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Planning and Development Consultants
sh@shuffman-associates.com    215 772-1311




Recent Housing Studies

Market Studies for HOPE VI Applications. Over the past six years, we have been part of the planning teams for a number of HOPE VI applications throughout the Middle Atlantic region. Cities where we've done these market studies required by HUD include Philadelphia, Coatesville, and Chester in Pennsylvania, and Atlantic City, Camden, and Newark in New Jersey. We have returned to many of these sites year after year to assess the markets for sales housing for mixed finance applications to HUD, and for applications for Low Income Housing Tax Credit financing to state housing finance agencies.

The Coatesville, PA HOPE VI is our poster child for a successful HOPE VI development. We’ve worked on it periodically since 1997, and have had the opportunity to see it grow. The plan, developed by Calthorpe Associates, called for replacing a concrete public housing project at the top of the City’s highest hill with new market rate and subsidized sales housing, rehabilitating dilapidated houses throughout the project area, and revitalizing Lincoln Highway, the City’s historic “main street”. We’ve helped out with market studies for sales and rental housing, as well as for retail commercial uses on Lincoln Highway.

 

Coatesville Low Income Housing Tax Credit Market Study for Residential Use over Retail. The development of second floor residential space over first floor retail space is one of the hardest of all redevelopment efforts. The Community Builders did it on Lincoln Highway in Coatesville with the help of Low Income Housing Tax Credit financing from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. We did the market study, and twenty-two units were renovated on the second and third floors of five commercial buildings. Lincoln Highway has a whole new look.

 
 

Market Studies for Low Income Housing Tax Credit financing in Philadelphia and Berks County, PA, and Camden, NJ. Market studies are required by law for submissions for financing under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. Each state housing finance agency has somewhat different requirements, but they generally include an analysis of the demographics of the market area, a review of the experience of other nearby affordable rental housing, and a site analysis to determine if there are nearby support services for the housing. We’ve done many of these market studies. Among the most challenging were a market study for the rehabilitation of a historic warehouse in North Philadelphia whose target market was emerging artists, and a market study for housing for the disabled in Amity, Berks County.

The Marketability of Efficiency Units for the Elderly. Ardmore House for the Elderly has a 20-year contract with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development that expires in 2006. At that time residents will receive vouchers or certificates. Ardmore House is concerned that its efficiency units will no longer be marketable under this scenario. It asked S. Huffman Associates to address this issue. After concluding that the efficiency units would be difficult to rent, the firm, with the assistance of an architect, proposed design and non-design solutions to the problem ranging from reconfiguring storage space to restructuring the rent roles.

Market Study for Market Rate Housing in Eastern North Philadelphia. The Friends Rehabilitation Program proposed a 90 unit sales and rental housing project targeting a mix of incomes. Because this part of Eastern North Philadelphia has seen considerable publicly financed redevelopment over the past eight years, the key questions concerned the neighborhood’s current image, and the extent to which the market can be pushed at this location. S. Huffman Associates researched and analyzed the demographics of the neighborhood, and tracked the sales and rental history of other new nearby developments. Because the proposed development will be qualitatively different from anything else that has been attempted in North Philadelphia, two focus groups of prospective buyers were held to discover issues that would impact sales, to identify the locations that are most marketable, and to prioritize standard and optional amenities. Conclusions were that the market has begun to turn in Eastern North Philadelphia because of the level of investment that has taken place, and that the development should reach its sales projections.

Brewerytown. In the western part of Lower North Philadelphia, once home to a thriving brewing industry, market forces are once more taking hold. S. Huffman Associates was asked to do a market study as part of a larger neighborhood plan for the four Brewerytown blocks that form the boundary between private reinvestment and disinvestment. A detailed analysis of housing values and recent sales was undertaken, and recommendations were made on achievable market rate sales prices for housing in the four blocks.

Market Study for Philadelphia Neighborhood Enterprise Development. S Huffman Associates was asked to conduct a study of the market for housing to be developed under a Nehemiah grant in the West Poplar section of North Philadelphia. Findings were used by the client to determine the unit configurations and the prices for the project, as well as the content of pre-purchase counseling. Unlike most of the early subsidized sales housing in North Philadelphia, the Nehemiah project had a successful sales history.

For Additional Projects,

you can view our recent history archive links below:
Housing

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S. Huffman Associates

Susan M. Huffman, Principal
Planning and Development Consultants
Phone: 215 772-1311
Fax: 215 772-1420
sh@shuffman-associates.com
 

230 South Broad Street, Suite 303
Philadelphia PA 19102


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