Formerly homeless young adults will have a new place to call home in Philadelphia.
The LGBTQ-friendly development will be the first of its kind in the state, according to nonprofit developer Project HOME, which will break ground on the project Dec. 6.
The Gloria Casarez Residence will feature 30 units of affordable housing targeted to young adults between the ages of 18 and 23 who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness, those who have aged out of the foster-care system, special-needs individuals, and LGBTQ individuals.
Residents will have access to Project HOME’s full range of programs, including classes, medical and behavioral health services, and job training and placement. With a central location in North Philadelphia, the development will have accessibility to public transportation, employment, shopping, and major roadways.
TD Bank has committed $11 million to the project, including a $6.7 million tax-exempt construction loan through its Commercial Real Estate Group and a $4.3 million low-income housing tax credit investment through the Community Capital Group in partnership with Raymond James Tax Credit Funds.
The funds will assist in the development of a four-story building that will include the one-bedroom apartments. The main floor also will have a large community room, an exercise room, a common laundry room, and property management and residential services offices.
“The development of Project HOME’s newest affordable housing community in Northern Philadelphia addresses the threat of homelessness and the devastating impact it can have on any young person starting out in life,” said Mark McBride, vice president for TD Bank. “We are proud to partner with an organization that shares TD Bank’s values. We hope that by promoting diversity in our communities and making inclusion a core value, we can send a powerful message of encouragement to others."
The development is named after the first director of the city's Office of LGBT Affairs.
Project HOME is planning a second phase that will provide 40 units of affordable housing for adults who have experienced homelessness.
Pro bono legal counsel provided by the Reed Smith law firm enabled Project HOME to successfully navigate an acquisition process complicated by the bankruptcy of the North Philadelphia Health System, the previous owner of the parcel.