration held with housing advocates at the request of Councilwomen Jannie Blackwell and Blondell Reynolds Brown.  More than 100 groups supported the Trust Fund’s creation, including the Philadelphia Affordable Housing Coalition (PAHC), the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC), ACORN and the Eastern Pennsylvania Organizing Project. The first Housing Trust Funds were established in the 1970s.  Currently, there are more than 350 Trust Funds across the country, including 53 in Pennsylvania, raising a total of more than $750 million a year.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Dedication of Susquehanna Village in North Philadelphia

WHAT: Dedication of Susquehanna Village, a complex of 53 rental homes and apartments
WHEN: Friday, May 4, 2007, at 10 a.m.
WHERE: 1421 W. Susquehanna Ave., (Susquehanna Village Community Room)

DETAILS:    Ffederal, state and city officials along with new tenants and community representatives in the dedication of Susquehanna Village, a housing complex for senior citizens and families in North Philadelphia. The development features a 20-unit apartment building with retail and office space, a community room and a computer room for tenants.  Thirty-three single-family and duplex homes have also been built.  Amenities include off-street parking and green space. All units have been rented.  Funding sources include $1.75 million in federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME funds through the Office of Housing and Community Development and $10 million in equity raised from Low-Income Housing Tax Credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). PHFA also provided $1.4 million in PennHOMES funds. The Mayor’s Neighborhood Transformation Initiative assembled the parcels of land.  Additional funds were provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank and its member bank PNC and by the Wachovia Regional CDC/ Foundation.  Developer is Susquehanna Village LP, a partnership of Community Ventures and the Susquehanna Avenue Community Development Corp.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007
ASOCIACION PUERTORRIQUENOS EN MARCHA DEDICATION OF PRADERA II HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

PHILADELPHIA – State Sen. Shirley Kitchen; Councilman Darrell Clarke; Pedro J. Rivera, Esq., board chair, Asociacion Puertorriquenos en Marcha Inc. (APM); and Nilda I. Ruiz, APM president and CEO, dedicatdc Pradera II: The Meadows. Also participating were Elvis Solivan, special assistant to the regional director, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Robert Bobincheck, director, Strategic Planning & Policy, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA); and banking and community representatives. A new buyer shared the thrill of finally having a home to call her own.

Located in Eastern North Philadelphia, Pradera II consists of 53 newly constructed homes for low- and moderate-income first-time buyers. It is the second of a three-phase homeownership initiative that will provide a total of 126 single, twin and fully accessible units. Among APM’s development partners are the City of Philadelphia, PHFA and HUD.

APM’s Pradera Homeownership Initiative encompasses the area between North 8 th, West Berks, North Franklin and West Norris Streets. It is targeted to both current and prospective residents.

“The completion of Phase II of these Pradera homes is another step in our transformation of this community: one household and one family at a time,” said Nilda Ruiz, APM's president and CEO. “Our work with our partners is delivering more than a new look; it brings pride and hope to our eastern North Philadelphia community. I am especially grateful to city and state funders and the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative leadership which have been great catalysts in upgrading our neighborhood and improving our quality of life. A special thanks to Rose Gray, our vice president of community and economic development, and her tireless team for their continued hard work.”

PHFA selected the Pradera Initiative to receive funding through its Homeownership Choice Program which promotes construction of new single-family homes in Pennsylvania’s neglected older communities.

“APM’s ability to turn bold vision into glorious reality is a testament to its leadership and drive. The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency is proud to be part of this Philadelphia success story,” said Robert F. Bobincheck, PHFA’s director of strategic planning and policy, during the Pradera dedication ceremony.

Funding for the $12-million Pradera Phase II project included federal money through OHCD ($2.7 million HOME), the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative ($1 million), PHFA ($2.7 million), the Federal Home Loan Bank through PNC Bank ($600,000), and Bank of America ($60,000). In addition, t he Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority assembled more than 100 vacant parcels of land for the project with the Philadelphia Housing Authority gathering an additional 50 parcels.

"Pradera II is making the dream of homeownership a reality for city residents," said Elvis Solivan, special assistant to HUD’s regional director. "The collaboration with state and local partners to build these homes delivers on HUD's commitment to provide safe, decent, affordable housing and to improve and strengthen neighborhoods."

Pradera I was completed in 2003. Construction on Pradera II began in November 2005 and all its houses have been sold. Eligible buyers received up to a $10,000 grant under HUD’s American Dream Downpayment Initiative which is administered in Philadelphia by OHCD. For information on Pradera Phase III, contact APM at 215-235-6070.

APM is one of Philadelphia’s oldest and most prominent health, human services and community development organizations. Celebrating 38 years of service, APM works aggressively to enhance life for all Philadelphians

 

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