More than housing—we build homes
Truly affordable housing
NKCDC is not your typical real estate developer, or even typical for a nonprofit developing affordable housing.
Our completed projects include Orinoka Civic House—51 rental units in a rehabilitated factory near the Somerset El stop in Kensington—and Coral Street Arts House, 27 live-work spaces in another former factory in nearby East Kensington.
Both properties are truly affordable for their neighborhoods. According to the U.S. Census, the actual median family income in the area is about 30 percent of Philadelphia’s Area Median Income (AMI) as published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Unlike many “affordable” developments in Philadelphia, NKCDC’s rental apartments are appropriately priced between 20 and 60 percent of the published Philadelphia AMI.
A comprehensive approach
NKCDC’s wraparound services also make us distinct. In a real way, all our completed projects are ongoing.
HOUSING SERVICES. For nearly four decades, NKCDC has provided housing counseling—including first-time homebuyer workshops, financial education, and utility, property tax, and rental assistance—to residents of Fishtown, Port Richmond and Kensington. With offices conveniently located near the Somerset El stop (and sharing a building with more than 80 of our residents), NKCDC is able to bring comprehensive housing support to all its tenants.
COMMUNITY RESOURCES. Our support doesn’t end there. We are committed to addressing the social determinants of health in Kensington, and those services are available to residents of our buildings. Our Community Health Workers connect individuals and families to affordable health and wellness resources. Nourish, our healthy food and nutrition education program offers cooking classes, recipes, and nutrition information, as well as occasional deliveries of fresh produce. NKCDC’s Empowerment Hub, located on the ground floor of Orinoka Civic House, provides office hours to legal, financial and benefits organizations to directly serve community members.
HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT. Outside, NKCDC’s Corridor Stewards clean and maintain sidewalks around Orinoka Civic House and throughout the neighborhood, and our Open Space Management team maintains local vacant lots. In the summer, our Community Engagement department works with local nonprofits to provide safe outdoor activities for neighborhood children and youth. Through a grant from Rite Aid Healthy Futures, NKCDC will activate six to eight new community garden spaces in the neighborhood.
DEDICATED STAFF. Most importantly, NKCDC employs a resident services coordinator to stay in contact with tenants, keep regular office hours, and coordinate special events in each building. The friendly relationship is practical as well as personal: At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, when many neighbors suddenly lost their jobs in the retail, hospitality, entertainment and food services industries, NKCDC was able to quickly connect more than half of our tenants to available rental assistance.
Our Completed Projects
Orinoka Civic House is a $17.8 million overhaul of the former Orinoka Mills factory at 2771-2777 Ruth Street, Philadelphia. Once a textile mill for curtains and upholstry, Orinoka now contains 51 units of sustainable, affordable housing, an indoor community space, a commercial storefront and NKCDC offices.
In 2016 Awesometown became the first LEED V4 Homes Platinum Certified project in Pennsylvania. NKCDC partnered with Postgreen Homes to redevelop a former industrial site into a unique mixed-income residential development of 14 sustainable townhomes. Ten were sold at market rate by Postgreen Homes; four were subsidized and sold to qualifying income-eligible homebuyers through NKCDC.
East Kensington Scattered Site Development
In the spring of 2021, NKCDC completed construction on the first of several new townhouses in East Kensington. Like with the Awesometown development, NKCDC is selling several properties at market rate to offset the costs of building four affordable homes.
“Philadelphians are in dire need of reasonably-priced homes,” said Brian Horne, NKCDC’s Acting Director of Real Estate. “NKCDC would like to be developing affordable housing with all its projects, but the city doesn‘t offer enough subsidies for us to break even.”