The Art of Affordable Housing Development: PEC’s 4050 Building Breaks Ground

Regional Housing Legal Services and People’s Emergency Center (PEC) have worked together once again to create affordable housing for low-income residents of Philadelphia. The newest PEC development, located at 4050 Haverford Avenue in West Philadelphia, will provide 20 units of affordable housing for artists and their families. PEC began planning this development nearly a decade ago, making the groundbreaking a truly momentous occasion.

With the fast-paced development further west forging forward for universities in the area, affordable housing that allows residents to preserve the spirit and cultural make up of the neighborhood are extremely important.

Dina Schlossberg, Deputy Director/Senior Attorney for Multi-Family Housing  and Jack Stucker, RHLS staff attorney helped PEC bring this project to fruition. Their  services were critical to the deal, as they provided  their assistance with the structuring and financing of the development.

Funding for operations is provided by Project Based Vouchers (PBVs) provided by the Philadelphia Housing Authority. As a result of the PBV funding, PEC’s 4050 Apartments will have the long term financial stability needed to house very low-income residents in its one, two, and three-bedroom units.  In addition to the PBVs, funding sources for the construction and development of the project include the City of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, First Niagara Bank, the Boston Federal Home Loan Bank, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, and Low-Income Housing Tax credits from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), among others.

Keep checking back to see the finished product in early 2017!

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Preserving a Community Landmark with the Wynnefield Overbrook Redevelopment Corporation

Regional Housing Legal Services (RHLS) provided critical legal services to the Wynnefield Overbrook Redevelopment Corporation (WORC) to preserve a long-standing and significant community landmark, while simultaneously providing housing for area seniors.

The Wynne Ballroom was originally a movie theater until the mid 1950s, when it was sold to a community civic leader and converted to a ballroom and catering facility. The facility witnessed significant milestones for many area families for nearly forty years, until the death of its owner in 1993.

Though the ballroom closed and the building quickly fell into disrepair, the architecture and the building’s signage remained significant community landmarks. In 2013, Pennrose, a national developer of affordable housing headquartered in Philadelphia, saw its development potential and began working with WORC to assess the best use of the facility based on the community’s needs.

After a significant process of incorporating community voices into the planning of the structure’s redevelopment, Pennrose and the WORC have designed the building so that post construction, Wynne Senior Residences  will contain 51 units of housing for seniors, with the first floor reserved for retail space and a community center. The building’s signage has temporarily been removed for restoration, and will regain its place in the community as the building takes on a new life.

Dina Schlossberg is  proud to have served as WORC counsel on this project and RHLS is glad it could have a role in preserving a community landmark with such meaning to its neighbors. Check back for updates!

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Project HOME Breaks Ground on 2415 North Broad- Latest Housing in Middleton Partnership

Project HOME broke ground on the fifth affordable housing project funded by the Middleton Partnership last week. The brand new facility will include 2,457 feet of retail space and 88 units of affordable housing for homeless and formerly homeless individuals.

A portion of these units will be dedicated to serving the needs of young adults, a population with an increasing risk of homelessness. According to The 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) provided to Congress by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, nearly 37,000 unaccompanied youth were homeless in the past year across the United States of America.

In addition to providing critically-needed housing for vulnerable populations in Philadelphia, 2415 North Broad Street will provide residents with access to services including employment, healthcare, and education through Project HOME’s wide network of supportive services, including the recently opened Stephen Klein Wellness Center.

With the development positioned in short walking distance to the Broad Street Line and other North Philadelphia transit hubs, residents will have the ability to travel throughout the city.

Regional Housing Legal Services’ Chief Counsel, Mark Levin, assisted by Staff Attorney Jack Stucker, has provided representation for Project HOME during the planning process.  2415 North Broad is the fifteenth project that RHLS has provided legal counsel for Project HOME.

Sister Mary, Executive Director of Project HOME and Mark Schwartz, Executive Director of RHLS, and Angelo Sgro of Bethesda Project, at the groundbreaking of Connelly House, another Project HOME and RHLS development completed in 2011.

In addition to funding provided by the Middleton Partnership, the project will be funded by Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, the Philadelphia Housing Authority, the City of Philadelphia, T.D. Bank, PNC Bank, Capital One, and the National Equity Fund.

Check back soon for construction updates as well as for coverage of the building’s grand opening.

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Section 3 Certification Handbook Provides Wealth of Resources for Small Businesses

Section 3 HandbookOn Wednesday, January 13th, Regional Housing Legal Services (RHLS) celebrated the kickoff of the Montgomery County Section 3 Business Certification program at the Community Room in the Willow Grove, PA GIANT Food Store.

Thank you to all who attended for your thoughtful questions and comments, enthusiasm, and commitment to the economic opportunities provided through HUD’s Section 3.

With small businesses, general contractors, developers, and community development VIPs in attendance, Staff Attorneys Jack Stucker and Bob Damewood presented an overview of Section 3-related policies with the goal of benefiting local small businesses, general contractors and the developers that contract with them.

The RHLS Section 3 Business Certification Program is active in Allegheny and Montgomery Counties and certifies businesses that are owned by or provide substantial economic opportunities for low-income people. Certification as Section 3 eligible entitles businesses to a qualified contracting preference on HUD-funded development projects. Certified businesses are listed in a searchable online database that can be used by covered developers and contractors to identify eligible Section 3 Businesses.

With support from Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Housing Authority, our Section 3 handbook describes how Section 3 Certification can help small businesses and provides extensive listings for other certification opportunities and resources.

Download the RHLS Section 3 Business Certification Handbook

Apply for Section 3 Certification in Montgomery County.

Does your organization help small businesses in Montgomery County or the Greater Philadelphia Area? E-mail jstucker@rhls.org to have copies of the handbook mailed to your office or if you would like more information about the program.