PHA Marks Completion of Cambridge Homes

    PHILADELPHIA, PA (July 27, 2005) - A remarkable neighborhood turnaround was completed today in North-Central Philadelphia with the dedication of the new Cambridge Homes. These 124 new homes replace two high-rise buildings that had become outdated before being imploded on July 1, 2001.

    The combination of Cambridge and Richard Allen Homes, next door, adds up to a total of 532 new homes. Thats about a third the number of units that used to exist on virtually the same real estate, meaning much more room for residents to raise their families and enjoy their homes. PHA executive director Carl Greene says Cambridge is the latest but far from the last new affordable housing community PHA will be opening.

    "Were in the middle of a $1.2 billion construction program that has resulted in thousands of new units of affordable housing for low and modest-income families, and at the same time were building wealth for homeowners who live in surrounding neighborhoods," Greene said.

    Two recent studies (by Econsult Corporation of Philadelphia and Applied Real Estate Analysis of Chicago) show that property values in the communities immediately surrounding Allen and Cambridge grew by 72% between 1999 and 2004. These numbers indicate that people are willing - and in many cases eager - to live near PHAs redefined public housing. 

    The rebuilding of Cambridge included all new streets and sidewalks, new water and gas mains and electrical services, and all underground cabling and wiring. The homes themselves are 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms and include central air, carpeting, dishwashers, garbage disposals and off-street parking.

    PHA believes that if you build new, high quality housing you raise the attitudes of the residents who live in that housing. Carl Greene calls it infectious. "Weve created traditional American neighborhoods," he says. "PHA developments are part of the community not isolated and the families who live here like that feeling." Cambridge and Allen were once high crime areas, but that is clearly no longer the case. According to Philadelphia Police statistics, 33 serious crimes were committed at Cambridge in 1998. In 2004, only four serious crimes were committed in the same neighborhood.

    The completion of Cambridge is part of PHAs multi-year $1.2 billion construction program to build or totally renovate more than 6,000 homes and breathe new life into formerly distressed communities throughout Philadelphia.

    PHA has also recently become a developer of affordable housing for sale to middle income families, quickly selling out the first phases of West Philadelphia's Lucien E. Blackwell Homes and South Philadelphias Greater Grays Ferry Estates homeownership sections. These new homes are available to families earning between $21,000 and $55,000 per year. PHA will have built and sold about 500 affordable houses by the end of 2006.

    PHA has demolished 20 high-rises and more than 8,000 units overall - over the last several years and has emerged as a national leader in affordable housing construction and management.

The rebuilding of Cambridge included all new streets and sidewalks, new water and gas mains and electrical services, and all underground cabling and wiring.

PHA believes that if you build new, high quality housing you raise the attitudes of the residents who live in that housing. Executive Director Carl Greene calls it infectious. Weve created traditional American neighborhoods, he says.

The combination of Cambridge and Richard Allen Homes, next door, adds up to about one-third of the units that used to exist on the same real estate, meaning much more room for residents to raise their families and enjoy their homes.