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Habitat breaks ground on 20 affordable homes in Sharswood

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Zoe Goldberg

Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia breaks ground on 20 affordable homes in Sharswood

Philadelphia, Pa. – May 9, 2019 – On Friday, May 10 at 9:00am, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia will break ground at Oxford Green, the site of 20 affordable homes at 23rd and Oxford Streets in the Sharswood neighborhood of Lower North Philadelphia. These 20 homes will be available for purchase to families in Habitat’s Homeownership Program.

Joining Habitat CEO Corinne O’Connell to share remarks at this groundbreaking ceremony are Council President Darrell Clarke, State Representative Donna Bullock, City of Philadelphia Director of Planning and Development Anne Fadullon, Customers Bank SVP Joseph Schupp, and Sharswood Brewerytown NAC Executive Director Darnetta Arce.

“The 20 homes at Oxford Green mark an exciting next chapter both for Habitat’s work and for the Sharswood neighborhood,” said Corinne O’Connell, CEO at Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia. “We are engaged in a number of powerful partnerships that made the arrival of this moment possible, and we are proud to build alongside our neighbors in the Sharswood community.”

Habitat is a partner in the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s broader Sharswood Blumberg Neighborhood Transformation Plan, and PHA committed $3.5M to fund Oxford Green.

“It is important that we provide opportunities for homeownership in Sharswood,” said Kelvin A. Jeremiah, President & CEO at the Philadelphia Housing Authority. “Habitat’s Homeownership Program provides the education needed for the future Oxford Green homeowners to be successful, and we know they will have a stake in their neighborhood and care for the broader community.”

Sharswood is also the pilot neighborhood for Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia’s Neighborhood Revitalization work. Over the next five years, Habitat is committed to building new homes, repairing homes in partnership with homeowners in need, and helping to educate and empower all Sharswood residents with the tools they need to support and advocate for their community.

In addition to funding and partnership from PHA, Customers Bank served as HFHP’s sponsor for $750,000 in grants through Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLBank) of Pittsburgh’s Affordable Housing Program. These grants will contribute funding to the first 9 homes at Oxford Green.

“We are honored to support Habitat on this occasion,” said Joseph Schupp, SVP/Community Development Officer at Customers Bank. “Habitat’s expanded work in Sharswood to improve quality of life for all residents makes these homes that more meaningful, and we are proud to be a partner in this transformative work.” Customers Bank and FHLBank have also granted almost $500,000 to support home repairs in the Sharswood neighborhood.

The Oxford Green homes will boast new-to-Habitat amenities including flexible living space on the first floor to promote aging-in-place, and green roofs for storm water management. ISA designed the homes.

As part of Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia’s programs, homeowners become vested in their property by completing 350 hours of sweat equity in place of a down payment. The new homeowners are also required to demonstrate a housing need and that they have the financial wellbeing to repay an affordable mortgage.

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Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia builds strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia transforms lives and our city by building and repairing quality homes in partnership with families in need and by uniting all Philadelphians around the cause of affordable housing. Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia has built and sold 218 energy-efficient homes to first-time homeowners, and strategically partnered with more than 525 homeowners and their families to provide critical home repairs. For more information, visit www.habitatphiladelphia.org.