PHA Helps Close Digital Divide With Opening of Neighborhood Network Computer Lab
Executive Director Carl Greene with new student.

Ribbon Cutting.

PHA Board Chairperson Joyce S. Wilkerson touring site.

PHA Commissioner Nellie W. Reynolds.
PHILADELPHIA, PA (September 29, 2003) - The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) today opened a new computer learning center at the Johnson Homes development in North Philadelphia. The center features 15 personal computers and will offer after school programs for children, computer lessons for seniors, and general access to computers for a segment of the population that often cant afford their own PCs.

PHA Executive Director Carl Greene says this is just one step toward further closing the digital divide in neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. The resident leadership of Johnson Homes worked very closely with PHA to make the center a reality. Now, we want to duplicate this program at other PHA sites, Greene said.

The center will offer after school classes for children as well as orientation for senior citizens, some of whom have never used a PC. The facility is open not only to public housing residents but also to anyone in the surrounding community. The centers opening is especially gratifying for Johnson Homes Resident Council President and PHA Commissioner Nellie Reynolds. We planned and dreamed and hoped. And our working group met every week for the past year to make sure those plans and dreams came true, said Reynolds.

Funding for the center came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which has dubbed centers such as this one Network Neighborhoods. HUD Regional Director Milton Pratt made the point that while his agencys primary focus is decent, affordable housing, it is also involved with services that help improve the lives of citizens through initiatives such as this one.

The Housing Association of Delaware Valley (HADV), a group that advocates for low to moderate-income citizens, supported the planning and development of the center. HADV officials say they intend to assist PHA with any similar centers.

About PHA

PHA is transforming public housing in the city of Philadelphia. As the nations fourth largest public housing agency serving more than 76,000 residents, PHA is the first housing authority in the U. S. designated by the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) of the National Association of Realtors as an Accredited Management Organization. This designation is awarded to firms engaged in property management that have met IREMs high standards in the areas of education, experience, integrity and financial stability.