Affordable Housing Community Comes to North Philadelphia
Kirk Dorn, General Manager, Media Services
Office: (215) 684-4112; Cell: (215) 704-3653
Pager: 888-645-0924

PHILADELPHIA, PA, USA (October 25, 2002) - Who says nobody is building affordable housing in Philadelphia?

The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has joined with private corporations to offer more than 150 new townhouses for rent in North Philadelphia.

PHA and its partners today welcomed and celebrated the first residents in the development, known as 8 Diamonds Townhouse Apartments.

PHA has been revolutionizing public housing on its properties throughout the city, but this development represents the first time that PHA has built homes outside one of its properties.

"We're combining public and private money to create affordable housing, something that's desperately needed by lower income residents of the city," said PHA Executive Director Carl R. Greene.
The homes are three, four and five bedrooms. A private company, Interstate Realty Management, is managing them. Michaels Development Company, a firm that has constructed or rehabilitated more than $1 billion in affordable housing around the nation since 1963, is building the homes. Greene says he expects the homes to be quickly rented. "These are the kinds of homes this neighborhood has needed so badly for so long."
The homes are located along an eight-block stretch of Diamond Street, not far from PHA's Raymond Rosen development. In fact, this is the final phase of the project that transformed an area once known for its boarded up slums into a beautiful townhouse community.

Mayor John F. Street says the 8 Diamonds development is a great example of PHA's contribution to his Neighborhood Transformation Initiative. "PHA has cleared out abandoned, run-down, unlivable houses and replaced them with new, modern, affordable housing that will bring this neighborhood back to life."
The new Raymond Rosen represents one of the most extensive public housing overhauls in the United States. The complex opened in 1954 during a different era. "Back then, and really up until just a few years ago, the philosophy was to wall off projects and warehouse people in high-rise towers," said Greene. "That kind of housing style is now out the window."
The way was cleared for the new development in 1995 when all the old Rosen buildings came down in a huge implosion. The modernization and reconstruction was divided into three phases. The first two phases - on the Rosen property itself - were completed earlier with residents already moved in.

Construction of the final phase is the result of a $26 million public-private joint venture, the funding coming from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as from tax credits and private investment.

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About PHA

PHA is the nation's fourth largest public housing agency serving more than 70,000 residents. Nationally recognized for its innovations in public housing, PHA is also the first housing authority in the United States to be designated by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) of the National Association of Realtors as an "Accredited Management Organization." This designation is awarded to firms engaged in property management, which have met IREM's high standards in the areas of education, experience, integrity and financial stability.

About Interstate Realty Company

Interstate Realty Company manages 22 apartment communities in Philadelphia, and provides marketing, maintenance, asset management and accounting services for over 160 properties in 18 states.