The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) awarded $1,197,172 in Low Income Housing Tax Credits for a new affordable housing community, 1528 West, in Allentown, Pa. The community, which is being developed by HDC MidAtlantic and Alliance for Building Communities, Inc. (ABC), will add 49 affordable apartments for seniors 55+ with an established preference for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

“A safe, affordable place to call home is the cornerstone of stability and growth,” said Dana Hanchin, President and CEO of HDC. “We cannot do the work of creating affordable housing for residents without partners, and we are happy to be working closely with Alliance for Building Communities, Inc. and The Eastern Pennsylvania Down Syndrome Center (EPDSC) on 1528 West. This is the first HDC community designed expressly to serve adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are thrilled to be filling this critical need in Allentown.”

EPDSC, a Trexlertown nonprofit that connects individuals with Down syndrome with medical, educational, and support services, started the search for a housing option that allowed adults with IDD to live independent, inclusive and meaningful lives. EPDSC’s “The Housing Initiative” is comprised of a small group of parents and is working closely with HDC and ABC to develop this community.

“Housing options for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities is very limited in the Lehigh Valley, and we recognized the need for these individuals to have a place where they can live independently,” said Bill Meltzer of EPDSC. “Housing like this is a stepping stone for residents to reach their full potential and transform society’s misconception of the capabilities of people with IDD.”

This new affordable housing community will be located adjacent to the Community Music School in the 1500 block of Hamilton Street in Allentown. The property is owned by local entrepreneur Mark Smith. It will be close to public transportation, local stores, restaurants and more to promote independence.

1528 West also received more than $800,000 in National Housing Trust Funds, and $250,000 in HOME funds from the City of Allentown. The development is supported by several local community service organizations and stakeholders including the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living and others. The total development costs are estimated to be $14 million.

“1528 West is a great example of community partnerships coming together to revitalize neighborhoods in Allentown, creating diverse communities where all people can thrive,” said Brad Fatzinger, Executive Director of ABC.

The affordable housing community at 1528 West will include 35 one-bedroom apartments and 14 two-bedroom apartments. Approximately six of those apartments will comply with Americans with Disabilities Act design standards.

Amenities will include professional on-site property management, 24/7 on-call maintenance, a spacious community room, and a fully-funded resident services program designed to enhance residents’ quality of life, connect them with local resources, and build healthy communities.

PHFA also awarded $1,250,000 in Low Income Tax Credits to HDC MidAtlantic for development of The Apartments at College Avenue in Lancaster, Pa. The new 60-apartment affordable housing community is Phase One of a larger plan to redevelop the former UPMC/St. Joseph’s hospital site into a mixed-use site.