Late last year, Project HOME completed the financing process to rehabilitate the Rowan Judson Diamond Homes, which will preserve 39 units of affordable family housing that have been subject to extreme wear and tear. RHLS Deputy Director and Senior Attorney for Multi-Family Housing, Dina Schlossberg, Director of Economic Development, Laura Schwartz, and Attorney Consultant Ryanne Shuey provided legal representation for Project HOME. The renovations were funded by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s (PHFA) 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC).
The 3 buildings that make up Rowan Judson Diamond were originally developed in 2000-2001 as two projects: Rowan Judson and Rowan Diamond. The Rowan Judson Diamond Homes serve and house formerly homeless families where one or more members are deemed special needs because of serious mental illness or substance abuse disorders. The developments are income-restricted for residents at 50% of Area-Median Income (AMI) or less.
By specifically serving families, Rowan Homes addresses an acute need in the homeless services system. Homelessness and housing instability have a profound impact on the children in the family as well as the adults. The stories of the residents of Rowan Homes are often those of resilience. They reflect that affordable, stable housing is a vital tool for families to be safe and secure.
Residents are offered on-site case management and school coordination for children. On-site family counseling is offered in partnership with the Council for Relationships. Residents are offered service coordination, personal recovery services, health care, education, social enterprise, and employment opportunities. The buildings are in the St. Elizabeth’s neighborhood of North Philadelphia near Project HOME’s Honickman Learning Center and Stephen Klein Wellness Center. RHLS represented Project HOME when Rowan Homes was first developed in the mid-1990s.
The project received financing through a variety of sources: Multifamily Housing Bonds issued by PHFA (used for a construction loan by TD Bank) as well as permanent financing from PHFA (using Capital Magnet Funds), the PRA, and a Sponsor Loan from Project Home. Equity investments were made by Raymond James (limited partner/investor) and Project HOME as general partner. The development also has a rental subsidy from Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services (for 37 of the units) which allows it to target such low-income families.
Project HOME’s supportive housing programs offer permanent, subsidized housing for individuals and families who had been homeless. Most residents come to Project HOME from a safe haven, a shelter or from the streets.
Visit Project HOME’s website for more information about the homes.