PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NewCourtland, a non-profit provider of community services, affordable housing, a nursing home, education & workforce development for a growing senior population in Philadelphia commenced construction of its third LIFE (Living Independently for Elders) Center today with an official groundbreaking ceremony at 1900 W. Allegheny Avenue in North Philadelphia.
NewCourtland LIFE (known nationally as PACE) provides a broad range of healthcare and other services to seniors in Philadelphia with a focus on keeping them in their own homes and communities. Part of NewCourtland's effort to support seniors seeking to age in place, the NewCourtland LIFE Center will anchor a five acre development proposed to include affordable housing.
The model is touted for its success enabling seniors to avert and/or transition from costly nursing home and hospital care and back into the community where they prefer to live—at a significant savings.
"By expanding the availability of housing linked with supportive services like LIFE, NewCourtland, enables older adults to age safely and affordably with dignity and respect—as independently as possible, for as long as possible—in their own home or community" said Gail Kass, president & CEO of NewCourtland.
Those served by NewCourtland are amongst Pennsylvania's fastest growing demographic, i.e., those 55 and older. Nearly 10% of the state's 3.5 million + seniors reside in Philadelphia which maintains the highest proportion of seniors among the nation's 10 largest cities estimated at 1 in 5 according to the 2010 census.
NewCourtland LIFE currently maintains a 12 zip-code service area primarily in the Northwest section of Philadelphia where it's estimated nearly 2,700 seniors are eligible for LIFE. Of those projected to be eligible for LIFE, nearly 25% reside in 19132 in the community surrounding NewCourtland LIFE at Allegheny.
"NewCourtland's strategy to develop housing anchored by the LIFE Center in one of the most densely populated neighborhoods of dual-eligible seniors not only demonstrates its foresight and commitment to its mission, but dedication to revitalizing a blighted community desperately in need of affordable senior housing," said U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah, 2nd District, Pennsylvania.
"It is private-public partnerships such as this that not only bring much-needed development to Philadelphia, but create vital construction and healthcare jobs for all Philadelphians furthering our community revitalization efforts and strengthening entire neighborhoods," said State Senator Shirley Kitchen, 3rd District, Pennsylvania.
The $5.6M project represents significant development in Philadelphia which NewCourtland achieved with the support of a variety of public and private funding sources including PIDC, PNC Bank, and $1 million through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), now known as the Pennsylvania Economic Growth Initiative.
"PNC Bank is committed to building strong communities and create financial opportunities for individuals, families and businesses through executive leadership, employee volunteerism, and community investments," added Ryanne Shuey, vice president of PNC. "Our investment in the new market tax credits that made this project possible will facilitate economic growth by encouraging future market-rate development in the surrounding community along one of the largest vacant parcels of land in Philadelphia.
"How poetic for us to be here today to break ground to build LIFE," added 8th District Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Philadelphia, who joined others in donning a hard hat and shovel for the ceremony. "I'm so excited to see this site which was once a bustling industrial hub restored to its glory as a symbol of progress, hope and the change that is possible when communities unite towards one common goal and in this community, that goal is revitalization."
NewCourtland LIFE opened its first center in 2007 which it continues to operate out of Germantown House, a senior housing complex managed by Philadelphia Housing Authority. After experiencing record growth, NewCourtland opened its second center earlier this year on its flagship campus, Germantown Senior Community.
The NewCourtland LIFE Center at Allegheny is slated for completion in 2013 when development of the housing component commences.
The NewCourtland Network carries out its healing mission for Philadelphia's seniors by meeting their individual and changing needs through community services, affordable housing, a nursing home and education & workforce development. We honor the staff that work with them and support them by providing training, education and career advancement. For more information visit www.newcourtland.org or call 1-888-530-4913.
Images available upon request.