Affordable housing in Grays Ferry

The ribbon was cut, celebrating the availability of 26 new affordable housing units in the Grays Ferry neighborhood of South Philadelphia.

On Nov. 17, the city and PHDC celebrated Turn The Key’s expansion across the city with a ceremony on site.

Turn the Key is a public-private partnership funded through the city’s Neighborhood Preservation Initiative to help up to 1,000 local families become first-time homebuyers. City of Philadelphia employees get first preference. 

 “The Turn the Key Program is working,” said David Thomas, president and CEO, PHDC. “If you are a middle-income, working-class Philadelphian and you want to buy a home, this current market can be challenging. The housing stock is limited, and many of the homes that have been renovated or newly built are out of the average resident’s price range. This program gives an opportunity for working individuals and families, many who serve the city of Philadelphia, the option to buy a brand new home while paying lower than what they may be currently be paying in rent. This program is a win-win for everyone – the city and the residents.” 

The new development on Wharton Street includes 26 units in a price range of  $230,000-$250,000. All homes are three-bedrooms, two full baths with 17 of those units having a basement.

“I am happy to see the completion of the first 26 homes to be built under ‘Turn the Key’ and they have been built in Grays Ferry in the Second District,” said City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (Second District) “These are the first of 1,000 affordable homes to be built across Philadelphia over the next several years. Philadelphia has experienced a development boom in recent years, and it is important to make sure that we make housing available for citizens of Philadelphia – regardless of their checkbook or pocketbook. I thank Council President Clarke and my colleagues for passing legislation to make this affordable home ownership program a reality. I am looking forward to the progress of the Turn the Key program in the future.”

Turn the Key home prices will not exceed $280,000. Most homes will have three bedrooms and two bathrooms. To increase affordability, 20-year notes placed on Turn the Key properties are forgivable and mortgage buydown assistance funds are available. Participants can also apply for Philly First Home grants of up to $10,000 for down payment and closing costs. The homes are being built on city-owned land in Brewerytown, Grays Ferry, Ludlow, East Kensington, Port Richmond, Sharswood/Blumberg, Wharton, South Philadelphia and West Poplar by private developers selected through an RFP process.

“We’re proud to stand here at another Turn the Key Affordable Home Ownership closing today in South Philadelphia,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke, the architect along with all of Council of the $400 million Neighborhood Preservation Initiative, which includes Turn the Key funding. “We’re not wavering in our goal – 1,000 new affordable homes for deserving and qualifying Philadelphians.”

Interested first-time homebuyers must be income eligible, submit an interest form on and complete housing counseling.