We are working on the Old First House project in partnership with Community Ventures and DePaul USA.
We received a $2,000,000 grant from the City in 2020, and we received an $11.5 million Low Income Housing Tax Credit award in October 2021.
Community Ventures has been working diligently since that time to finalize the building design, get the final approvals and prepare for construction.
The final Historical Commission approval came in May 2022 and State Historic Preservation Office approval a month later in June. (Both were necessary because of the Old City Historic District.) We also received an amended zoning permit in October for slight changes to the building design.
At the end of October, we received construction bids, which were close to our budget, and we have selected Domus as our general contractor.
Even though construction bids came in on target, our project budget still has a gap in funding sources due to inflation and the continued increases in construction costs and other fees. We have submitted an updated budget to the City’s Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority for their review. We have requested an additional $1,250,000 from DHCD to support this project and are waiting to hear back from them. Everyone assures us that all projects like ours are in a similar situation, and the City and State are determined to figure out how our project can move ahead.
We are also currently working on final submissions for PHDC, PHFA, HUD and our investor and construction lender.
Old First House has been awarded operating subsidies by HUD, which are extremely helpful, but which stretch our timeline for the project closing & construction start to March/April 2023. The construction schedule is 14 months.
Keep praying… that the complicated process keeps moving ahead well, and that we will be welcoming new neighbors in the summer of 2024.