PHA Expands Housing Options for Residents with Disabilities
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Resident Liaison Nellie Reynolds (left) is all smiles at the ribbon cutting for The Quads in North Philadelphia.  She was joined by resident John Jackson (center) who moved in to one of the handicapped accessible efficiency units at 3rd and Diamond Streets and PHA Administrative Receiver Michael Kelly.

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"PHA remains committed to delivering high quality, affordable housing to the city's neediest people," said Michael Kelly, the agency's Administrative Receiver, at the grand opening of The Quads, handicapped accessible efficiency units. Also shown at the ceremony at 3rd & Diamond Streets are Resident Liaison Nellie Reynolds (left) and Thomas Earle, CEO of Liberty Resources, Inc., an advocacy group for the disabled.

Philadelphia, PA - The Philadelphia Housing Authority today celebrated the opening of the "Quads"- 100 units of handicapped accessible housing built on 25 vacant lots across the city. The development effort has been nicknamed the Quads because each two-story building features four efficiency units. These new homes represent a commitment by the agency to provide community based housing that allows persons with disabilities to live independently rather than stay in a more expensive institutional setting. They are designed for people with minimal to moderate care needs.

Each of the buildings also includes a vertical lift and front porches on both floors. Residents share a common space with a full kitchen and living room. The homes take up roughly 2,800 square feet.

"PHA remains committed to delivering high quality, affordable housing to the city's neediest people," said Michael Kelly, the agency's Administrative Receiver. "These new homes are near public transportation, healthcare facilities, recreation sites and shopping centers. They allow residents to maintain a sense of community and ideally live near their family and friends." 

The porches on both floors of these new homes allow residents to easily get outside their apartments for sunlight and fresh air without having to leave the building or use the lift. PHA consulted with Liberty Resources, an advocacy group for the disabled, on the design of the Quads.

"Increasing the availability of affordable and accessible housing units-like the Quads being unveiled by PHA today-is critically important to the mission of meeting the housing needs of people with disabilities who choose to live in the community instead of isolated nursing homes," said Thomas Earle, CEO of Liberty Resources, Inc.

PHA believes the 4-unit design with a common area is efficient and cost effective. The design also allows for maximum use of the available square footage of each lot. The new homes use materials that are consistent with Philadelphia's row house architecture.

The Quads feature Energy Star appliances and were built with Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPS) that provide continuous insulation at the exterior walls. These prefabricated panels, which contain a foam core, will help hold down energy costs. They also sped the pace of construction.

Stimulus funds covered almost 90 percent of the cost of developing these new units, which totals $14.4 million. Construction of all of the Quad units will be completed by the end of this summer.

People interested in applying for public housing can do so by visiting the agency's web site ( and clicking a button on the right hand side of the home page that says "Apply for Housing." Applicants can also go to any PHA development to complete an application.