Built during the Great Depression, Carl Mackley Houses was constructed by the American Federation of Full-Fashioned Hosiery Workers and was the first project financed by the housing division of the Public Works Administration. Named after a 22-year-old laborer killed during a strike, the community was home to union members and others in Philadelphia.
Over its history, the property was sold to different owners, falling into decay and being rehabilitated. By 2018, Carl Mackley Houses was again in disrepair, which raised concerns about its long-term viability. The community’s uncertain future changed when WinnCompanies acquired the property in 2021.
The development firm secured public and private support to rehabilitate the 184-unit property and protect the historic fabric of the community.
“This was an opportunity to preserve a complex that has housed working families for almost 100 years,” says Laura Manville, senior project director at WinnDevelopment. “We are proud that Carl Mackley can continue to serve working families, launching a new chapter of its legacy with upgraded apartments and robust social services."
With units ranging from studios to four-bedroom apartments, the development is home to more than 400 residents. The units serve households earning no more than 50% and 60% of the area median income.
WinnDevelopment updated all the kitchens and bathrooms in four apartment buildings, installed central air conditioning in all units, replaced windows and roofs, and upgraded community spaces. In addition, the team made 19 units fully accessible and adapted eight units for visually and hearing-impaired residents.
Beyond the physical improvements, Carl Mackley Houses is the first multifamily community in Pennsylvania to use the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Self-Sufficiency program to bring new opportunities to residents. Working with a network of more than 100 Philadelphia service providers and partners, residents will have direct access to a range of community-based programs and services.
Financing for the $40.6 million project included low-income housing tax credits and state and federal historic tax credits.