Renovation and new ownership will focus on promoting the health of the residents
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Vitus, a national developer and owner of affordable housing, announced the preservation and planned renovation of John Fox Towers, apartments for low-income seniors in Philadelphia, Pa. The 273 units, located at 22 S. 22nd Street, will remain affordable for another 30 years. Due to an extension of the Housing Assistance Payment contract, with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 95 percent of the units will be occupied by residents paying no more than 30 percent of their household income on rent.
“At Vitus, we seek out communities like Philadelphia where the availability of quality affordable housing is at risk. We work hard not just to acquire and preserve these housing units, but also to improve the lives of residents,” said Stephen Whyte, Managing Director for Vitus. “We are excited to bring John Fox Towers residents significant physical improvements and amenities that improve the health and wellness of our residents.”
Disruption to residents will be minimal—they will not have to move during the renovation process. John Fox Towers serves 366 residents, with 6 percent of units housing seniors with disabilities. The upgrade will renovate 259 unit interiors, including updated cabinets, ENERGY STAR appliances, water saving plumbing fixtures, new fiberglass tubs, LED lighting, flooring and new windows. Vitus will also add 14 ADA compliant apartment homes with roll-in showers and six units for hearing and visually impaired residents.
In addition to preserving and improving the quality of the existing affordable housing stock, Vitus promotes wellness-centered communities that provide residents more opportunities to make healthy choices. Vitus will install “active design” amenities at John Fox Towers, including an indoor community garden and activity space with a kitchenette, and a remodeled library and computer room. The Towers will also receive a new roof, HVAC systems, hot water generation system and trash compactor, along with exterior ENERGY STAR lighting.
As one of the first affordable housing developers to commit to the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), Vitus Group works to build healthier communities across the country by incorporating active design elements into at least 80 percent of its future projects. PHA, founded in conjunction with former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! program, works with the private sector to make the healthier choice the easy choice. Vitus is also working with the Center for Active Design for technical support in planning the onsite features for specific communities and properties.
John Fox Towers is owned by Philadelphia Joint Board, Workers United, and managed by Prudent Property Managers, who have operated and maintained the property’s affordable housing since its construction in 1967.