Board Meeting Agenda February 2020

PHA Assists 80 Households Move from Renting to Owning Homes

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Nichole Tillman, 215-888-2869

PHA Assists 80 Households Move from Renting to Owning Homes

This brings total home sales to 428 during CEO Kelvin Jeremiah’s tenure


(Philadelphia – February 18, 2020)-Eighty (80) former Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) renters became homeowners in 2019, thanks to PHA’s Homeownership Opportunities Program. The total sales figure marks an all-time record for the agency and brings to 428 the total number of homes sold during the tenure of PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah.

“We have steadily increased the number of subsidized families who are ready to become homebuyers,” Jeremiah said. “There are plenty of affordable neighborhoods in Philadelphia, even in the wake of renewed investment in some parts of the city, and our residents are taking advantage of those opportunities aided by low interest rates.  These former PHA renters now have an asset that’s a centerpiece to building wealth. Congratulations to them for seizing the opportunity to find economic mobility and achieving the American dream!”

Of the 80 new homeowners, 35 were public housing residents while 45 were Housing Choice Voucher program participants.  These individuals and families have accomplished one of their major personal and self-sufficiency goals.  With financial literacy and homeownership trainings provided by PHA and its partners, these families have learned important skills that will not only be applied to their new financial journey, but also will be passed onto their own personal family members and friends.

“It’s a dream come true.  I always wanted a house.  I’ve been blessed,” said Michael Engro, 57, a quadriplegic who now lives in his own home one block from Juniata Park.  “It’s great for somebody that has a disability to own a home. That’s a great accomplishment,” he said. Engro believes that he’s blazing a path for other persons with disabilities.  According to Engro, it took him 14 months to find a home, but he had a patient Realtor and feels the home he has was well worth the wait.

Diane Henderson, 63, who retired after working as a security guard at the Municipal Services Building, never owned a home before.  Henderson said, she wanted to leave something for her children.  Henderson purchased a home in Northeast Philadelphia.  “I love the neighborhood.  It’s a big change from where I lived before. It’s a big change in atmosphere and the people,” she said.

Henderson, too, credits a patient Realtor for helping her find a home she could afford.

Every new homeowner went through PHA’s homeownership readiness process, where they saved $2,000 through new budgeting skills, and completed credit counseling to obtain at least a 620 middle credit score. They also received one-on-one housing counseling and a pre-approval letter from a lender or bank.  After completing the readiness process, the resident met with a PHA homeownership counselor to discuss their options with PHA.

Qualified residents also receive mortgage and down payment assistance through several programs: the Mobility Homeownership Program, First Front Door Grant, PhillySEEDS (PHA’s nonprofit affiliate), Philly First Home, and lenders/banks such as PNC and Santander Bank.

PHA’s Homeownership Opportunities Department is located in the Workforce Center at PHA’s Vaux Community Building (2300 W Master Street) in Sharswood. The department hosts quarterly workshops where hundreds of PHA residents attend, learn about the program and start the process for homeownership.




The Philadelphia Housing Authority’s mission is to open doors to affordable housing, economic opportunity and safe, sustainable communities to benefit Philadelphia residents with low incomes.

PHA & Jonathon Rose Companies Start Construction for Norris Apartments Phase V

(Philadelphia, PA – January 15, 2020) -The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) and its private partner, the Jonathan Rose Companies, broke ground today for the Norris Apartments Phase V in the city’s North Central neighborhood.

Norris Phase V complements ongoing private housing and commercial development in the neighborhood. It consists of 133 newly constructed mixed-income rental units and one commercial space. It is the final phase of development that replaces the 147-unit low-rise development that dated back to late 1959 and early 1960 which had become obsolete. The $120 million development area is located at the intersection of North 10th and West Berks streets next to the Temple University SEPTA regional rail station.

The City of Philadelphia and PHA were awarded a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant by HUD in June 2014 to revitalize the North Central neighborhood. A series of community meetings identified a number of 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 continues to address these concerns.

“This is a memorable, red-letter day in the redevelopment of the North Central neighborhood,” said PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah. “When PHA first began the renewal of this community with the City, we promised to replace all existing rental units with residents having the right to return. Norris Phase V is the final piece of the pie in the replacement of the old rental units. We have kept our promise.”

PHA has broken ground for Norris Phase V adjacent to the Temple University regional rail station. Shown here are (l-r) PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah, Melissa Long, Director of Philadelphia’s Division of Housing and Community Development, Jonathan Rose, President of the Jonathan Rose Cos., Monica Hawkins, Regional Director of Public Housing for HUD,  Norris Resident Leader Donna Richardson, City Council President Darrell Clarke, and James Dever, Managing Director/Bank of America.

To obtain the grant, the City worked with more than 40 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.
“In 2013 the City accepted the $30 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods Grant as part of a comprehensive revitalization strategy for North Central Philadelphia. These funds allowed us to directly address the neighborhood’s housing stock, access to employment, education, social service programs, and greatly impact Philadelphia’s overall economy,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Because of this grant, we have been able to leverage $125 million in additional funding to have a transformative effect on this community.”

Rendering of Norris Apartments Phase V

“We’re proud to be here today breaking ground for the Norris Homes Phase V,” said City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District), whose district includes this affordable housing development. “We want all our neighborhoods to be communities of choice, and the creation of 133 apartments and low and moderate income families in the heart of North Philadelphia is a very positive development in our ongoing efforts to achieve that goal. We will not rest until every family and individual has a safe and affordable place to call home.”
The transit-oriented development adjacent to the SEPTA Regional Rail is designed to meet Enterprise Green Communities certification and is complemented by 2,200 square feet of retail and Jonathan Rose Companies’ Communities of Opportunity amenities that include a social service office, community room, fitness center, bike, storage and package rooms, computer center, community garden, public green space and outdoor terrace with activity areas.

“We are extremely vested in improving the lives of our residents and we implement that vision through our Communities of Opportunity initiatives,” said Jonathan F.P. Rose, president and CEO of Jonathan Rose Companies, whose previous North Philadelphia project, Paseo Verde, located just a block east of the Norris site, provided an economic catalyst for neighborhood investment. “Our vision is to empower residents through the co-creation of programs to improve their health and well-being, resulting in better life outcomes using great housing as the platform.”
The Housing Authority guaranteed the right to return to all those displaced by the demolition of the original Norris Homes, and tenant leaders say that almost all the families are moving back to the community, with some already occupying apartments in previous phases.

Construction financing includes $26 million in bonds from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, which are cash collateralized during construction with $9.6 million from the Philadelphia Housing Authority and a $22.1 million construction loan from Bank of America. The permanent financing will include a $12.6 million Freddie Tel Forward from Capital One, $9.6 million from the Philadelphia Housing Authority, $14.2 million from the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, of which $8 million is part of the Choice Neighborhood funding, and $13.4 million of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs) from Bank of America.


The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) is the biggest landlord in Pennsylvania. PHA develops, acquires, leases and operates affordable housing for city residents with limited incomes. PHA funding comes primarily from the federal government, but also works in partnership with the city and state governments as well as private investors. Established in 1937, PHA is the nation’s fourth largest housing authority, housing nearly 80,000 people in the City of Philadelphia and employing 1,400 people to deliver services to clients with a budget of approximately $400 million. PHA serves customers without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, having AIDS, physical handicap, or disability.


Jonathan Rose Companies is one of the country’s leading developers and investors in sustainable, affordable, and mixed-income multifamily real estate, with 15,000 units owned or managed. Founded in 1989, Jonathan Rose Companies is a mission-driven company focused on enhancing the health and wellness of its residents with green, energy efficient property improvements and through its Communities of Opportunities programming. With offices in New York, Connecticut, Colorado, Ohio and California, Jonathan Rose Companies has developed or acquired more than $2.5 billion of real estate. For more information, visit  www.rosecompanies.com.


WRT is a team of planners, urban designers, architects and landscape architects. WRT values the impact of a collective approach to create simple solutions for complex problems across scales and serves communities by designing places that enhance the natural and social environment.

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