Thursday, August 31, 2017

'A Wonderful Example' Of Ongoing Commitment

The City of Philadelphia’s Division of Housing and Community Development recently selected Catholic Health Care Services (CHCS) and the Office for Community Development (OCD) to receive $2 million in funding for the development of Saint Rita Place, an affordable housing community for independent seniors.

Plans are underway to transform a vacant lot on South Broad and Ellsworth Streets, located next to the National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia, into a five-story mixed-use space that incorporates the Shrine’s vision for the Cascia Center with affordable senior housing. The new construction is being designed by Cecil Baker Partners and will reflect Saint Rita of Cascia Church located adjacent to the south of the site.

The building will consist of 46 one-bedroom apartments for income eligible seniors 62 and older on the second through fifth floors. All units will be Visitable for people with physical disabilities. Through CHCS’ extensive social service experience and connection to an array of programs and partnerships, Saint Rita Place will have a proactive model that anticipates and addresses each resident’s needs.

Located on the ground floor, The Cascia Center will advance justice and peace for those in need of healing. The 7,100 square foot Center will consist of offices, conference rooms, a kitchen, and facilities to serve the needs of individuals and groups who come as religious pilgrims to the National Shrine. The Augustian Friars of Saint Thomas of Villanova will provide services to individuals and families in need of healing. In addition, neighbors can access services offered through Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

“Saint Rita Place and the Cascia Center form a wonderful example of thoughtful, balanced development. While there is tremendous market investment occurring along Broad Street this undertaking remembers the seniors and families living in our community,” said John M. Wagner, Chief Executive Officer of CHCS. 

“The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Augustinian Friars have worked together to create a permanent example of the Church’s commitment to the people of this neighborhood. We are grateful to Mayor Kenney, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and the Division of Housing and Community Development for supporting this work. We remain hopeful we will be awarded a tax credit reservation later this year.”

Construction on the $17.4 million project is anticipated to begin Winter 2019.

Note: Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia provides services and housing for seniors, supporting them to remain in their homes and communities. CHCS services for older adults include senior centers, In-Home Support Program, Parish Eldercare Program, and a growing portfolio of senior living communities. To learn more about Catholic Health Care Services and affordable senior housing, please visit

The National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia serves as a spiritual, educational, social, and cultural center within the South Philadelphia community. For more information on the National Shrine of Saint Rita of Cascia, please visit

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