Chester County Awards $3.4 Million in Support of Two Affordable Housing Developments

Affordable housing© susandaniels / Getty Images / Canva

WEST CHESTER, PA — In a continued effort to provide affordable housing options for families and seniors in Chester County, the Commissioners this week awarded $3.4 million towards two separate developments.

The developments, one located in Caln Township and the other in Phoenixville, will offer units that are affordable to those earning low-to-moderate incomes. This funding is part of Chester County’s larger goal to provide more than 1,000 affordable housing units over the next five years.

Chester County Commissioners Chair Marian Moskowitz announced $1.9 million in funding for Willows at Valley Run, the first of two phases with 60 apartments, and $1.5 million for Phoenixville Senior Housing, a 62-plus community with 50 apartments. The funds will go towards construction of the complexes.

“The awarding of this funding underscores our commitment to families and seniors struggling to remain a part of this community that we all love,” said Moskowitz. She noted that the county is committed to keeping families together and providing seniors with a place to age in their community.

According to the Chester County Department of Community Development, the housing funds distributed by the department on the Commissioners’ behalf will focus on households earning between 20% and 60% of the area’s median income. It was also noted that the money awarded comes from a combination of sources, including the county’s housing trust and the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program.

The housing trust fund dollars are generated by a fee paid on every mortgage and refinance recorded in the county. These funds are used solely for the development of affordable housing. Consequently, this week’s distribution of funds will help many low- and moderate-income residents in Chester County have access to quality, affordable housing. Moskowitz said that these developments will provide much-needed affordable housing in Chester County.

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County Commissioner Josh Maxwell stated that the county joined HUD’s House America program in recognition of the need for cities and counties to do more to make affordable housing available. He said that the county is moving aggressively to help developers meet the need. Maxwell additionally stated that the county is committed to meeting the goals of the House America program.

Developers submit competitive proposals to apply for the money. The Commonwealth will match those funds with Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Construction on both Willows at Valley Run and Phoenixville Senior Housing is set to begin this fall – two other affordable homes opened earlier than expected thanks largely due these incentives offered said County Commissioner Kichline.

The opening of Pinkney Hill Commons in West Chester in September will mark the first County-funded affordable housing development of this size in the borough since 2010. With 51 units, the $5.5 million project is a much-needed addition to the area’s housing stock.

Shortly after Pinkney Hill Commons opens, Red Clay Manor in Kennett Square, with 60 senior apartments, will also be ready for occupancy. These two developments represent a significant investment by the County in affordable housing, and are expected to have a positive impact on the lives of many families and individuals in the community.

Another county partner, Habitat for Humanity has also been busy developing affordable homes for sale. Habitat expects to see the remaining four homes of 68 built at Cambria Terrace in the City of Coatesville and the Borough of South Coatesville before the end of the year. And Habitat’s Fuller Meadows townhome development in West Grove has sold the first 10 affordable homes, with 30 more coming in phases.

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