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April 06, 2021

PHA, Project HOME development in Kensington will be targeted to homeless in Philly

Efficiency apartments are part of a series of developments anticipated with partner organizations

Development Affordable Housing
PHA Kensington HOME Street View/Google

The Philadelphia Housing Authority has resumed funding for its Long-Term Recovery Residence Development program, which had been stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic. The first new development will be led by Project HOME in Kensington, where 54 efficiency units will provide housing for those who are homeless and struggling with a substance use disorder.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority has approved funding for 54 efficiency apartments in Kensington that will be for people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or recovering from a substance use disorder.

The Long-Term Recovery Residence Development, led by Project HOME at 115 East Huntingdon St., is the first in a series of PHA efforts this year to fund partner organizations that can create and sustain more affordable housing in Philadelphia.

Funding for these developments is provided in the form of "project-based vouchers," which offers a subsidy as part of a financing package to construct, rehab and operate affordable apartments for low-income residents, veterans, people with disabilities and families.

PHA has issued these project-based vouchers to support more than 2,200 apartments at 145 developments in Philadelphia.

The Huntingdon Street project will give residents access to wrap-around services including education, employment and health care. Those recovering from opioid use disorder will receive medication-assisted treatment.

The facility will also have eight emergency beds provided by Temple University Hospital.

"Our partnership with PHA is so vital to the work that we do in building more affordable housing in this city," said Sister Mary Scullion, co-founder and executive director of Project HOME. "This residence will provide people with a much-needed community of recovery where each person can feel supported on their individual journey."

The project is expected to be completed sometime in 2022. 

The announcement comes as Philadelphia continues to seek housing solutions for chronic homelessness in the city, where ongoing encampment sites have been a point of contention and a lack of stable shelter has led to public safety concerns on SEPTA's Market-Frankford Line in Kensington.

PHA President and CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah said he hopes that the resumption of funding for Long-Term Recovery Residence Developments will help make a difference over the coming years.

"Working with partners has been a fundamental aspect of our approach to creating as much affordable housing as possible," Jeremiah said. "This program allows affordable housing providers to leverage their funding to get more affordable units built. The program was put on hold as the city dealt with the pandemic, but now we are back looking for developers, particularly those who will create housing for the most vulnerable populations."