Meeting the Housing Needs of Philadelphia’s Seniors: St. Francis Villa

St. Francis Villa, developed by Catholic Health Care Services, will offer 40 new units of rental housing for seniors in Philadelphia starting in spring of 2016. Regional Housing Legal Services celebrated the groundbreaking of the new development earlier this month.

As discussed in this article on about North Penn Commons, another RHLS project, one third of Pennsylvania’s senior citizens call Philadelphia home. Of Philadelphia’s seniors, the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging estimates that nearly half live at or below 200 percent of the poverty line. 

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services 2015 Poverty Guidelines, a senior citizen identifying as a single member of a household would have, at most, $588.50 per month to spend on housing, without paying more than 30 percent of their income. However, for 2015, HUD calculates fair market rent for an efficiency in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington Metro Service Area to be $814 per month.

This leaves too many seniors in the Philadelphia area housing insecure or at risk for homelessness.

St. Francis Villa will provide 62 units of housing for Philadelphia area seniors.
St. Francis Villa will provide 62 units of housing for Philadelphia area seniors.

Catholic Health Care Services is working with partners across the region to address part of the dire need for affordable senior housing in Philadelphia with St. Francis Villa. The development will serve those aged 62 or older with incomes below 40 percent of the area median income. A social worker will be available on-site to address the needs of residents.

RHLS Chief Counsel, Mark Levin, and Director of Economic Development, Laura Schwartz, have worked on the project with Catholic Health Care Services and their partners. Services provided include:

  • reviewing and negotiating local financing and bridge loan documents;
  • preparing and filing formation documents for the general partner and limited partnership entities;
  • preparing corporate resolutions;
  • ordering and reviewing project title commitment and providing counsel on the acquisition of the property;
  • negotiating the Letter of Intent from the investor, the Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership and related documents;
  • drafting attorney’s opinions for project lenders and equity investors;
  • drafting and negotiating the architect’s contract and construction contract;
  • and providing other vital legal services moving the project plans forward.

St. Francis Villa is another example of the RHLS commitment to increasing the stock of affordable housing for vulnerable and/or very low-income Pennsylvanians.

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