A comprehensive neighborhood revitalization effort that addresses the negative impacts of two distressed public housing complexes that dominated Coatesville and South Coatesville physically and psychologically for more than 30 years.
The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) has been active in the City of Coatesville and Borough of South Coatesville, PA since the mid-1990s and assisted the Housing Authority with its successful 1997 HOPE VI grant application to HUD. The Coatesville Area HOPE VI Program was shaped through community design workshops attended by public housing residents and neighbors, public officials, and private stakeholders.
The HOPE VI program consists of three phases. The first phase, Garnet Terrace, features 47 modern rental homes renovated from the shells of the Woodland/Parkway Homes public housing project. Built in 1967, Woodland/Parkway Homes suffered from poor land planning and site development, poor delineation of public and private space, and difficult access to community facilities. The renovation produced 47 rental homes, primarily townhouses, an on-site property management office and community room, community garden, basketball court, and laundry facilities. Downtown Revival, the second phase of the HOPE VI Program, features 22 apartments over six downtown commercial spaces. This phase required the substantial renovation of five historic structures utilizing the historic tax credit and reconstruction of a sixth structure.
Cambria, the HOPE VI Revitalization Plan’s final phase, consists of 84 new, detached, for-sale homes on the former Oak Street public housing site. This undertaking involved demolition of the public housing superblock structures by the Housing Authority, major site and public infrastructure improvements by TCB, including coordinating the planning and building of the new Valley View Park (an inter-municipal public park), and construction and sale of new homes by TCB and by Habitat under contract with TCB. Of the 84 total homes, 39 were completed by or before December 2009, including 33 public housing replacement homes. Habitat for Humanity of Chester County is completing the final 45 homes via a July 2010 purchase of those lots. Residents of a wide range of incomes benefit from Cambria, from the Habitat model to full market rate buyers. In addition to Master Planner and Developer roles, TCB established and ran the homeowners’ association until the sale of remaining lots to Habitat. Support services were provided by Housing Partnership of Chester County under a fee per successful homebuyer closing agreement.