Sen. Casey, Rep. Schwartz, Mayor Nutter Announce $5.3 Million for 645 Units of New or Improved Affordable Housing in the City of Philadelphia
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Sen. Casey, Rep. Schwartz, Mayor Nutter Announce $5.3 Million for 645 Units of New or Improved Affordable Housing in the City of Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – March 18, 2008 – U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA), U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-13) and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter today announced the awarding of $5.3 million in affordable housing grants for the construction or rehabilitation of 645 units of much-needed affordable housing across the city.

The $5,335,955 in grants come from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLBank), a congressionally chartered wholesale bank that uses private capital in pursuit of its mission of affordable housing and community and economic development. Sen. Casey is a member of the Senate Banking Committee while Congresswoman Schwartz sits on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Also attending today’s announcement were the Rev. Luis Cortés Jr., founder and president of Esperanza USA and a director of FHLBank; Brian A. Hudson, executive director of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, also an FHLBank director; John R. Price, president and chief executive officer of FHLBank Pittsburgh; and representatives of five local banks that worked with the assembled nonprofits to apply for and deliver the housing grants: Beneficial Savings Bank, Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, Firstrust Bank, PNC Bank and Sovereign Bank.

“For years, the Affordable Housing Program has created affordable housing solutions for low-income individuals and families,” said Sen. Casey. “These grants will ensure that more Philadelphians in need will have the opportunity to reside in reliable housing that is within their budget.”

Citywide benefits, varied stakeholders

The $5.26 million in Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grants, along with one $75,000 Homeownership Rehabilitation Program grant, brings the total amount of AHP grants to $34.4 million across Greater Philadelphia since 1990, helping to fund a total of 5,300 units of affordable housing within 166 projects.

The projects funded today are being pursued by 13 local sponsors working in different parts of the city and will assist a wide variety of clients including the homeless, the elderly, other very-low and low-income individuals and those with mental and physical disabilities.

Funded projects:

Angela Court II
Sponsor: St. Ignatius Nursing Home
Total units: 54
Total AHP grants: $350,000

Angela Court II will consist of 54 newly-constructed one-bedroom apartments for low-income seniors, 62 years and older, in the 4400 block of Fairmount Avenue within the Mill Creek neighborhood of West Philadelphia.

Apartments at Cliveden
Sponsor: New Courtland Elder Services
Total units: 60
Total AHP grants: $500,000

New Courtland Elder Services will build a 60-unit facility for low-income seniors on a vacant lot next to its Cliveden Convalescent Center at Johnson and Greene streets in Mount Airy. Of the 60 housing units to be built, 14 will serve the physically handicapped.

Homeownership Rehabilitation Program
Sponsor: People’s Emergency Center Community Development Corporation
Total units: 5
Total AHP grants: $75,000

People’s Emergency Center will distribute grants to households interested in substantially rehabilitating their homes, both structurally and aesthetically, in the neighborhoods of Mantua, Powelton and Saunders Park. Each rehabilitated home must be owner-occupied. The maximum grant per household is $15,000.

Inglis Gardens at Elmwood
Sponsor: Inglis Housing Corporation
Total units: 15
Total AHP grants: $112,500

To be located in the Elmwood section of Philadelphia, a stable, moderate-income community, Inglis Gardens at Elmwood is a new construction project approximately six miles from center city. It is designed to provide rental housing for individuals with severe mobility impairments who desire to live independently. The project is intended to address the lack of low-cost, non-institutional housing for individuals suffering from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries and other neurological disorders.

Lancaster Gateway Mixed-Use Project
Sponsor: People’s Emergency Center Community Development Corporation
Total units: 6
Total AHP grants: $90,000

This three-story mixed use facility at 4017-19 Lancaster Avenue is a stated cornerstone of the 40th and Lancaster Gateway, a key implementation project highlighted in the West Powelton/Saunders Park Neighborhood Plan. Proposed for vacant double lots and two additional rear lots at 612-14 North 40th Street, this mixed-use project will include 1,650 square feet of ground floor commercial space (tentatively a Caribbean restaurant or sandwich shop) and six residential units for the homeless at the rear of the first floor and on two upper floors.

Men’s New Life Program
Sponsor: Whosoever Gospel Mission & Rescue Home
Total units: 45
Total AHP grants: $500,000

The replacement structure for a fire-ravaged 100-year-old building will contain 45 units of special needs housing, assisting homeless men with drug or alcohol addictions to get back on their feet through a bevy of supportive services.
My Place Germantown

Sponsor: Community Ventures
Total units: 12
Total AHP grants: $378,147

My Place Germantown will renovate a former convent affiliated with St. Vincent de Paul Church in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia in order to provide permanent housing for twelve formerly homeless men. Support services will be provided on site around the clock and also through St. Vincentde Paul Church, Inn Dwelling Inc. and Face to Face, Inc.

Northeast I – Keystone
Sponsor: 1260 Housing Development Corporation
Total units: 23
Total AHP grants: $230,000

Keystone is a 23-unit apartment building serving low-income and special needs households. Located at 6424 Keystone Street in the Tacony neighborhood of Philadelphia, residents will include formerly homeless persons and those with physical or mental disabilities.

Northeast II – Ditman
Sponsor: 1260 Housing Development Corporation
Total units: 34
Total AHP grants: $330,000

A mirror project to Keystone I, also sponsored by 1260 Housing Development Corporation, this project is located at 8020 Ditman Street in the Mayfair-Holmesburg neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia and also involves substantial rehabilitation work. Four of the units receiving AHP funding will serve the physically handicapped and seven, the homeless. Episcopal Community Services and Supported Independent Living are project partners.

Powelton Gardens
Sponsor: 1260 Housing Development Corporation
Total units: 16
Total AHP grants: $255,308

With $255,308 in AHP funds from FHLBank Pittsburgh for this phase of Powelton Gardens and $2,720,378 in LIHTC Equity through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, rehabilitation work will be undertaken at the West Philadelphia site, in part to reflect current building codes and in part to make Powelton Gardens a Green project. The clientele, low-income persons with disabilities, will be able to utilize a variety of support services.

St. John Neumann Place
Sponsor: Catholic Health Care Services
Total units: 75
Total AHP grants: $335,000

St. John Neumann Place represents a substantial rehabilitation of an 87,000-square-foot former school building to provide 75 apartments for low-income seniors, 62 years and older. Catholic Health Care Services will staff a full-time social services coordinator onsite.

Southwest Renewal – Phase II
Sponsor: Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation.
Total units: 6
Total AHP grants: $180,000

AHP funding will support units for six first-time homebuyers in this project, four of them three-bedroom units. The Southwest Renewal initiative is designed to renovate all vacant structures within a five-block radius in a section of Southwest Philadelphia.

Stable Flats
Sponsor: Stable Flats, LLC
Total units: 10
Total AHP grants: $500,000

Located in the heart of Northern Liberties, Stable Flats will consist of ten affordable housing units designed to staunch the outflow of local residents and stabilize community diversity. The remaining phases of the project will create a total of 70 residential units.

Stable Homes for Stable Families V
Sponsor: Allegheny West Foundation
Total units: 10
Total AHP grants: $500,000

Ten new homes will be built on 22 vacant and blighted lots as part of Allegheny West Foundation’s Forgotten Blocks redevelopment plan that targets a six-block neighborhood in North Philadelphia. When the overall plan is completed, 66 vacant sites will be transformed into 47 low-income housing units and four commercial locations.

Strawberry Mansion Homeownership Development-Phase I
Sponsor: Friends Rehabilitation Program, Inc.
Total units: 24
Total AHP grants: $500,000

Adjacent to Fairmount Park, Strawberry Mansion is a neighborhood rich in cultural history and architectural significance. Yet population has declined, and blight and crime are making inroads. The sponsor, Friends Rehabilitation, proposes to build three- and four-bedroom, high quality properties targeted to first-time homebuyers.

Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission
Sponsor: Sunday Breakfast Association
Total units: 250
Total AHP grants: $500,000

Located at 302 N. 13th Street, this rescue mission will focus its assistance on chronically homeless individuals who have a documented history of living in the streets and in city- and church-funded shelters and of refusing formal social services interventions. They may also have psychiatric disabilities and are highly likely to exhibit co-occurring substance abuse disorders.

A broad range of financial support

Chartered by Congress in 1932, FHLBank Pittsburgh, one of 12 regional Banks comprising the FHLBank System, delivers low-cost and at-cost loans as well as grants to the 331 financial institution members of its private cooperative so a steady stream of money is available to strengthen communities during all economic cycles.

FHLBank liquidity, which helps fund local mortgages, plays a special role during periods of market disruption. The Bank has made a record number of low-cost loans to community financial institutions in recent months in order to pump sufficient liquidity into local banking markets during a period of severe credit tightening. As of December 31, 2007, FHLBank had $101 billion in assets.

“From the Great Depression to the emergence of the global economy to today’s credit crunch, the need for truly affordable housing has been a constant,” said FHLBank President John Price. “This need was enormous when the Home Loan Bank System was created, and it is just as compelling today. As long as we remain adaptable, there is no end to the good we can do working with our elected officials, local financial institution members and community partners.”

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