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Philadelphia – September 11, 2019 – Sen. Larry Farnese (D- Philadelphia) said today that $200,000 in state grant money will be invested into a project to create affordable housing in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood of Philadelphia.

The grant money will be used to provide 22 units of affordable housing for low income residents. Holy Trinity Baptist Church and Fitzwater Homes are working together on the project.

“I am very pleased that this investment is going toward an excellent community member like Holy Trinity Baptist Church,” Farnese said. “They are continuing their long tradition of serving the community by providing for one of people’s basic needs, which is quality affordable housing.”

The grant is funded through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund (PHARE) distributed by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

“I want to thank Senator Farnese for his leadership and support for the PHARE program and for this specific development,” said PHFA Executive Director and CEO Brian A. Hudson Sr. “The rehabilitation and preservation of these rental units will keep them affordable for residents who are living in an area of Philadelphia that has seen housing costs increase rapidly.”

Joining Farnese at the mock check presentation and news conference at Holy Trinity Baptist Church this morning were Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Beverly Stevenson of Fitzwater Homes and Jay Hausher of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

“A cornerstone strategy for housing affordability is to preserve the affordable housing we already have,” said Johnson. “That’s particularly true in this neighborhood, where housing prices have quickly shot up into Philadelphia’s highest tier. When the City, the Commonwealth, and our faith leaders come together like this, we can make magic.”

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of Senator Farnese, PHFA, Councilman Johnson and the City of Philadelphia as we work to ensure that Fitzwater Homes will continue to serve as a comfortable, safe and affordable place to call home for the foreseeable future,” said senior pastor of Holy Trinity Baptist Church David McIlwaine.

Graduate Hospital has become one of Philadelphia’s highest income areas over the years.  This has caused home and rent prices to rise rapidly, with longtime residents struggling to remain in their neighborhoods, said Farnese.

Fitzwater Homes noted that Pew Charitable Trust identified Graduate Hospital as Philadelphia’s most gentrified area.

“It is great to see our city grow and evolve, but that should not come at the expense of losing long-time residents in our neighborhoods simply because they can no longer afford their increasing rents,” Farnese said.


Contact: Hugh Baird
Phone:   717-787-5166