Grant will help neighborhood
implement North Central Philadelphia's transformation plan to
create jobs, housing and opportunities for residents.
(Philadelphia, PA - June 30, 2014) - Mayor
Michael A. Nutter announced that Philadelphia was awarded a $30
million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant by the United
States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to
revitalize the neighborhood of North Central
"This is an exciting day for the residents of the North Central
neighborhood and the entire City of Philadelphia. This grant
is critical to our comprehensive revitalization strategy - it will
help us to address many of the serious challenges facing this
community: poverty, unemployment, poor educational attainment and
decreased opportunities for residents," said Mayor Nutter. "I
know that HUD's investment will help us transform this community
and acting as a lightning rod for even more investment from local,
state and private sources. I am looking forward to seeing the
impact this grant will have for North Central and our entire City
and I want to thank all of our partners for their commitment to
In total, Philadelphia's Choice Neighborhoods Implementation
grant funding will create 300 new units of housing, including 147
new and refurbished units at the Norris Apartments site, 600
construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs. Additionally, the City
will leverage the grant funding to generate $125 million in
federal, state, other public and private funds.
"This funding provides local leaders with the resources to turn
their plans into a reality," said Jemine Bryon, Acting Assistant
Secretary of HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing. "An
environment or zip code should not determine a child's future. We
want to give every person access to ladders of opportunity by
supporting efforts that tackle problems and unlock potential in
Senator Casey commented, "I'm very pleased that Philadelphia has
been awarded this competitive grant, which has the potential to
improve the local economy and help to transform this neighborhood.
I weighed in with HUD about Philadelphia's strong application, and
I'm glad they also saw the great opportunity this neighborhood
presents for economic growth and job creation."
Council President Darrell Clarke said, "The Choice Neighborhoods
grant will be an important catalyst for revitalization efforts
already under way in North Central Philadelphia. I am grateful to
HUD for making this significant investment in our shared vision for
better affordable housing and services for the residents of this
neighborhood. Community involvement is and always has been key to
this process. I congratulate all parties involved in securing the
Choice Neighborhood grant."
To obtain the grant, the City worked with more than forty
partners, including the School District of Philadelphia, Temple
University, the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA), the
Philadelphia Police Department, local leaders and community
stakeholders through the Office of Community Housing and
Development to create the resident-driven North Central
Philadelphia transformation plan.
"This grant is one of the most significant investments in
affordable housing by the federal government in Philadelphia in
recent years. This important grant will enable PHA and the City to
invest in affordable housing and gives us a roadmap to build
stronger, safer, more vibrant and sustainable communities," said
Kelvin Jeremiah, President and CEO, PHA. "I am especially grateful
to Secretary Donovan, Senator Bob Casey, Mayor Nutter, Council
President Clarke and our City and Local partners for their
steadfast support. This accomplishment would have not been possible
without the planning, dedication and investment in time and
resources from our great partners."
Nilda Ruiz, President and CEO, Asociación Puertorriqueños en
Marcha, Inc. (APM), added, "Providing quality social services and
community economic development is vital to change a community. This
grant gives the opportunity for the private and public sectors to
work together to positively influence the quality of life for
current residents and future generations."
The Choice Neighborhoods program supports locally driven
strategies to address struggling neighborhoods with distressed
public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to
neighborhood transformation. The program is designed to stimulate
critical improvements in neighborhood assets, including vacant
property, housing, services and schools.
Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants focus on three core
- Housing: Replace existing distressed public and assisted
housing with high-quality, mixed-income, energy-efficient
- People: Increase access to or create new services and supports
delivered directly to youth and their families to improve education
outcomes and intergenerational mobility within the community;
- Neighborhood: Support the conditions necessary for public and
private reinvestment in North Central, including safety, good
schools and commercial activity.
"This Neighborhood Choice grant will improve the life chances
for thousands of Philadelphians who will be brought into the
revitalization and prosperity of our city," said Congressman Chaka
Fattah. "I am extremely pleased to see the North Central
Philadelphia community - and its dedicated partners - recognized
for their vision of a brighter future for this neighborhood. I have
been an advocate of this program and every year I have fought for
its funding. I am proud to see these funds come home today."
A series of community meetings identified the following resident
priorities: more job training and opportunities; reduced crime and
increased neighborhood safety; elimination of trash-strewn vacant
land; and high-quality educational resources. The North Central
Philadelphia transformation plan will address all of these areas of
Corridor investments will enhance the economic vitality of the
neighborhood by linking residents to assets such as transit,
retail, parks and schools. Streetscape amenities - sidewalk
repairs, lighting, bus shelters and tree planting - will beautify
corridors, improve neighborhood safety, and create a healthier and
more sustainable urban environment. Neighborhood walk-ability, new
recreational opportunities and health initiatives will improve both
the physical and mental health of community residents. A revolving
loan fund provided by Philadelphia LISC will help to fill vacancies
and attract mixed use development to the Germantown Avenue
Partners such as the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the
Village of Arts and Humanities will expand existing programs to
turn derelict lots into productive and attractive spaces, while
targeted infill housing will replace vacant lots with new housing.
In all, over 700 lots will be greened or developed.
Education initiatives led by Temple University and other
partners will increase and improve pre-K opportunities, provide
intensive and targeted education supports to neighborhood schools,
offer additional educational programming to students, help close
the digital divide, and assist high school students as they prepare
for college or the workforce after graduation. The workforce and
education center will provide the space required to offer a full
range of job training, educational and employment placement
counseling programs and services. The Reinvestment Fund, Econsult
Solutions and Temple University will lead a rigorous evaluation
process to ensure that the strategic initiatives in the
Transformation Plan remain on target.
"Previous strategic City investments have improved sections of
the neighborhood," said Deborah McColloch, Director of the City's
Office of Housing and Community Development. "With this grant and
the funding it will leverage, our successes to date will be
expanded to include the entire community."
Click here for more information on the Office of Housing and Community
Development and the Transformation Plan.
Click here for more information on the
Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant.