Lucien E. Blackwell Homes Grand Opening
PHILADELPHIA, PA (March 4, 2005) - Moderate-income families now have an opportunity to buy the same kind of quality housing that higher-income families enjoy. The Philadelphia Housing Authority today opened Phase One of the beautiful Lucien E. Blackwell Homes, ushering in an era of affordable homeownership development. Phase One includes 120 homes, of which 40 are for sale. Families must earn between about $22,000 and $56,000 a year to qualify for these homes. PHA Executive Director Carl Greene says the Blackwell development is about rebuilding West Philadelphia and giving these families an opportunity to own the highest quality housing.

"These homes are built every bit as well and include all the features of homes sold in the private market. Blackwell represents an opportunity for families to be part of a positive wave coming to West Philadelphia." The first phase of the development covers an area bounded by Brown Street on the north, Fairmount on the south, 47th Street on the west and 45th Street on the east. When completed in November 2006, the entire Blackwell development will cover portions of a 17-square-block area and comprise 655 homes (including the 161 units at the recently completed total renovation of the Mt. Olivet senior apartments at 41st and Haverford).

Phase One is built on the site of the former Mill Creek project. Three high-rises were imploded on November 24, 2002 and low-rise units were demolished as well to make way for these new homes.

The development is named for the late Philadelphia Congressman and Councilman Lucien E. Blackwell who represented the Mill Creek area. His widow, City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and his son Thomas Blackwell IV spoke of how honored the Blackwell family was with the tribute. Other speakers at the grand opening event, including Mayor John Street, Congressman Chaka Fattah, Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll, State Senator Vincent Hughes and HUD Regional Director Milton Pratt paid homage to Lucien Blackwell and his lifelong commitment to the community.

Blackwell is one of four sites where PHA is developing a total of more than 500 affordable homes for sale. The next homeownership opportunity will be at Greater Grays Ferry Estates in South Philadelphia this summer followed by Martin Luther King Homes near Center City and Falls Ridge in East Falls. PHAs current $1 billion dollar construction program (from 2000-2006) will result in 6,100 new or completely renovated homes. But executive director Carl Greene says plans go well beyond those goals.

"We believe we are the best developer of affordable housing in the nation. We intend to keep on our aggressive track helping the mayor transform neighborhoods in all parts of the city."


State Rep. Thomas Blackwell (far left), Philadelphia Mayor John Street (4th from left), PHA Commissioner Nellie Reynolds, PHA Executive Director Carl Greene, PHA Commissioner Jannie Blackwell, State Senator Vincent Hughes and Congressman Chaka Fattah celebrate the grand opening of the Lucien E. Blackwell Homes in West Philadelphia.

State Rep. Thomas Blackwell, PHA Commissioner Jannie Blackwell and PHA Executive Director Carl Greene flank a portrait of the late Lucien E. Blackwell after whom the new development is named.

Blackwell Homes is one of four sites where PHA is developing a total of more than 500 affordable homes for sale.

The Prestina Serrano family stands on the front porch of their new home at Blackwell Park.