JBJ Soul Homes is Philly’s Newest Low-Income Housing
By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
November 13 was the official ground breaking for a new mixed-use project on a half-acre triangular block located at the intersection of Broad Street, Fairmount and Ridge Avenues in the Francisville neighborhood and close to Philadelphia’s iconic Divine Lorraine building.
Called the “JBJ Soul Homes,” the 75,000-square-foot project is a joint venture between homeless social service agency Project H.O.M.E. and People for People, a local non-profit organization that provides social assistance for low-income Philadelphia residents. The $20 million development is backed by a combination of public and private grants from the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, the Middleton Partnership, US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the City of Philadelphia.
Designed by architecture firm Kitchen and Associates to achieve LEED Silver certification, the JBJ Soul Homes building will comprise of 47 energy-efficient apartments of 521 square feet each and eight one-bedroom units, all of them catering to low-income families and homeless people. The commercial component will include 5,500 square feet of office space for 30 Project H.O.M.E. staff members, as well as nearly 12,000 square feet of ground floor retail space managed by People for People, Inc.
Once completed in November 2013, JBJ Soul Homes will assist Philadelphia’s efforts to become the first major city in the U.S. to eliminate homelessness. According to data published on the Project H.O.M.E. website, the number of homeless individuals currently living in Philadelphia in public shelters or on the streets is estimated at 4,000, as compared to 15,000 back in 2005.
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Rendering of JBJ Soul Homes courtesy of Kitchen and Associates