Reinvestment Fund finances a project with Shift Capital to help preserve naturally occurring affordable housing in Kensington.
In early 2018, Reinvestment Fund closed on a mini-permanent loan of $2.13 million to Shift Capital. Shift Capital is a mission-driven, for-profit real estate firm that provides underinvested urban communities with employment and other measurable social and economic impacts.
Shift has concentrated its efforts in the North Kensington/Juniata Park/Hunting Park neighborhoods of North and Lower Northeast Philadelphia. Kensington has a long history of industrial and commercial activity, and despite decades of disinvestment, remains home to a significant population, largely due to its dense supply of stable, affordable rental housing. A diverse neighborhood, Kensington has a majority (61%) Latino population and almost 60% of households live in poverty. Kensington also faces increased challenges stemming from the growing opioid epidemic.
Although Shift’s primary focus has been reinvestment in larger, industrial properties, it is also committed to preserving and stabilizing the neighborhood’s housing stock and commercial amenities.
With the support of Reinvestment Fund’s financing, Shift Capital has preserved a scattered-site housing and mixed-use portfolio containing 55 units across 45 properties, including 51 residential units and 4 commercial spaces. The properties are clustered in groups near Aramingo Avenue on the western edge of Port Richmond, along Kensington Avenue, and scattered west of Kensington Avenue between Allegheny and Tioga Avenues. The units, which are all for rent, have undergone selective renovations to assure their ongoing quality. The residential units, which range in size from 672 square feet to 1,350 square feet, are affordable to low-income tenants, and are priced on average at $667 per month.