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March 10, 2006


On March 9, 2006 the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) awarded the Archdiocese of Philadelphia a tax credit allocation of $12 million for the development of affordable senior housing at the former St. John Neumann High School site (26th and Moore Streets in South Philadelphia). Additional funding has been provided by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the City of Philadelphia.

St. John Neumann Place is a collaborative effort between the Archdiocesan Office for Community Development and Catholic Health Care Services. Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will add St. John Neumann Place to their family of outstanding long term care facilities, assisted living and community based services. This development marks the first time the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has utilized Section 42 tax credits for the adaptable reuse of vacant church property.

"I am heartened by the partnership of business, government, local residents and the Church that makes St. John Neumann Place possible," said Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia. "This initiative responds to the needs of seniors and is an excellent use for the former high school. I am hopeful that while advancing the mission of the Church we will also contribute to the quality of life in this South Philadelphia neighborhood."

St. John Neumann Place will provide safe and affordable housing for seniors 62 and older. Construction on the $16.9 million project is anticipated to begin in fall 2006. The renovations include the demolition of the school gym, auditorium, and the priory. The remaining classroom area would be converted into the senior residence with 75 one bedroom apartments. The building, complete with community rooms, a worship space, off street parking, and some green space, will be available for occupancy in late 2007.

The creation of St. John Neumann Place will benefit the larger community, offering an affordable housing option to seniors in an area where real estate values are rising. Operations will not be subsidized, but rather will be funded by the rental income. This development will ensure that affordable quality housing remains part of a larger, mixed-housing strategy for many years to come. Local residents have expressed great support for the development and appreciation that the Church continues to be a presence in their neighborhood.

In a January 2004 in a letter to Cardinal Rigali, the people living in the vicinity of the former St. John Neumann High School requested that the Archdiocese consider the development of this site to benefit the elderly of their community. This request was consistent with Norm 48 of the Tenth Synod of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia which states: The Archdiocese through Catholic Human Services is to explore the adaptable reuse of vacant archdiocesan facilities into affordable housing for older adults and persons requiring special assistance to meet daily living needs.


Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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