CCP, PHA partner for first-of-its-kind housing program for community college students
The program provides low-cost apartments for housing insecure students at the Community College of Philadelphia.
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The Community College of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Housing Authority are celebrating a new innovative housing program for its students.
Officially named the Shared Housing Partnership, it is the first income-based housing that is managed and maintained by a local housing authority that exclusively serves community college students.
The grand opening of the second row home — the first of which was opened last fall — will provide low-cost apartments for housing insecure students at CCP, but with a focus on students who have experience in the foster care system.
“As the largest public institution of higher education in the City of Philadelphia, we are proud to offer our most vulnerable students safe and affordable housing options,” said Dr. Donald Generals, CCP President.
Through this partnership with the PHA, students will be paired with a support coach who will help them better navigate life not only at the College, but also to ensure that they receive the necessary social-emotional support and safety networks of others their age.
“We are doing everything in our power to ease the burdens our students face and make it easier for them to continue their studies and realize their dreams,” added Dr. Generals.
The newly renovated row home is located at 525 North 11st Street, and contains three, three-bedroom apartments. Each of which is on its own floor. The students in each apartment will share a common living area, kitchen and bathroom, and have separate bedrooms.
Rent will be based on 30% of their incomes. It was also noted that no student will pay more than $125 a month for rent, and in most cases, it will typically be much less.
The 11th Street location will be able to house up to nine students. The first row home is currently fully leased with seven students. Utilities are paid for by the PHA.
“The Shared Housing Partnership is an approach that dismantles some of the barriers to college completion that are unique to homeless and housing-insecure college students, and undermine their ability to succeed,” said Kelvin A. Jeremiah, President and CEO of PHA.
“Financial setbacks and homelessness force many low-income students to drop out of college. This partnership provides them a foothold and a chance to transition, through education, to self-sufficiency and permanent housing. When college students succeed, everyone in our community benefits.”
In addition to having access to safe, quality and affordable housing, eligible students enter into a stability plan and are paired with a College program coordinator to aid their transition out of shared housing and into more stable, permanent residence.
The College will monitor and assess the initiative’s success based on the students’ retention and graduation rates, as well as their success transitioning to permanent housing.
To this end, students will also receive special wraparound support services to ensure they succeed at the College, including support for students with experience in the foster care system; free assistance with health insurance, food resources, cash and other subsidies; academic advising and academic-related counseling services; and assistance with scholarships and career readiness support.
Students also have received a one-time stipend from the Charles G. Berwind Foundation for household items such as pots and pans, and technology needs such as laptops.