PHA held a Grand Opening for a 58-unit townhouse community in Sharswood that is among its final rental phases for the Sharswood Transformation. VIPs from across the city joined PHA President & CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah, including Crystal Robbins (center), a mother of five who is returing to Sharswood with her family. The new townhomes, known as Sharswood 4A, replace housing lost when PHA imploded Blumberg Towers, a crime-ridden public housing development in need of major repairs.
Nichole Tillman, [email protected]; 215-888-2869
Some PHA Residents Will Get Modern-Style Housing and Supportive Services for the Holidays
Philadelphia, PA. – The Philadelphia Housing Authority is capping off a milestone year with the Grand Opening Celebration for 58 scattered-site townhouses located in the 2300 and 2400 blocks of Master Street, and the 2400 Block of Ingersoll Street.
The $27.2 million townhome community, known as PHA rental phase 4A, is among the final developments planned in Sharswood, a historically disadvantaged community where PHA-led developments have resulted in new capital investments, job-creating businesses, and community amenities such as a bank, a restored park and grocery.
The modern, spacious apartment homes are among the units that have replaced housing from the Blumberg Towers, a symbol of urban decay near Center City that was in need of costly repairs. The high-rise apartment buildings were imploded in 2016 as part of PHA’s 10-year, $500 million effort to transform the formerly redlined neighborhood.
The spacious new housing preserves affordability in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood and has a community center where residents can socialize or use computers to advance at work or in school. In all, there will be 16 one-bedroom units; 10 two-bedroom units; 24 three-bedroom units; 7 four-bedroom units, and 1 five bedroom unit.
PHA’s Grand Opening Celebration welcomes back some residents who will be moving into new homes during the holiday season. They will live across the street from the Vaux Community Center, a PHA site that offers services to foster self-reliance including homeownership classes, career development training and support for entrepreneurs.
“Home for the holidays celebrates the fact that more children will now have safe places to study, and more adults will have spacious, decent housing that can accommodate their families, “said Kelvin A. Jeremiah, PHA President & CEO. “PHA, the residents, the City, HUD, and other stakeholders have transformed a severely distressed neighborhood into a walkable, livable, desirable community and ultimately a city of choice.”
“These 58 new townhomes are a tremendous addition to this neighborhood and a reminder of how far this area has come,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “Through its Sharswood project, PHA ensures diverse communities and low-income residents directly benefit from new developments—new homes, services, and businesses. I thank PHA for playing a key role in our city’s equitable and inclusive growth by increasing housing opportunities and preserving affordable housing.”
“There is no greater gift at this festive time of year than a warm home and a vibrant community,” said HUD Principal Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Richard J. Monocchio. “We applaud Philadelphia Housing Authority and the community for creating these beautiful homes and we welcome the families that will soon be moving in. This is another promise kept for the stakeholders of the Sharswood Choice Neighborhood community transformation plan.”
Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-3) said, “I’m pleased to see another phase in the transformation of Sharswood! I helped PHA to secure $30 million in federal funding, leveraging over $225 million in investment, to revitalize the Sharswood-Blumberg neighborhood, and we are seeing positive results – not only the new housing but also other additions that meet community needs such as a bank, a restored park, and a grocery store. The projects that PHA and its partners are undertaking show that we CAN rebuild Philadelphia, block by block!”
“Today’s ceremony marks the end of an exciting year of progress on the Sharswood Blumberg Transformation Plan,” State Rep. Donna Bullock said. “These additional 58 units will be a huge addition to the community. The PHA, developers and the community have done a great job of collaborating to redesign the neighborhood as an affordable and attractive place to live.”
A few blocks away, construction crews have begun work on one of the final developments planned as part of the Sharswood Choice Neighborhoods Transformation. That development, known as PHA rental Phase 6A, is centered on a cluster of desolate blocks where empty lots had been used to discard trash and unwanted items. Included in this modern, new energy-efficient community will be 12 one-bedroom units, 22 two-bedroom units, 19 three-bedroom units, 11 four-bedroom units, and 1 five-bedroom unit. Construction is expected to be completed by next year.
In 2014, PHA also received $30 million to revitalize North Central Philadelphia into the City’s first Choice Neighborhood. It recently received a $50 million CNI grant to revitalize Bartram in Southwest Philly, making it the first housing authority in the country to win three highly prestigious CNI grants.
About the Philadelphia Housing Authority:
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. To learn more visit www.pha.phila.gov.