South Philly Review: Evans secures $13.3 million for 15 community projects

Congressman Dwight Evans has secured more than $13.3 million in federal funding for 15 Philadelphia community projects. The funding is provided in an appropriations bill that passed the House of Representatives and is expected to pass the Senate and be signed into law by President Biden.

“Philadelphia’s great need for affordable housing continues to be a top priority for me, and nearly two-thirds of this project funding will go toward that need,” Evans said. “Seven affordable-housing projects will receive a total of over $8.2 million. While no budget bill is perfect, my vote for this funding package was also a vote to keep the federal government open and providing services to the people.”

Evans made the requests in April 2023 for the current fiscal year. This is the third round of Community Project Funding that Evans has secured for the 3rd Congressional District, which includes Northwest and West Philadelphia and parts of North, South, Southwest and Center City Philadelphia. This brings his three-year total to more than $36 million delivered for the district through the program.

The funding amounts and projects are:

  • $500,000 for the city’s 52nd Street Streetscape Improvement project, which is intended to enhance traffic safety measures, increase community amenities, beautify the area and prioritize public transit safety and access.
  • $1 million for the Abigail Pankey Apartments project of the Women’s Community Revitalization Project in West Philadelphia.
  • $850,000 for the Beacon of Hope Affordable Housing Workforce Development project, which is intended to broaden VETMOTO’s existing services to include building 30 new affordable housing units to support severely underserved women and elderly veterans. 
  • $1,666,279 for the Beech Senior Apartments project by Beech Interplex Inc. to significantly increase the housing opportunities for low-income residents in a real estate environment where aging in place is increasingly difficult.
  • $850,000 for the Bringing the Future of Work to Disconnected Workers project of Philadelphia OIC that will provide state-of-the-art training that will give the residents in the area a distinct competitive advantage in the labor market, easing their connection to work that pays family-sustaining wages and career ladder job opportunities.
  • $2 million for the Compassion Senior Living project of Community of Compassion Inc. The project will address social inequities and local disparities in a direct and measurable way. It will help mitigate climate change with the inclusion of a green roof and energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
  • $1 million for the Lancaster Avenue-Entrepreneurship Resource and Innovation Center project of the Lancaster Avenue 21st Century Business association to create a small business development hub in West Philadelphia that will help startups as well as established businesses grow and ensure early-stage companies become successful.
  • $500,000 for the Lamberton Schoolyard Improvement Project of the School District of Philadelphia to provide low- to moderate-income families in West Philadelphia a space to play and experience science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning.
  • $850,000 for the Lower North Affordable Homeownership Project of Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia Inc. to create critically needed affordable homeownership options for Philadelphians who otherwise would be unable to purchase their homes.
  • $500,000 for the Mt. Airy/Germantown Streetscape Improvement and Reconnection of the Mt. Airy Business Improvement District to improve pedestrian safety along the commercial corridor by adding crossings at seven key intersections.
  • $1 million for the Opportunities Apartments project of the Opportunity Services Corp to meet a critical need for affordable housing among extremely low-income and low-income seniors.
  • $300,000 for the Philly Schools Tree Canopy project of the School District of Philadelphia. Philadelphia’s urban forest removes an estimated 513 tons of air pollution per year, a $19 million annual value. Neighborhoods with fewer trees have higher rates of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Reducing pollution and increasing the tree canopy improves air quality and people’s respiratory health.
  • $900,000 for the ELEVATE – Strawberry Mansion Neighborhood Schoolyard Redevelopment project of The Big Sand Box Inc. to help people’s health by improving environmental conditions.
  • $900,000 for The Apartments at 40th Street Place project of Mt. Vernon Manor Inc. in West Philadelphia to help residents to withstand housing market pressures, with tenant stabilization as a top priority.
  • $500,000 for the Vaux Community Building Auditorium Renovation project of the Philadelphia Housing Authority. The project would provide additional space for the use of the building’s tenant organizations and the broader community, providing space for resident-owned businesses and community organizations.