PHA Completes Major Rehab of Senior High Rise in Sharswood
Former Blumberg Tower has a new name and look
(Philadelphia, PA – March 20, 2019) – The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) today celebrated the redevelopment of a 13-story high rise senior building-the only building left standing after the demolition of the rest of the Blumberg Apartments. The redevelopment of the building, now known as Sharswood Tower, marks the latest stage of the Choice Neighborhood Transformation Plan for the Sharswood/Blumberg neighborhood.
“The modernization of these apartments is a key part of the Choice Neighborhood Initiative transformation plan,” said PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah. “All former residents have the right to return now that the work is completed. I want to thank them for their patience throughout this process. I extend my deep appreciation to Mayor Kenney, Council President Clarke and their staffs for their ongoing support and assistance on this phase of our overall revitalization effort in this neighborhood.”
“PHA continues to make great progress in transforming the Sharswood community,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I’m sure the seniors who lived here when living conditions were less than ideal are very happy to be moving back to this beautifully renovated building in this rapidly improving neighborhood. Congratulations to everyone involved on the PHA team and I wish the residents the best in their new apartments.”
“Thanks to the Choice Neighborhood Initiative transformation plan, Philadelphians from all walks of life have the security and stability that comes with quality, affordable housing,” Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) said. “Everyone deserves to be housed, and everyone deserves to retire with dignity. I’m grateful to our partners including PHA who are working to ensure truly golden years for our seniors.”
The renovations include: a new community room, offices, elevators, kitchens, bathrooms, mechanical systems, heating, hot water, central air conditioning, entrance and lobby, parking lot and driveway. The total redevelopment cost is approximately $28,000,000, which was funded by tax-exempt bonds, PHA funds, and limited partner equity.
“HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program is giving families a better place to call home,” said Joe DeFelice, regional administrator of HUD’s Mid-Atlantic region. “The program has made the transformation and complete rehabilitation of the former Blumberg Senior Tower possible, securing nearly $28 million in public-private construction investment. The major redevelopment even provided employment opportunities for PHA residents through HUD’s Section 3 program. All great reasons to celebrate”
All 94 of the senior units have been converted from public housing to Project Based Vouchers 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 (HAP) contract. At least 10 percent of the units will be reserved for seniors earning 20% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or less. Under the HAP contract, tenants will not be responsible for utilities supplied to their unit.