Community Ventures (CV) was established in May 1987 to develop low and moderate income housing in cooperation or joint ventures with neighborhood organizations. Community Ventures works with its neighborhood-based partners over a period of several years, planning and building a critical mass of housing, and, increasingly, related uses such as community gardens and retail space, to stabilize and improve the local community. Our first long term effort was in Philadelphia’s Francisville neighborhood.
CV completed its first two projects, Francisville Associates and Francisville Rainbow, in 1990, with nearly $1.2 million in city subsidies. These two projects created fifty-four scattered-site affordable rental units in Francisville. Over the next twenty-one years, CV completed eight more projects in Francisville, offering an additional 154 affordable houses and apartments, both for-sale and rental. These projects brought the total number of dwelling units built or renovated by CV in Francisville to 208.
While CV focused most of its efforts during its first decade on Francisville, the organization has developed partnerships in several Philadelphia neighborhoods in more recent years. It has renovated or built new housing in South Philadelphia east of Broad, the Susquehanna area of North Philadelphia, Germantown, Point Breeze and West Parkside, in all cases working with local community organizations.
CV has successfully constructed or rehabilitated over 380 homes for affordable rental or homeownership. Philadelphia has changed dramatically during CV’s corporate lifetime, and CV has changed along with its hometown, placing new emphasis on environmental sustainability and affordability in the face of gentrification, while maintaining a focus in all of its projects on high-quality planning and community improvement.