For PHA: Nichole Tillman, [email protected]; 215-888-2869
Philadelphia, PA. (Dec. 31, 2023) ‑The Philadelphia Housing Authority’s (PHA) wide-ranging approaches to addressing blight, poverty, and insufficient housing yielded vast dividends in 2023, as it became the nation’s first and only housing authority to receive more than $110 million in the coveted Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to revitalize three neglected neighborhoods.
“2023 represents another banner year for PHA and the people we are privileged to serve. I could not be prouder proud to work with a dedicated and committed team who work every day to provide housing opportunities to Philadelphians most in need while also providing pathways to social and economic mobility for families with low incomes,” said Kelvin A. Jeremiah, PHA’s President and CEO. “PHA has set a high standard by providing quality affordable housing to meet the needs of contemporary families even amid increasing unaffordable rents with a shrinking affordable rental market making the demand for PHA’s assistance even greater than ever before. PHA stands ready to meet this challenge and build on its already strong record of success, but we cannot do this important work alone: it requires coordinated strategy and an alignment of resources on the federal, state, and local levels to maximize affordable housing production while preserving the existing affordable housing stock.”
“PHA Is leading the way and has become a national model,” proclaimed Richard J. Monocchio Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development while attending the Grand Opening of PHA 4A, a $27.2 million, 58-unit townhouse community in Sharswood neighborhood which benefited from the grant.
In 2014, PHA received $30 million to revitalize North Central Philadelphia into the City’s first Choice Neighborhood. In 2020, it received a $30 million CNI grant to transform Sharswood, and in 2023, a $50 million CNI grant to revitalize Bartram in Southwest Philadelphia. PHA also received a CNI Planning Grant of $500,000 to reimagine Yorktown and the Harrison low-rise buildings.
As part of its ongoing asset repositioning strategy, PHA rehabbed nearly 1,000 units during 2023 while 405 new units came online adding to its housing portfolio. In 2023, PHA continued to expand its affordable housing production efforts. In addition to the grand opening for Sharswood 4A, construction crews began work this year on Sharswood’s final PHA rental community, Sharswood 6A, with 65 rental housing units. Construction also began on Sharswood Crossing Phase III, a mixed-use development with 224, brand new, mixed-income homes with ground floor retail, community amenities, and robust on-site supportive services for families. Harrision Senior Towers, a newly rehabbed, 116 unit hi-rise that offers residents an affordable, comfortable, and secure living experience, also opened.
In other major 2023 achievements include:
- PHA opened the Housing Choice (HCV) Waiting List for two weeks and accepted over 36,000 applications as part of its effort to expand housing opportunities, which resulted in 10,000 people being added to the waiting list through a lottery process. In April 2023, PHA began pulling applicants from the waiting list, and to date, has pulled over 2,000 applicants for processing. Of those who applied for the lottery, 91 percent of the applicants said they lived, work, or were offered a job in Philadelphia and nearly 65 percent indicated they were either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
- In collaboration with HUD, the City’s office of Homeless Services, PHA issued and housed 792 formerly unhoused individuals and families under the Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program.
- More than 700 new homeowners have been assisted through PHA’s Opening Doors to Affordable Homeownership Program since 2013, with 43 additional PHA residents becoming homeowners.
- PHA achieved a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)participation rate of 47% and a Women Business Enterprise (MBE) participation rate of 31%. Philadelphia businesses and organizations received 33.4% of the total PHA contracted procurement spend of $106.8 million.
- In 2023, the 10th year for PhillySEEDS, PHA’s non-profit affiliate, it continued its significant service to PHA residents and program participants; and in 2024 it will be adding a fourth program to provide even more opportunities and options for PHA’s deserving community. With its three core programs, it awarded $273,000.00 to 71 scholarship recipients; $200,000 to 164 HCV Affordable Rental Security Deposit Matching Grant recipients; and $70,000 to 35 Homeownership Closing Cost Matching Grant recipients.
- PHA’s Youth & Family Center, located at its headquarters, whose mission is to support residents in building strong, stable neighborhoods and positive family relationships, supported over 2,500 families through various programs, including: the early childhood education program, youth summer employment programs and the Kinship Care program.
- Resident Programs and Partnerships department hosted hundreds of events to engage, empower and inform residents to become self-sufficient.
- PHA has supported the growth of over 50 residents owned business within the public housing sphere. The Entrepreneurship fellowship program coaching and funding to those who want to see their dreams come to fruition.
PHA remains laser focused on its mission to open doors to affordable housing, economic opportunity, and safe sustainable communities to benefit Philadelphia residents with low incomes.
As we begin 2024, PHA will release its comprehensive asset repositioning strategy, which aims to preserve its existing affordable housing stock while expanding affordable housing production to meet the ever-growing demand for affordable housing.