PHA Accepts $17M HOPE VI Grant
    PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 6, 2005) - The Philadelphia Housing Authority accepted a $17 Million grant today from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the planned redevelopment of the Ludlow neighborhood in North Philadelphia. The HOPE VI award will be used to build 100 new homes scattered throughout 17 different blocks in an area bounded by Girard Avenue to Montgomery Avenue between North 6th and 8th Streets. PHA executive director Carl Greene says these first 100 homes are only the beginning.

    "In addition to these first 100, PHA plans to leverage the funding to build an additional 50 homes in the same area. PHA also plans to form partnerships to create incentives for both non-profits and market rate housing developers to bring more housing to this neighborhood," Greene said.

    In one such partnership already underway, PHA provided land to APM (Association de Puertorquenos en Marcha) on which this community development corporation will build 22 new homes on the 1700 block of North 7th Street, in the same neighborhood. In other cases PHA will provide funding for houses. "What were really doing is creating a climate for economic growth,"said Greene.

    U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, whose efforts helped secure the HOPE VI award for PHA, presented the check in ceremonies at PHA headquarters, saying that in this very competitive process PHA had earned the grant through its performance. 

    HUD Assistant Secretary Steven Nesmith said it was a particular pleasure to come to his hometown with money in hand. "This HOPE VI grant will help transform the face of public housing in this Philadelphia community," he said. "As a Philadelphia native, I am especially pleased that the Philadelphia Housing Authority is partnering with HUD to revitalize this neighborhood and improve the lives of its residents."

    Like other new developments PHA has been building throughout the city, these homes will include a full package of market-rate-style amenities such as central air, carpeting, off-street parking pad or garage and a private rear yard. The homes for sale will be primarily three and four bedroom twins. The rentals will mainly be two and three bedroom duplexes and twins. 

    PHA is among the national leaders in building affordable homeownership opportunities, something Carl Greene emphasized in his remarks. 

    "Were building and selling homes right now at Lucien E. Blackwell Homes in West Philadelphia and at Greater Grays Ferry Estates in South Philadelphia so that working families with moderate incomes can become homeowners," he said. "Well be producing 72 similar homeownership opportunities in the Ludlow community, thanks to this latest HOPE VI grant."

    Funding for the Ludlow plan begins with the $17 million dollar grant. PHA will also raise $10 million in private equity through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. Other funding, including nearly $2 million from the City of Philadelphia, will bring the total investment in the endeavor to about $37 million. 

    Mayor John F. Street, as he has frequently done, praised PHAs tremendous record of converting distressed neighborhoods into growing communities. The mayor said PHA housing is often the best housing in the neighborhood when it first goes in, but that the new construction often leads to an overall neighborhood transformation.

    Construction on this site begins in March 2006 and will be completed by December 2008. The Ludlow HOPE VI construction grant is the fifth for PHA. It earlier won awards for Richard Allen Homes in North Philadelphia, Martin Luther King in South Philadelphia, Schuylkill Falls (renamed Falls Ridge) in East Falls and Mill Creek (renamed Lucien E. Blackwell Homes) in West Philadelphia. Richard Allen was completed in 2004. The other three are still under construction. HOPE VI is a federal program that helps public housing authorities rebuild its most distressed developments.

The HOPE VI award will be used to redevelop 17 different blocks in the Ludlow neighborhood in North Philadelphia, plus the town square.

PHA Executive Director Carl Greene (right) took HUD Asst. Sec. Steven Nesmith ( left) on a tour of the Ludlow neighborhood. Nesmith, a Philadelphia native, said he was pleased that the redevelopment of Ludlow includes plans for homeownership that will transform families and communities.

U.S. Rick Santorum believes the federal government has to create more affordable housing so inner city residents have strong communities and good places to raise their families. PHA Executive Director Carl Greene (left) praised Santorum for helping PHA win the grant.

State Sen. Shirley Kitchen, who represents residents of the Ludlow neighborhood, praised U. S. Senator Rick Santorum (left) for his help in obtaining the HOPE VI grant saying Thank you, Senator Santorum. Yes!