PHA Begins Building new Homes in Strawberry Mansion

New Development will ensure affordability in rapidly improving neighborhood

(Philadelphia, PA - March 31, 2017) - The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) today broke ground for a new 55-unit development in the historic Strawberry Mansion neighborhood of North


Strawberry Mansion Groundbreaking

PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah was joined by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (center) at groundbreaking ceremonies for the Strawberry Mansion Apartments.

Also shown are State Sen. Sharif  Street (2nd from left), Council President Darrell Clarke (to the right of Wolf), and State Rep. Donna Bullock.

The 55-unit development covers an area bounded by 33rd Street to the West, Arlington Street to the North, 32nd Street to the East, and Berks Street to the South. 

Philadelphia.The aptly named Strawberry Mansion Apartments cover an area bounded by 33rd Street to the West, Arlington Street to the North, 32nd Street to the East, and Berks Street to the South. Although the area has suffered from decades of disinvestment and distress, it is currently experiencing a major upturn as a result of private investment and other capital improvements. These new apartments will complement the ongoing revitalization of the neighborhood and help ensure that quality housing remains available for lower-income residents.

"I want to thank Council President Darrell Clarke, Representative Donna Bullock, and the Philadelphia Housing Authority for their hard work in shepherding this project from dream to reality," said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. "This new housing development - which will provide several different housing options to the residents and families of Strawberry Mansion - will help to ensure that there is affordable housing available here, so that the neighborhood's residents have real choices when looking for homes where they can build and grow their families."

"We are thrilled to begin this long-awaited development," said PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah. "These homes will be set in an ideal location next to Fairmount Park. We believe that as a result, even more potential homeowners will be attracted to the neighborhood and existing residents will appreciate an even more appealing community.  PHA has worked closely with Council President Clarke and the community to make this development a reality."

"A quality home near attractive amenities like Fairmount Park should be a dream that's within reach for every Philadelphian," said Council President Darrell L. Clarke. "Affordable housing yields positive economic benefits that aren't confined to four walls, but extend to the block, the neighborhood, and the community. I thank Kelvin Jeremiah, his team, and all of our partners for making the dream of stable, attractive housing a reality for so many more people in Strawberry Mansion."

The 55 new apartments will comprise one, two, three and four-bedroom homes, ranging in size from 685 square feet to 1,734 square feet in a mix of walk-up apartments and townhomes. There will be at least six accessible units, two units for the hearing/visually impaired, and 38 units with features that at a minimum accommodate visitors with disabilities such as a zero-step entrances and ground-floor bathrooms.  

The Strawberry Mansion Apartments are designed to conserve energy. The development will exceed the threshold 2015 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, the leading U.S. standard for the design, construction and operation of healthy, energy efficient and environmentally responsible affordable housing.  Streetscape improvements will include trees, lighting, curbs, and sidewalks.  

The new homes will have easy access to the Girard Avenue commercial corridor, educational institutions, such as Temple University, and transportation, including the recently expanded and modernized 33rd Street transportation hub. PHA is investing $23 million in the homes and neighborhood upgrades, of which $13 million will come from private investors via the sale of Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The balance will come from public housing funds and private financing through the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program.

In addition to being awarded tax credits toward developing Strawberry Mansion Apartments, PHA is financially supporting three other affordable housing developers who were also awarded tax credits this year. This reflects PHA's philosophy of encouraging other organizations in the development of quality housing for low-income seniors, disabled citizens and families.