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September 2, 2014, 8:00 am

Lower-cost houses at home in Point Breeze

Four of 40 new affordable homes in Point Breeze were open to the public last weekend in an open house sponsored by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, which hopes to revitalize an area hit hard by foreclosures.

“These homes represent an opportunity for families of average means to buy a house in a revitalizing neighborhood,” said Ed Covington, executive director of the redevelopment authority.

Construction of the houses, scattered throughout the neighborhood in five developments, was funded through a portion of $43.9 million in federal stimulus money earmarked for neighborhood development. The four model homes were in the 2000 block of Federal Street, the 1300 block of South 18th Street, the 1200 block of South 17th Street and the 1200 block of South 27th Street.

“This is a great example of how the city has used stimulus funds to strategically invest in and strengthen targeted neighborhoods like Point Breeze,” said Covington.

Most of the homes in the five developments will be available to families earning between $45,000 and $50,000 a year. Buyers do not have to be first-time home buyers.

Each property is part of the city’s 10-year tax abatement program, is Energy Star certified with energy efficient windows, doors and appliances. They range in size from two to four bedrooms, most with basements and roof decks.

“These homes will help maintain the affordability of the neighborhood,” said Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who represents the district. “I was pleased that the city targeted the homes first to residents of Point Breeze.”