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Finding a place to live that meets one’s basic needs and budget can feel like a never-ending challenge. The complexity of lower-income families and individuals extend far beyond simply finding a safe, affordable, and welcoming place to call home. At HDC, we are committed to being an ally in speaking to issues, programs, and policies that improve quality of life of our residents. Issues that we know are important to our residents include:
Housing affordability is something we must take on with empathy and determination. America is facing an affordable housing crisis and as the lack of affordable housing continues to grow, we need to advocate for funding and increased access to affordable housing that moves us all forward. With a shortage of nearly seven million available rental homes, and far too many renters spending half of their income on housing, we must do more. We must do better.
Our policy priorities include:
We know we can’t solve the affordable housing challenge alone. We need champions to help change the conversation around what home means and why it matters. We are committed to educating elected officials to understand the needs and challenges of their constituents. We are here to provide solutions that work and offer affordable housing expertise that demonstrates the impact policy decisions have on lower-income families, seniors and those with disabilities. We work closely with and participate in alliances and coalitions to educate and advance shared policy priorities. Our advocacy partners include:
Every voice matters. At HDC, we are committed to raising up resident voices and opening doors so that residents can actively participate in the democratic process, speak out on issues important to them and their communities, and communicate how policies affect their everyday lives. We believe it is important to make the time and space to listen, and to support resident leaders in effectively using their voices. We support resident advocacy opportunities through our Resident Leadership Program, Voter Registration Drives, and holding constituent meetings and tours with elected officials.
Wendy Smith serves as the Vice President of Property Management, responsible for the overall strategic direction for HDC’s management portfolio and the organization’s largest staff team. Previously, Wendy served as Asset and Operations Manager for a leading real estate firm based in New York City which owned over 11,000 affordable homes. Since 2008, Wendy has held roles in regional level operations for commercial and for-profit housing agencies. Wendy holds a degree in International Studies.
In her spare time, Wendy enjoys traveling around the world with her daughter, experiencing diverse food and drink, and learning about different cultures and economies. She loves spending time with her family–including her two cats!
HDC is committed to building a strong organizational culture characterized by unwavering commitment to our mission and service to our community, and where employees are excited to come to work every day. Together we are building a workplace and a team where each person is:
Every employee can influence, initiate, and grow as a leader at HDC. We create pathways for growth and leadership at every level of the organization, including:
We believe a flexible, inclusive, and supportive work environment motivates employees to do their very best. And we invest in our team by providing competitive compensation and a generous benefits package to all employees, including:
Even with stable housing, making ends meet and covering basic needs can be challenging. Our staff share information about and help create access to benefits and programs that can reduce monthly expenses and enhance the quality of life for residents.
By investing time and building trust one-on-one with residents, our resident services staff create opportunities to provide support in accessing benefits such as rental assistance programs, including the PA rent rebate; food benefits for families and seniors; utility assistance programs; and childcare fee assistance. We help navigate what can sometimes be an overwhelming and complex system of social services and government agencies to ensure residents have the resources they need to thrive.
We partner with over 200 organizations such as community action programs, faith communities, and county assistance offices to create many opportunities for partners to bring services and resources to our residents.
These connections create over $750,000 in cost savings to residents each year.
Home is about more than a place—home is a feeling of welcome, belonging, and connection to others. Our team takes care to create opportunities for residents to get to know each other, to build relationships with their neighbors, and to create common dreams for their community. In each community our staff works with residents, local organizations, and faith groups to plan unique opportunities and activities ranging from ice cream socials and cookouts to bingo games and holiday parties.
When residents are connected as neighbors, many seek opportunities to serve and lead within their broader community. We support resident leadership by creating connections to volunteer opportunities, partnering to plan activities, and building pathways for engagement in organizational leadership at HDC. Resident leaders also participate the Community Leadership Institute of NeighborWorks America.
News: Resident leaders and community connection at Duke Manor
Everyone should have access to nutritious and healthy food, but many households living on a tight budget struggle with food insecurity and access to affordable, healthy choices. No one should have to choose between paying rent and buying groceries for their family, so we work with trusted partners to provide direct access to nutritious food. By partnering with local nonprofits such as the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, the Chester County Food Bank, Helping Harvest, and Meals on Wheels, our communities serve as food hubs for both HDC residents and their neighbors. We are actively looking to expand food bank partnerships to increase access in our housing communities.
HDC currently partners with six organizations to distribute food at 22 of our housing communities, resulting in over 4,500 boxes of food provided for HDC residents and local neighbors annually.
Our residents work hard to secure safe, affordable housing and can wait years to find a home that meets their needs. Often it takes only one emergency or personal crisis to jeopardize a family’s housing stability. At HDC, we have a robust Eviction Prevention Program that helps households that are struggling to pay rent due to an unexpected circumstance, such as a medical emergency, family illness, or job loss. We work closely with our residents to identify steps that will help them move through crisis and create a plan of action to catch up on rent and access other benefits.
Residents enrolled in the Eviction Prevention Program can also apply for direct cash assistance from HDC’s Hope and Opportunity Fund to offset short term financial challenges. Our research has shown that the average amount of assistance needed to prevent a family from losing their housing is just $600—a small investment to ensure continued stability through a crisis.
Through this program, rooted in trusting relationships between staff and residents, 97% of HDC residents enrolled in the Eviction Prevention Program are still in their home six months later.
News: HDC MidAtlantic puts preventing evictions front and center
HDC is committed to building a positive organizational culture, and making work a place our team wants to be. Together we are building a workplace and a team where each person is:
Beach Run Apartments is under construction in 2020-21 and will feature 51 one-, two-, and three-bedroom general occupancy apartments in Fredericksburg, PA—representing HDC’s second housing community in Lebanon County. Beach Run is funded through Low Income Housing Tax Credit financing from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), with additional key partners including Fulton Bank, CREA, and Arthur Funk and Sons Construction. Total development costs are $14.6 million.
$250,000 awarded through the PA Dept. of Community and Economic Development Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credit program, in partnership with First Citizens Community Bank, M&T Bank, and Truist Bank.
Additional awards include $1,150,000 in PHFA PennHOMES funding, and $500,000 in Lebanon County Act 137 funds.
The development will serve households between 20% and 80% of the Area Median Income of Lebanon County, or an annual income range of about $10,500 to $66,500.
HDC Breaks Ground on Affordable Housing Community in Bethel Township
The Apartments at College Avenue are part of a dynamic plan to transform a former urban hospital campus into a mixed-use, mixed-income development, offering a diverse range of residential, retail, and commercial options to meet the needs of the community. Plans include market-rate and affordable housing options. HDC is partnering with Baltimore-based Washington Place Equities on the development, with HDC serving as the developer and owner of the new-construction affordable housing, proposed in two phases and totaling 120 homes on the master site and on two nearby parcels. Total development costs for Phase One of HDC’s development of affordable housing on the site is estimated to cost $15.4 million, one of the largest developments of new affordable housing in the city during the last 25 years.
Recent news and updates are posted at: collegeavenueplanning.com.
Phase one (5-stories; 64 apartments) financing includes a $1.5 million commitment from The Steinman Foundation, and a $750,000 commitment from United Disabilities Services to expand ADA accessibility.
Development will feature twice the typical number of ADA-compliant apartments, to be set aside for individuals with disabilities.
Steinman Foundation pledges $1.5 million toward 64 affordable apartments on College Ave
Focus of former St. Joseph hospital shifts to planned $90 million project after city OKs rezoning request
At HDC it is important to us to take care of our team, to make the workplace work for each of us, and to show our gratitude for hard work. We provide competitive compensation and a generous benefits package to all employees, including:
Construction of Phase Three of The Flats was completed in 2020, adding seventy-seven new affordable homes for families to The Flats Community in Wilmington, DE—which is a multi-phase development in partnership with the Todmorden Foundation. The development is funded in part through Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the Delaware State Housing Authority (DHSA). Additional partners include Cinnaire and WSFS Bank. Total development costs for this phase were $19.2 million.
First known DHSA approval of solar panels to supply energy for common areas of the community.
This is a redevelopment of a workers housing complex built over 100 years ago. Todmorden and Woodlawn Foundations are affiliations of the original founder. When complete, it will be the single largest affordable housing development in DE.
New York Times: A Teardown Builds up a Delaware Housing Development
With 25 years of experience addressing the complex needs of lower-income communities and building and leading affordable housing initiatives, Dana Hanchin serves as President and CEO of HDC MidAtlantic. Dana considers the mission of providing affordable housing her lifelong work, driven by a sense of justice and love, to meet the overwhelming need. She earned a B.A in Political Science from Kent State University and M.A. in Urban Studies from Temple University. She is also a graduate of Drexel University’s Leading for Change Fellowship program.
When not working, Dana enjoys riding her bike, mixing amazing cocktails, and taking long walks with her wife and two rescue pups, Ellie and Gabe.
Claude Hicks serves as Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development, responsible for the construction, preservation and acquisition of affordable housing. With over 27 years’ experience, he has dedicated the majority of his working life to providing affordable homes to families and seniors in need. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University and Victor Valley College and a veteran of the United States Air Force.
Claude hails from North Carolina and enjoys telling family stories from his Mother’s perspective with an endearing southern drawl. In his spare time, Claude enjoys movies, sports and completing “honey-do lists” that never end.
Kimberly brings more than 25 years of non-profit and human resource expertise to HDC. She is committed to creating a culture of excellence at HDC, empowering employees to perform at their very best with passion and purpose and promoting racial equity, diversity and inclusion across the organization. Kimberly earned a B.A. in theater from Franklin & Marshall College.
Kimberly believes in having fun while working hard at something you believe in, like HDC’s mission. While not at work, she loves spending time with her amazing twin daughters and enjoys salsa dancing with her husband.
Sharlene Woodruff serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. She is HDC’s longest tenured member of the Executive team, working at HDC for over 30 years! Sharlene is responsible for the planning, implementation, managing finance and accounting activities for HDC and its subsidiaries. Sharlene has a degree from Central Penn College.
Sharlene is driven by HDC’s mission and enjoys every minute of her job. When she is not crunching numbers, she enjoys having her dogs take her for a walk and going camping with her husband in their brand spanking new 5th wheel camper.
Debbie Gable serves as Vice President of Resident Services, overseeing a team that provides supports to residents that promote economic mobility, housing stability, and health and wellness. For over 35 years, Debbie has dedicated her career to advancing equity and promoting human dignity through work in nonprofit and social service organizations in York and Lancaster Counties. Debbie earned a B.S. in Individual and Family Studies from Penn State University, and an M.A. in Human Sciences and Psychology from Hood College.
Debbie has an infectious laugh. She has a passion for working along people and finding joy in one’s life no matter the situation. Debbie enjoys storytelling, swimming, taking long walks in the forest and being the best grandmother ever to her three granddaughters.
Chad Martin serves as Vice President of Community Relations, overseeing HDC’s communications, fundraising and advocacy work. He has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector at the board and staff level, working for the common good of the community. Chad is a graduate of Goshen College and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
Outside of HDC, Chad enjoys reading too many books, rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers, working with his hands outdoors, and drinking local spirits.