Philadelphia, PA – February 21, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — The Philadelphia Housing Authority’s redevelopment of the Blumberg Apartments in the City’s Sharswood neighborhood has received a 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) award from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA).
The award will allow the agency to raise $12.6 million through private investment and will cover over 60 percent of the total construction cost of the first phase of redevelopment, which is estimated at $20.5 million. The City of Philadelphia has also committed $1.5 million to the effort through its Office of Housing and Community Development. The remaining balance will come from a PHA loan of $6.3 million.
“This is PHA’s first 9 percent tax credit award in nearly four years. I am elated that PHFA has chosen to support our efforts to transform the Sharswood/Blumberg neighborhood,” said PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah. “The award of tax credits and the HUD Choice Neighborhoods planning grant in December signals that PHA, the City of Philadelphia, PHFA, and HUD are all now firmly committed to the revitalization of the Sharswood/Blumberg neighborhood, which has suffered from decades of disinvestment, blight, and crime. This award would not have been possible without the steadfast support of Mayor Nutter, Council President Clarke, our resident leadership as well as our federal, state and city partners, all of whom deserve our deepest appreciation. I would also like to thank PHFA’s CEO Brian Hudson and its Board for their consideration and this important award.”
“I am pleased that the City’s commitment of $1.5 million is helping to leverage $19 million in non-City funds for a development in the Sharswood/Blumberg neighborhood. This investment will not only bring new homes to a revitalizing neighborhood, but also construction and other jobs to the community,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “I also want to thank PHA for its diligent work in cooperation with city, state and federal housing agencies. Working together in partnership, we are able to do much more to help Philadelphians who need affordable housing.”
“This PHFA award is yet another expression of confidence in the Sharswood community. All Philadelphians deserve to live in clean, safe and prosperous neighborhoods,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke said. “Having all levels of government behind this redevelopment will help ensure Sharswood becomes a true urban revitalization success story.”
Just last week, PHA began the planning process with public housing and neighborhood residents for redeveloping the area under a $500,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant for the Sharswood neighborhood in Lower North Philadelphia.
“This unified commitment will allow PHA and its partners to seek additional funding for future development phases, as well as funding for education, supportive services and public safety that are critical to a neighborhood’s success,” Jeremiah added. “PHA intends to submit a Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant application to HUD.”
One of the application criteria is the amount of non-public housing funds firmly committed to the project relative to the grant amount requested. The larger the ratio, the more points that HUD awards under a very competitive process.
Blumberg Phase I will consist of 57 new construction rental units of housing available to households whose incomes are 60 percent of area median income and below. The development will be constructed on vacant land on the existing Blumberg site, as well as on vacant properties immediately adjacent to the site. The development’s design is consistent with Enterprise Green Communities standards, emphasizing sustainability and energy efficiency.
Blumberg/Sharswood redevelopment is a multi-phase project. PHA intends to submit 4 percent LIHTC applications in the subsequent phases.
In addition to Blumberg Phase I, PHFA awarded tax credits to three other affordable housing providers supported by PHA under its “6 in 5” Initiative to create more housing through partnerships. Over 100 affordable units will be created through the awards given to Peoples Emergency Center, Community Ventures, and Catholic Health Care Services.