County OKs $1.77M to support affordable housing in Kennett, WC

The Melton Center Apartments

WEST CHESTER — Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell and Michelle Kichline approved two contracts this week awarding more than $1.7 million in funds to support two affordable housing projects in Chester County.

The two developments are the Melton Center Apartments in West Chester and Red Clay Manor in Kennett Square.

“As one of the wealthiest counties in the state and the nation, Chester County is sought after when it comes to finding a place to live,” Moskowitz said. “But the truth is, not everyone can afford to live here, including those who have grown up here.

“By adding affordable homes to areas like West Chester and Kennett Square, we are promoting diverse, well-rounded communities and strengthening our urban center offerings. The County is pleased to be a partner in backing these two developments.”

Construction of the Melton Center Apartments is set to begin in July and should be completed by September 2021. The development will provide 51 affordable townhouse and apartment rental units in the Borough of West Chester on Market, Manor and Worthington Streets.  Chester County is providing $850,000 in HOME Investment Partnership Program funds through the County’s Department of Community Development.   The total cost of the project is $15.8 million, and the development partners are Church Housing Corp., NRP Group LLC and the Melton Center.

“The beauty of the Melton Center Apartments project is that it represents the best in a partnership with far-reaching community benefits,” said Maxwell.  “Not only will new, affordable homes in this area broaden the mix of people who live here, work here and play here, but it is also a great connection to Chester County’s Decade to Doorways initiative.  It provides additional permanent housing options at affordable rates for those who may be transitioning from homelessness, or those who may be at risk of becoming homeless.

“And because it is located on land owned by the Melton Center, a portion of the rental income generated goes back to supporting programs and operations at the Melton Center, a beloved organization that provides educational, recreational, cultural and civic services within West Chester.”

Red Clay Manor

The second development, the affordable senior housing Red Clay Manor, will receive $920,000 in HOME Investment Partnership Program funds from the Chester County Department of Community Development.  It is scheduled to break ground this fall, and should be completed by the end of 2021.  This project will add 60 affordable rental apartments for seniors aged 62-plus, within the Borough of Kennett Square.  Total cost of this project is $15.9 million, and the development partners are Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, CREA, Citizens Bank and the Housing Authority of Chester County.

“The Borough of Kennett Square is one of Chester County’s many thriving urban centers, and we are pleased to have invested close to $5 million over the past 17 years in community revitalization program funds to help strengthen the town’s infrastructure to enable it to grow and thrive,” Kichline said.

“Many of the older homes in Kennett Square are not practical for senior living because they are multilevel.  Red Clay Manor fills a gap in the borough, allowing seniors to remain there in practical new homes, and at a reasonable cost.

“Not only that,” Kichline said, “but the development adds to Kennett’s successful fabric.”

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