PHA Breaks Ground for the “Blumberg 83”

Blumberg 83 - GroundbreakingCongressman Dwight  Evans, HUD   Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice,Council President Darrell  Clarke, Aissia Richardson Senior Advisor for Senator Sharif Street, PHA  President &CEO  Kelvin A. Jeremiah, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, State Rep.  Donna Bullock, PHA Board Commissioners Ethel Wise and   Rev. Bonnie Camarda, PHA Board Commissioner Sam Stanton, and  William Bailey, Senior Development   Officer, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency broke ground at  the former Blumberg Hi-rise site will now be home to 83-new units for the former residents of the site.

 Blumberg 83 - Rendering

PHA's  Blumberg 83 will consist of 83 new rental units spread across a mix of townhomes and multi-unit walk-up buildings in the 2200 Blocks of West Oxford Street, Jefferson Street, and Bolton Street, as well as the 1500 Blocks of 22nd and 23rd Streets. 

(Philadelphia, PA - December 4, 2018) -

The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) formally broke ground today for the Blumberg 83 apartments.

The development is part of PHA's Blumberg/Sharswood Transformation Plan and a key component of the Choice Neighborhood Initiative planning grant awarded by HUD in 2013. The development will cover the 2200 Blocks of West Oxford Street, Jefferson Street, and Bolton Street, as well as the 1500 Blocks of 22nd and 23rd Streets, with 23rd Street being reconnected through the former superblock as part of a redesigned street pattern.

"We are transforming a superblock into a walkable, green community with the start of this development," said PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah. "The reconnected 23rd Street will be wide enough to accommodate bus service. The redesign and reconnection of streets in this neighborhood is essential to the development of a neighborhood that promotes safety, walkability, beauty, transportation access, and improved water quality."

The redesign of the street pattern in Sharswood follows "Green City, Clean Waters," Philadelphia's plan to reduce storm water pollution from entering the city's combined sewer system through the use of green infrastructure. The plan resulted from a 25-year agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency that was begun in 2011.
The Blumberg 83 will consist of 83 new rental units spread across a mix of townhomes and multi-unit walk-up buildings. All units will be leased to families and individuals earning 60% of the area median income or less, including some families or individuals earning 20% of the AMI or less.

"It's exciting to see this transformation plan take shape in a neighborhood that's close to Center City," said Mayor Jim Kenney. "Residents of this community will enjoy a better quality of life with easy access to all the attractions that the heart of Philadelphia has to offer."

"The City of Philadelphia is making strategic investments that will renew older neighborhoods and make them communities of choice," City Council President Darrell L. Clarke said. "I'm grateful to PHA and all of their partners who are working with Sharswood/Blumberg residents to help them create an attractive, affordable, walkable, and sustainable community they want for themselves and for future generations."

All units at the new development will be under HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration Program (RAD). As part of RAD, the Development will include a 20-year Project Based Voucher Housing Assistance Payment contract. The new units will range in size from 616 square feet to 1,641 square feet. Residents of the development will have access to a community center, landscaped green space, and PHA management office.

"It all started with the $500,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant awarded in 2013," said Joe DeFelice, Regional Administrator of HUD's Mid-Atlantic region.

"HUD's grant paved the way to a robust neighborhood transformation plan, with the Rental Assistance Demonstration program leveraging public and private dollars to support the redevelopment. The end result is today's groundbreaking and high-quality affordable housing that families can be proud to call home."
The Blumberg 83 will exceed federal, state, and local accessibility requirements. There will be 10 accessible units and 3 units for the hearing/visually impaired. All townhomes and ground floor units in the walkup buildings will meet 'VisitAbility' requirements.

The new development will serve as an example of high quality, sustainable design. It will feature modular wood frame construction, and will include sustainable design elements guided by two green rating programs; Enterprise Green Communities and Energy Star Certified Homes. The modular manufacturing process will significantly reduce the amount of construction waste and energy use.