Before and after photos show the North Central Choice Neighborhood transformation in Philadelphia. One of PHA’s most recent housing developments, North Central Five (pictured on the right) has won a national Award of Excellence from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) for project design. The original Norris Apartments (pictured on the left) were torn down to make way for the Choice Neighborhood revitalization. The City of Philadelphia, through the Division of Housing & Community Development (DHCD), PHA, Temple University, Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM), community residents and other stakeholders have been working together to implement the planned Housing, People, and Neighborhood activities to create a sustainable North Central Philadelphia.
Nichole Tillman, 215-888-2869; [email protected]
(Philadelphia – April 4, 2023) — The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) recently received two NAHRO Awards of Excellence in a national competition among housing and community development organizations.
The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) presented 20 prestigious Awards of Excellence to 16 organizations during a ceremony in Washington DC.
NAHRO honored PHA for North Central Five in the project design category. The mixed-income community offers 133 units of housing on a full-block site. The $51.6 million, 152,000 GSF property includes 3 buildings; a multifamily building with 117 units around a lushly landscaped courtyard, and two townhome buildings with 16 units that have large 3 BR units with private outdoor space. All residents have access to a fitness room, community room with kitchenette, computer room and library, an outdoor courtyard and community gardens, as well as on-site management staff, package lockers, and bike storage. It was developed as part of a larger $30 million Choice Neighborhood Grant that sought to strengthen and improve this community.
PHA also received an award in the Resident and Client Services category for the CCP/PHA Shared Housing Program, a partnership that transformed six scattered-site apartments units into dorm-like units for Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) students. Residents in the apartments receive services from both CCP and from PHA.
The apartments are situated in two renovated rowhomes within walking distance from the College’s Main Campus. They are the first income-based housing managed and maintained by a local housing authority to serve community college students exclusively
In addition to having access to safe, quality, and affordable housing, eligible students selected by CCP enter a stability plan and are paired with a College program coordinator to aid their transition out of shared housing and into a stable, permanent residence. The housing is within walking distance of CCP’s main campus allowing the residents to participate fully in campus life. CCP students also receive special wraparound support services to ensure that they succeed at the College including: support for students with experience in the foster care system; free assistance with health insurance, food resources, cash and other subsidies; academic advising and academic-related counseling services; and assistance with scholarships and career readiness supports. Students have also received one-time stipends from the Berwind Foundation for household items such as pots and pans, as well as technology needs such as laptops.
The Awards of Excellence winners were selected by regional juries from an initial pool of 178 Awards of Merit recipients. Each of the winning programs improves resident outcomes, resolves problems, is replicable by similarly sized organizations and produces tangible results such as cost savings and improved client services.
“NAHRO members provide vital housing and support in their communities, and do so through economic downturns, pandemics and natural disasters, declining federal investment and other challenges,” said NAHRO CEO Mark Thiele. “These 20 programs exemplify their creativity and determination in providing local solutions that others can learn from and replicate, and we’re thrilled to honor their work.”
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.