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Press Release

Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia Welcomes Home Six Families in Largest-Ever Simultaneous Dedication

PHILADELPHIA (August 28, 2023) — On Saturday, August 26, six families proudly took the keys to their new homes in the largest-ever simultaneous home dedication in the history of Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia. The Page Street project is Habitat Philly’s fourth in the Diamond Park neighborhood (adjacent to Temple University), which now totals 27 homes completed since 2016.

The home dedication ceremony was set against the backdrop of a neighborhood block party celebration and featured remarks from Donald E. Moore, Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia, Corinne O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer, Darrell L. Clarke, President of Philadelphia City Council (5th District), and Congressman Dwight Evans (D-PA-3rd) amongst others.

“The Diamond Park community is gaining six incredible homeowners and neighbors today,” said Corinne O’Connell, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia CEO. “We know that a safe, warm, dry home has a measurable impact in families’ lives when it comes to health, education, and generational wealth. Knowing that 16 more children will call Diamond Park home, we’re motivated to build more, so that every child in Philadelphia has a decent place to live.”

From left: Tyreeka Richards, homeowner; Corinne O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia; Gleen Lee, homeowner; Darrell L. Clarke, President, Philadelphia City Council; Congressman Dwight Evans, Pennsylvania 3rd District; Aissia Richardson, Deputy Chief of Staff, PA Senator Sharif Street; Donald E. Moore, Board Chair, Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia. Photo by John Stritzinger.

The Page Street project features six single-family rowhomes (3 bed, 1.5 bath) built on land acquired from the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. With its proximity to Temple University, the Diamond Park neighborhood has seen extensive growth and development over the past 10 years, and Habitat Philadelphia’s commitment to this community has ensured that affordable housing options remain available for long-term residents.

Glenn Lee cuts the ribbon to his new home during a dedication ceremony with Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia on Saturday, August 26. Photo by Rivkah Walton.

The journey to homeownership is not an easy one. The six new homeowners have collectively completed more than 2,100 hours of sweat equity and attended 50 financial literacy and first-time homeowner workshops. They have saved more than $20,000 towards their closing costs, secured $40,000 in first-time homebuyer grants, and received $16,000 of Individual Development Account Match dollars.

Community engagement was a crucial part of this project’s success, as the original scope of seven houses raised some concerns for neighbors worried about density and access to parking. Habitat Philadelphia responded by conducting listening sessions, responding to feedback, and adjusting the project to the six homes now completed.

“This journey has taught me the true meaning of patience, perseverance, and strength,” said Tyreeka Richards, one of the Page Street homeowners. “I’m grateful to the wonderful staff of Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke for working together to ensure that my family and I now have a place to call home.”

Moving the needle on Philadelphia’s affordable housing crisis requires collaboration and a shared sense of mission. For example, four of the six Page Street homeowners are transitioning from the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s rental program, with three receiving grants from PhillySEEDS, a charitable subsidiary of PHA.

The affordable mortgages offered by Habitat Philadelphia are made possible in part through support from corporate partners. Representatives from Bank of America, Cisco, Dale Corporation, Federal Home Loan Bank – Pittsburgh and Firstrust Bank, LEM Capital, and Wells Fargo made the official hand-off of keys to the new homeowners at Saturday’s dedication ceremony.

Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia has been working alongside homeowners since 1985. An affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, the local nonprofit has built and sold 260 homes and provided critical repairs to more than 800.

The organization is currently constructing 21 affordable homes in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood with their Coltrane Commons initiative.

Homeowner information sessions are available throughout September with the next application window opening in October. Visit www.habitatphiladelphia.org for more information.

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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 260 energy-efficient homes to first-time homeowners, and strategically partnered with more than 800 homeowners and their families to provide critical home repairs. For more information, visit www.habitatphiladelphia.org.

 

Additional Coverage

‘I have the foundation now’: Habitat for Humanity to mint 6 Philly homeowners after yearlong delay

Thursday, August 24

WHYY Plan Philly

Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia celebrates its largest-ever simultaneous home dedication

Saturday, August 26

CBS News Philadelphia