Parkside community celebrates completion of affordable housing project Centennial Village

"This has been 11 years of blood, sweat and tears."

Justin Udo
August 23, 2018 - 3:43 pm
Centennial Village

Justin Udo | KYW Newsradio

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WEST PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A West Philadelphia neighborhood is celebrating the opening of a housing development that is more than a decade in the making.

Fifty-one affordable housing rental units now sit at the corner of 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue in the Parkside section of Philadelphia. For the last 11 years, residents in the neighborhood fought to get rid of dilapidated buildings in their community and replace them with updated housing.

"This has been 11 years of blood, sweat and tears," said Lucinda Hudson, acting executive director of the Parkside Association of Philadelphia. "We finally made it. We are so happy. I have goosebumps."

Hudson was instrumental in the development of Centennial Village, a more than $20 million project of new housing and mixed-use buildings, which are helping to change the face of the neighborhood. Her mission for Centennial Village is to focus on housing for seniors, people who were formerly homeless, and people with disabilities.

"I wanted to get rid of the blighted block," she said. "It had been blighted and dilapidated for 30 years."

They worked to change the aesthetics of the blighted parts of the neighborhood, without dislocating the people who already called the neighborhood home.

"We tried to make sure that we just weren't making housing for market rate. We wanted to make sure low-income, moderate-income people could afford decent housing."

At Thursday's ribbon-cutting, Hudson emphasized the importance of making sure neighborhood residents could afford one of the new places and would not be gentrified out of their community.

"Many of the people in this neighborhood got those places — that is what I fought for," she added.

Centennial Village is comprised of a 30-unit apartment building, a mixed-use building with six residential units, and two commercial spaces.