PHILADELPHIA--()--Congressman Chaka Fattah (PA-2) announced today that sponsors of affordable housing developments across the city will receive a total of $960,000 in grant money to help them complete their projects.
“Here in Philadelphia and elsewhere, the role of the members of our financial cooperative is critical”
The grants, made under the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) of Pittsburgh’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP) with the assistance of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, PNC Bank and TD Bank, will help provide much-needed housing to challenged veterans, women with special needs and their children, individuals with chronic mental illness, and victims of domestic violence. A total of 74 additional units of affordable housing will be available in the city once all four projects are completed.
Today’s awards bring the total amount of AHP grants to lower-income and special needs housing projects within the City of Philadelphia to more than $43.1 million since FHLBank began funding the program in 1990. Since AHP’s inception, the Bank has funded 5,844 lower-income housing units in the city, plus 63 others for individuals above 80 percent of the area median income.
“Thanks to FHLBank Pittsburgh for again bringing affordable housing dollars to Philadelphia’s neighborhoods,” said Congressman Fattah. “It’s vital that this round of grants focuses on the housing needs of our challenged veterans, women with special needs and homeless families. Affordable housing and home ownership have been a priority throughout my years in public service. I have been dedicated to increasing both access to, and the availability of, affordable housing in Philadelphia and across urban America. This partnership with FHLBank Pittsburgh is an important part of that effort.”
Today’s grant awards were made in a ceremony at the headquarters of People’s Emergency Center (PEC) in West Philadelphia. PEC has also hosted two other AHP grants events in recent years.
FHLBank Pittsburgh is a congressionally chartered cooperative of local financial institutions operating across Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Bank uses private money, not taxpayer funds, to assist local lenders in serving the affordable housing and community and economic development needs of the communities in which they operate. Each year, FHLBank sets aside 10 percent of its net income for AHP grants, which are awarded to project sponsors on a competitive basis.
In addition to AHP awards, FHLBank Pittsburgh has also historically awarded grants to qualified first-time, lower-income homebuyers to assist them with down payment and closing costs. That program, First Front Door, has to date provided $13.9 million in assistance to 3,279 Philadelphia homeowners. The program will be re-launched later this year.
“Here in Philadelphia and elsewhere, the role of the members of our financial cooperative is critical,” commented Winthrop Watson, FHLBank’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “They’re our eyes, ears and partners. It’s our members who help assess community needs, provide assistance with grant applications and deliver funding to project sponsors. They’re the ones who help underwrite nonprofits and serve on local boards. They deserve much of the credit for the success of AHP.”
Projects Receiving Funding:
Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania
People’s Emergency Center
AHP Grant: $210,000
Bigham Place, a new construction project in West Philadelphia, will transform a large vacant lot into an 8,400-square-foot two-story building that will serve formerly homeless women with special needs and their children. To be located at 4226-32 Powelton Avenue, the building will include two two-bedroom units and five three-bedroom units as part of People’s Emergency Center’s mission to nurture families, strengthen neighborhoods and serve as a catalyst for positive change. The project reflects community objectives laid down in the 2004 West Powelton/Saunders Park Neighborhood Plan and the more recent Lower Lancaster Revitalization Plan and anticipates the expansion of gentrification efforts into the neighborhood.
Impact – Veterans and Family Housing Center
Impact Services Corporation
AHP Grant: $250,000
Impact Services Corporation (Impact) will create a mixed-income project of 26 permanent supportive housing units for veterans and their families at 1952 E. Allegheny Avenue in Kensington. The site once housed a factory and is now vacant. Of the 26 units being developed to support the growing needs of challenged veterans, six units will be reserved for those with special needs and six others for the homeless. Those with special needs will likely be wounded warriors suffering from a mental disability or from drug or alcohol abuse. Impact serves seven Philadelphia locations, with 120 case managers and other specialists, and is leading revitalization efforts in the Heart of Kensington area.
Penrose Transitional Living
AHP Grant: $250,000
CATCH (Citizens Acting Together Can Help) is renovating its 38-bed transitional housing program on Penrose Avenue to better meet the residential and rehabilitation needs of the chronically mentally ill and those with co-occurring disorders. More than half of the residents post-renovation will have been homeless and come from emergency shelters, community hospital psychiatric units and state and VA hospitals. The average length of stay is one to two years. Penrose Transitional Living is located in the former Martinique Hotel and represents an adaptive reuse of an underutilized commercial property.
Women Against Abuse – Phase II
Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania
Women Against Abuse
AHP Grant: $250,000
This project is designed to support abused women as they transition into self-sufficiency. They are rooted in life skills such as budgeting, housekeeping and securing and maintaining employment. The first phase of this project – containing 12 units and partially funded by the AHP – served as a lifeline to 94 individuals struggling to escape from abusive conditions. Each client successfully escaped homelessness upon graduating from the program. Phase II involves the construction of a three-unit building on the same site.
The People’s Emergency Center’s mission is to nurture families, strengthen neighborhoods and drive change in West Philadelphia. Through a community of more than 200 housing units and five educational centers offering job training, parenting and early childhood education and technology coursework, PEC seeks to change the life trajectory for the women and children who seek its services and inspire them to aspire to new heights.
PEC community development programs respond to community needs and build on neighborhood assets to help bridge the digital divide, expand mixed-income housing opportunities, stimulate economic growth, create wealth, and improve the quality of life for all West Philadelphia residents.