As the development in Northern Liberties seems to seep in all directions and inspire development projects in the Spring Garden/West Poplar/Spring Arts (we have some new info about this area coming soon) and Fishtown neighborhoods, the Norris Square Civic Association is playing its part in making progress for its community in Kensington.

Looking west

It has plans to break ground this spring (perhaps by May 1) on the construction 10 single-family homes at 312 – 423 W. Susquehanna Ave., according to Maria Camoratto, director of real estate development for NSCA. Five of the homes are earmarked for low-income housing, which means for people who make under 50% of the Philadelphia Average Median Income (AMI – average income of household), which was about $36K from 2006-2010. The other five homes are priced for low-low-income housing, which is defined as for families that makes less than 80% of AMI, Camoratto said. The three-story homes (or two-story with the third being sort of a half-story, half-terrace) will feature three-bedrooms and private parking in the rear.

300 block of Susquehanna, south side

400 block of Susquehanna, south side

400 block of Susquehanna, north side

The folks at Norris Square Civic run some of the most accessible affordable housing programs in the city. It has its own housing counseling branch where employees help residents who face hurdles obtain respectable housing. It also offers adult and childcare services, with much of its programming funded by city, state and federal dollars.

As developers and entrepreneurs wield their capital in the areas in and around Northern Liberties, it’s nice to see a civic association assist its residents in an area that isn’t currently so desirable for private capital. By providing area residents resources to find and supplements to afford affordable housing, as well as the physical construction of some of those units, Norris Square Civic fights blight and strengthens the core of their neighborhood.

–Lou Mancinelli