04/30/14 - NewCourtland Celebrates the Opening of the LIFE Allegheny Center and Breaks Ground on Affordable Senior Housing Next Door

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PHILADELPHIA, PA April 30, 2014 - NewCourtland, a non-profit provider of community services, affordable senior housing, and skilled nursing care celebrated the opening of its newest LIFE (Living Independently for Elders) Center today while also breaking ground on a new, 60-unit, affordable senior housing complex next door.

Located at 1900 W. Allegheny Avenue in North Philadelphia, the LIFE Center and proposed seven-story apartment complex anchor the 5.5 acre Allegheny Senior Community and embody NewCourtland’s commitment to combining affordable senior housing with supportive services wherever possible and appropriate.

“The need for high-quality, affordable senior housing in Philadelphia cannot be overstated,” said Gail Kass, president & CEO of NewCourtland.  “And by linking new housing with supportive services such as LIFE, NewCourtland is providing an innovative and efficient way for Philadelphia seniors to age safely and affordably in the place they call home.”

The NewCourtland LIFE program provides a broad range of healthcare and supportive services to seniors with a focus on keeping them in their own homes and communities.

“Philadelphia has the highest proportion of seniors of any major city in the U.S.,” noted Bonnie Rose, Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary, Office of Long-Term Living. “More and more of those seniors and their families want the option of staying in their own home and having access to the medical care they need. NewCourtland has been a leader in advancing that model both in housing and care.”

“Congratulations to all of the partners who worked so hard to make this project happen,” said Alan Greenberger, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development.  “This is exactly the type of public-private partnership that combines resources with strong providers to serve communities throughout Philadelphia.  The City will continue to invest in our seniors to ensure high quality care and to ensure that they are able to continue their life without concern of sustainable and affordable housing.”

The Apartments at Allegheny, slated to open in 2015, will offer spacious and modern one-bedroom apartments for low-income seniors age 62 and older.  A preference will be given to those applicants in need of supportive services, such as the LIFE program.

“At LIFE, participants can visit their doctor, undergo physical therapy, participate in activities, get their hair done, and share a meal with friends,” said Silvia Boswell, director of the LIFE Allegheny Center.  “And with new housing on the way, many seniors will have the chance to do all of this and more without ever leaving the campus.”

Additional plans for Allegheny Senior Community, which stands of the site of a former suit factory that closed in 1991, include construction of 45 new affordable senior housing units, as well as further development of the ground floor of the new apartment building.

“Residents of this community lived with what was basically a blighted site for all those years until NewCourtland began building the LIFE Center,” said 8th District Councilwoman Cindy Bass. “The people who work here at Allegheny and who eventually will live here are creating new life for this block and this community.”

Funding for the $5.6 million LIFE Center came from NewCourtland as well as the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, PNC Bank, and $1 million through Pennsylvania’s Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).

A number of funders are also helping to finance the apartments, including the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Housing Authority, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and PNC Bank.

“All of us at PNC value our relationship with New Courtland and the opportunity to have provided the New Markets Tax Credit financing for the LIFE Allegheny Center,” said Karin Takiff, Senior Vice President, PNC Healthcare. “We are also quite literally invested in this project, having provided the equity for the Apartments at Allegheny. Sometimes developers get so caught up in budgets, plans and what color to paint the walls in the exercise room that they forget the real focus: the future residents. However, the residents are where our friends at New Courtland begin and they never lose that focus. For that, they have earned our admiration and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work with them to further improve the community through the high quality development that will soon stand before us.”

"This is a celebration of both the present and the future," said Kass.  "The LIFE Center, the apartments, and the campus will immediately serve the needs of today's seniors.  And we believe NewCourtland's model of combining housing with supportive services will serve the needs of seniors for many years to come."