U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Champion of Choice Neighborhoods, Tours Sharswood Development

PHA is the only Housing Authority in the country to receive three CNI Implementation Grants.

Contact: Nichole Tillman, [email protected]; 215-888-2869                               

Philadelphia, PA. (June 20, 2024) ‑ The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) proudly hosted U.S. Senator Bob Casey recently as he toured PHA’s Sharswood Blumberg Development, one of the sites that has received coveted Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) Grants due to the Senator’s support.

Recently, Senator Casey visited Sharswood, a historically disadvantaged community where PHA-led developments, fueled by a $30 million CNI grant, have resulted in new capital investments, job-creating businesses, and community amenities such as a bank, a restored park and a grocery. The Senator has long championed CNI Grants as an important means to transform neighborhoods in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania.

“It was an honor to show Senator Casey first-hand the results of his longstanding support for PHA and for CNI funding,” said Kelvin Jeremiah, the President & CEO of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. “His visit to Philadelphia shows the deep roots of his commitment to this city, and to ensuring that all residents have safe and affordable housing. These projects are truly a lifeline to many Philadelphians in need, and I’m hopeful that as our work continues, Senator Casey’s vital support will continue as well.”

“Housing is more than just a roof over your head; it’s the place where safety, well-being, and community start,” Senator Casey said. “As the foundation of a neighborhood, housing determines whether businesses can thrive, the potential of future economic development, and the sense of community that residents feel. I am grateful to Kelvin Jeremiah and the Philadelphia Housing Authority team for their commitment to providing quality housing, revitalizing neighborhoods, and working to build strong communities.”

Thanks to the Senator’s support, PHA is the nation’s first housing authority to receive grants to revive three neglected and forgotten neighborhoods, and the only one to bring more than $110 million in CNI funding back to its city. In November 2013, PHA, working with 23 partners, received a planning grant of $500,000. This supported the development of a successful transformation plan for both the Blumberg site as well as the surrounding Blumberg/Sharswood neighborhood. Then in 2020, the effort received a far more substantial $30 million CNI grant to implement the transformation plan. It is that ongoing work which Senator Casey toured.

The other two projects to receive CNI funding are the North Central Philadelphia Transformation Plan ($30 million awarded in 2014) and Bartram Village in Southwest Philadelphia ($50 million awarded in 2023). No other U.S. city has received three such major grants. PHA also received a Choice Neighborhoods planning grant of $500,000 to reimagine Yorktown, and the Harrison low-rise buildings.

Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants are administered by the U.S. Housing of Urban Development (HUD) and the support of federal elected officials such as Sen. Casey is essential. The program has a three-pronged “Housing, People, and Neighborhood” approach that includes the redevelopment of distressed properties and supportive services related to the residents’ health, education, and income while investing in economic development and neighborhood improvement projects. A two-year Planning Grant will allow the new awardees to create and build support for a comprehensive “Transformation Plan” that addresses the program’s Housing, People, and Neighborhood goals.

PHA President Jeremiah continued: “With the support of our federal partners, PHA can transform another strategically located neighborhood into a resource-rich area community that provides new housing, along with crucial supportive services like career training and enrichment programs that support mobility. I have always said: 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.”


The Philadelphia Housing Authority

The Philadelphia Housing Authority is the nation’s 4th largest housing authority, serving nearly 80,000 residents 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