MAYOR NUTTER, PROJECT H.O.M.E. JOIN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY TO CELEBRATE STIMULUS-FUNDED PERMANENT HOUSING FOR HOMELESS VETERANS AND OTHERS

MAYOR NUTTER, PROJECT H.O.M.E. JOIN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY TO CELEBRATE STIMULUS-FUNDED PERMANENT HOUSING FOR HOMELESS VETERANS AND OTHERS

Philadelphia, September 29, 2010 – Today, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that 2101 W. Venango Street in the Tioga section of Philadelphia, an existing, fifty-four unit apartment building acquired through the City’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), would be renovated using stimulus funds and subsequently rented to homeless, honorably discharged veterans, chronically homeless adults overcoming a history of mental illness, and low-income individuals and families. The property will be developed by Project H.O.M.E., one of the leading non-profits in the nation addressing the needs of the chronically homeless special needs population. The City of Philadelphia received $68 million for the NSP from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and an additional $3.75 million from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development. The program is administrated by the Redevelopment Authority (RDA).

“I am thrilled today to announce the City’s partnership with Project H.O.M.E. to provide needed housing for 54 low-income Philadelphians especially those individuals who bravely served our country. This project will turn a blighted building into a home for those seeking a fresh start,” said Mayor Nutter. “This renovation is the result of major coordinating and cooperation between the RDA, HUD, and Project H.O.M.E. I would like to thank everyone involved for making this project a reality.”

“With Mayor Nutter’s leadership, the Redevelopment Authority’s vision and the commitment state government and organizations like Project H.O.M.E share, we’re making progress in tackling the tough challenges. Together we are a powerful partnership in promoting affordable housing for the homeless and making our blighted neighborhoods into communities of which we can be proud,” said HUD Deputy Regional Administrator Brenda Laroche. “HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan believes we can fight foreclosures, blight and unemployment, and help our communities recover.  That is what this effort is all about today and it’s why HUD is proud to be a part of it.”

The RDA providing financing to Project H.O.M.E. to acquire the property at 2101 W. Venango Street on September 7, 2010 for $944,670. Project H.O.M.E. will develop fifty-four efficiency apartments and complete an interior renovation of the existing building. Construction will begin in early spring 2011. Fifteen units will be set aside for homeless veterans, twenty-five will be reserved for adults with a history of homelessness who are successfully managing a mental illness, substance abuse or co-occurring disorders, and the remaining fourteen units will be available to low-income applicants.

“The Venango residence symbolizes the best of our City – all sectors of our community coming together with both vision and effective strategic investment to meet our toughest social challenges in ways that make Philadelphia a more humane and beautiful city for all our citizens,” said Sister Mary Scullion, Executive Director of Project H.O.M.E.

The NSP program hopes to accomplish four important goals:

Reduce Blight: Every time a property is rehabbed, NSP eliminates a blighted property in a neighborhood, preventing further neighborhood deterioration.                 

 Research by the Wharton School has found that a single blighted property decreases the value of each surrounding property by more than $3000; 

 Provide Jobs: NSP provides construction jobs for workers who are hired by the developer – providing much-needed employment in a slow economy.

For 2101 W. Venango Street, approximately 38 full time-equivalent positions will be created. Over 300 construction workers will be hired during the course of the project, with a total of 66,000 person-hours of work completed on the site. 

Improve Existing Housing Stock and Ensure Affordability: NSP provides fully renovated homes and apartments, serving low, moderate and working class families in the neighborhoods of their choice; and

Sustain Small Business and Support for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses: The RDA works closely with developers to provide opportunities to small businesses and minority- and women-owned firms. More than 30 percent of all work will be done by certified minority and women-owned businesses. The single-family program also provides a $20,000 developer fee to the CDC or the developer in charge of the project – giving them an extra source of operating income during this recession.

The total construction costs of the property are estimated to be $7,056,924, and the total development costs are $10,553,039. Residents will have full access to Project H.O.M.E.’s Health Initiatives Program including medical care services, immunizations, physicals, health education, fitness classes, and home visits. Homeless individuals in need of housing should contact Project H.O.M.E. at (215) 232-7272.

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