Studies Say PHA Constuction boosts Neighborhood Property Values by 142%

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 20, 2005) - 123Two independent studies strongly indicate that the Philadelphia Housing Authoritys multi-year real estate development program is bringing increased property value and optimism to formerly distressed neighborhoods. The studies by Applied Real Estate Analysis, Inc. (AREA) and Econsult Corp. show that property values in neighborhoods surrounding PHA's redeveloped sites are growing at a much faster rate than at sites that have not been rebuilt.

The studies measured property values from 1999 to 2004. Property values during that period around the PHA sites grew by 142%, more than 2.5 times the citywide rate of 55%. By contrast, property values actually fell in neighborhoods surrounding three older PHA developments studied while other older sites showed only modest growth. PHA Executive Director Carl Greene said the studies are evidence that PHAs targeted investment strategy is working. "What we see from these numbers is that our program is reviving neighborhoods well beyond the boundaries of PHA properties, but what the studies cant show is the tremendous change in pride and attitude that these transformations inspire," Greene said.

The Econsult analysis estimates that property values around the six PHA sites examined rose by more than $200 million over the five-year period, generating an additional $4 million a year in property taxes. The study also projects that the full impact has not yet been felt because only two of the six sites have been completed so far.

Econsult report author Stephen Mullin says, "These areas appreciated in value from the time PHA announced plans for demolition through completion of construction. Values in these same areas had stagnated in the years preceding PHAs redevelopment."

Redeveloped PHA sites included in the studies are Richard Allen Homes and Cambridge Homes in North Philadelphia, Courtyard at Riverview in Queen Village, Martin Luther King Homes just south of Center City, Falls Ridge in East Falls and Greater Grays Ferry Estates in South Philadelphia. Only Allen and Riverview are fully built and occupied, with Cambridge to be completed and occupied in July. MLK, Grays Ferry and Falls Ridge will be completed next year.

PHA's new sites are mixed-income communities, part of the agencys strategy to bring more stability and value to neighborhoods. Instead of a "not in my backyard" reaction, neighborhoods in sections of Philadelphia now welcome PHA housing. For Carl Greene its a program where public and private market residents win. "Were building thousands of affordable housing units for lower and modest-income families and at the same time driving up optimism and the standard of living for the families who live near our sites," Greene said.

PHA commissioned the studies in order to demonstrate how investments of both public and private funds are more than paying for themselves. The agency hopes to use the success it has achieved over the past several years as a springboard to attract more funding to continue its aggressive redevelopment efforts.

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