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Presby’s Inspired Life Revitalizes City Block with Low-Income Senior Housing Community in South Philadelphia

LAFAYETTE HILL, PA–Today, Presby’s Inspired Life, along with Councilman Mark Squilla and residents, celebrated the grand opening of Cantrell Place in South Philadelphia. The site of the new buildings, located on the same street where Mayor Kenney grew up, has revitalized a city block by transforming 33 vacant lots into 61 units of Affordable Housing for Philadelphia seniors.

The grand opening celebration included remarks from Councilman Squilla, who was instrumental in securing city funding to bring this project to fruition. In addition, remarks were given by City Representative Sheila Hess, Office of the City Representative; Executive Director Greg Heller, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority; Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development; Director of Eastern Region Nancy Twyman, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency; and Senior Executive VP & Chief Development and Operating Officer Lopa Kolluri, Philadelphia Housing Authority.

In development since 2011, Cantrell Place meets a critical need for quality Affordable Housing for seniors in South Philadelphia. A majority of the new Cantrell Place residents waited in line overnight to receive an application. A portion of the apartments were set aside for homeless and mobility- and sensory-impaired seniors.

“There is a housing crisis in the city of Philadelphia, and no group is more impacted by this crisis than seniors,” said Judee M. Bavaria, President & CEO of Presby’s Inspired Life. “It is estimated that the older adult population is set to outpace Millennials over the next decade, and we know that affordable, quality housing is at a premium. Not many developers are responding to this need with more urgency than Presby’s Inspired Life.”

“I’m very pleased that there will be Affordable Housing options for seniors in the neighborhood where I spent my childhood,” said Mayor Kenney. “The grand opening of Cantrell Place will make it that much easier for longtime residents to remain in their neighborhoods, which is a priority of our Housing Action Plan. I’m thankful for the work of Presby’s Inspired Life in providing access to housing for those who need it most.”

Presby’s portfolio includes 36 Affordable Housing communities in the greater Philadelphia region — most of which boast wait lists twice, sometimes triple, the number of units available. Presby was awarded tax-credit funding from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency in July 2016 to develop Cantrell Place. The developer is Domus.

Bavaria added, “Cantrell Place is one example of how we are fulfilling a critical need for quality Affordable Housing for older adults in Philadelphia, and we are able to do this with help from local officials and organizations, like Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Philadelphia Housing Authority, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

Presby’s Inspired Life, a not-for-profit, faith-based organization, currently provides continuing care and Affordable Housing for more than 3,000 people 62 and better, across more than 30 communities throughout greater Philadelphia. The organization has been serving the Philadelphia community for more than 60 years.

Cantrell Place received the 2018 “Best Affordable Housing Deal” from the Philadelphia Business Journal.