Mt. Vernon Manor CDC began its involvement with what would become Mantua Preservation Project affordable housing redevelopment in 2016. Early that year, a Mantua resident visited Mt. Vernon Manor CDC’s NAC Office seeking help because they believed that the affordable housing development in which they lived was in the process of being illegally sold by the owner and fearing that the sale would lead to their eviction from the block that their family had called home for decades.
MVMCDC staff investigated the claim and found to their alarm that it was true: the owner of a longstanding affordable housing development in eastern Mantua had been illegally evicting tenants and selling the vacated buildings to developers who sought to convert them into lucrative student housing. Working with city, state, and federal agencies, MVMCDC was able to stop the sale of the threatened properties.
Ultimately, although more than a dozen affordable apartments had been lost to illegal sales that would be legally difficult to void, MVMCDC and its partners were able to save twenty-nine apartments across ten buildings. These properties, once acquired by the federal government, were then put into receivership awaiting the determination of an appropriate final owner. Then, in 2018, Mt. Vernon Manor CDC was selected to acquire, renovate, and steward the builds as permanently affordable rental housing.
The $3 million renovation of the Mantua Preservation Project properties began in 2019 with support from LISC Philadelphia, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, The Reinvestment Fund, Community Lenders, and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and was completed in early 2021.
For information about leasing an apartment at the Mantua Preservation Project, please contact the Leasing Office at 215-222-9054 or visit 3311 Wallace Street, Suite B, Philadelphia, PA 19104.