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West Philly Affordable Housing for Artists Breaks Ground

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It's been a decade in the making, but 4050 Haverford, an affordable housing project for artists, finally broke ground today.

"It's been so long coming—I can't tell you how long," Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell said at the groundbreaking. "I've always been for low-income housing because we need it in this area."

The $7.2 million project, dubbed "4050," is located in West Powelton and is designed by PZS Architects. The site, which is currently a vacant lot, will include a three-story building with 20 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units for low-income artists. West Philadelphia is currently home to the second largest community of artists in the city, according to Kathy Desmond, People Emergency Center's (PEC) president.

PEC, which has invested more than $65 million in revitalizing neighborhoods in the area, has spearheaded the project for more than 10 years.

In addition to the apartment units, the building will feature a first-floor community space where the PEC plans to host art classes for local residents. "We're hopeful to provide resources, like after school art programs, to substitute what's not offered in school anymore," Desmond said.

The expected completion date of 4050 Haverford is December 2016.