Standard and Poor’s Raises PHA’s 2017 Revenue Bond Rating to AA-

Citing Strong Finances and Management, Standard and Poor’s Raises Philadelphia Housing Authority’s 2017 Revenue Bond Rating to AA-

Credit Rating Agency calls PHA’s future stable


Philadelphia – July 27, 2021) – S&P (Standard and Poor’s) Global Ratings has elevated the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s (PHA) 2017 revenue bonds credit rating to AA-, citing the agency’s stronger finances and “PHA’s very strong management.” The credit rating agency had previously rated the bonds A+.

According to the S&P evaluation, “the rating action also reflects our opinion of improved financial performance,” while noting that “U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) funding has remained relatively strong through operating subsidies and capital grants while repositioning public housing has generated some cost savings.”

“We are gratified that S&P has validated our stewardship of PHA’s finances, operations and management,” said PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah. “The improved bond rating reflects not only the manner in which PHA conducts its business on behalf of low- and modest-income residents of Philadelphia, it also takes into account the shift in federal prioritiesthat acknowledge the importance of providing as much affordable housing as possible.”

The stable outlook reflects S&P Global Ratings’ opinion of PHA’s very strong management, improved financial performance through times of federal budget volatility and economic stress, and continued demand for its services from Philadelphia residents.
Although the pandemic caused rent collections to decline over the past year, the S&P report states, “we expect PHA will likely maintain very strong enterprise- and financial-risk profiles throughout the twoyear outlook, supported by its diligent and thorough strategic planning and flexibility from being a Moving-to-Work agency.”

Moving to Work is a special designation that gives PHA flexibility in how it prioritizes its spending.

S&P Global Ratings credit analyst David Greenblatt notes that “PHA’s outlook could improve even further during the next few fiscal years, fueled by strong federal funding and stable developer fees, and if management were to continue to consider and implement cost savings that reduce certain operating expenses, leading to strong financial performance.” Greenblatt cautions, however, that the outlook could worsen if the federal government were to markedly reduce public-housing support.

Read More

PHA Is Recognized By NAHRO

PHA Is Recognized By NAHRO for its Remote Learning Centers for Students, Administrative strategies and Housing Designs

(Philadelphia, PA – July 15, 2021) – The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has won four Awards of Merit recognizing achievement and innovation from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO).

The Authority earned a record number of awards this year as it adapted its operations and added new services to support residents and the City during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two of PHA’s newest housing developments, Blumberg 83 and North Central Phase 3 –won Awards of Merit in the housing design category. Blumberg 83, which used modular
construction, enabled PHA to build units more quickly and meet the City’s growing demand for affordable housing. Blumberg’s construction started in May, 2019; the first occupants moved in Jan. 2020. Blumberg 83 consists of 83 energy-efficient rental apartments spread across a mix of townhomes and multi-unit walk-up buildings in harswood.

The remote learning centers, equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi access and desks for students in select PHA developments, and the strategy created by the maintenance team to address cleaning and the backlog of work orders during the pandemic – were recognized in the categories of resident services and administrative innovations respectively.

Since returning to full duty after the lockdown, the PHA maintenance team has reduced open service orders from over 17,000 to under 5,100 in February, when the nominations were submitted.

The NAHRO Agency Awards Program is a two-tiered program consisting of the Awards of Merit and the Awards of Excellence. The first tier of the program, the Awards of Merit, are submitted to National NAHRO and sent to Regional Juries for review. The second tier of the program, the Awards of Excellence, are nominated by the Regional Juries from the Awards of Merit winners and sent to National Juries for final selection. Up to 24 Awards of Excellence may be presented in a given year.

“Though the pandemic affected how and where we worked. PHA was able to modify operations so we could continue to serve the city’s most vulnerable during this tragedy,” Kelvin A. Jeremiah, President & CEO PHA said. “We reimagined the work process and reconsidered what residents needed most from us. It made us a stronger organization.”

Read More

PHA Homeownership Program Sales are at a Record High

PHA Homeownership Program Sales are at a Record High Residents Buying Homes and Building Generational Wealth

(Philadelphia, PA – June 21, 2021) – June is National Homeownership month. The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) has assisted more than 500 residents become homeowners. This year, despite the pandemic, sales are strong. PHA’s Homeownership Opportunities Program is experiencing the highest number of sales in the last 10 years. By the end of the June, 40 PHA residents will have purchased homes.

Dwayne Fair recently bought the North Philadelphia home that his family had leased for nearly 52 years from the PHA. After Fair’s mom had become ill in 2012, she asked her children to buy the home for the family who had been living there since 1968. She has raised her eight children there and this home is woven into the family’s history. Fair promised his mother that he would he would find some way to buy the house.

“Mr. Fair embodies the definition of self-determination,” said Kelvin A. Jeremiah, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. “He and other families are learning 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. In addition, our comprehensive homeownership program and partners help them to qualify for the best possible mortgage rates, and avoid some of the past pitfalls to homeownership.”

The Authority offers three paths to homeownership – one for public housing residents, one for Housing Choice Voucher residents and a third called Mobility Homeownership Program, which is open to any PHA resident.

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, including 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.

Read More

Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia and PHA Celebrate Completion of Oxford Green

Arrow Up