Penn Community Bank & PHDC Creating More Affordable Homeownership Opportunities


A keychain with a home on it in a door.
Image via iStock.
Turn the Key is a public-private partnership funded through the City’s Neighborhood Preservation Initiative to help up to 1,000 Philadelphia families become first-time homebuyers. City of Philadelphia employees get first preference.
Logo Penn Community Bank.

Recently, the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation and the City of Philadelphia celebrated Turn The Key’s expansion across the city with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.

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

“The Turn the Key Program is working,” said David Thomas, President & 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 of whom serve the City of Philadelphia, the option to buy a brand-new home while paying lower than what they may currently be paying in rent! This program is a win-win for the city and the residents.” 

The Turn the Key development on Wharton Street creates 26 units with prices ranging from $230-250K. All the homes are three bedrooms, two full baths, and 17 of the 26 include basements.

“Community banks play a critical role in forging a path to fair and equitable housing for as many people as possible. In close collaboration with nonprofits, local governments, and dedicated developers, financial institutions like Penn Community Bank can serve as catalysts of change,” said Bernard Tynes, Penn Community Bank Chief Marketing and Impact Officer.

“We are committed to making this dream of homeownership a reality for families throughout the region, including here in Philadelphia because we know that accessible housing is the key to thriving and sustainable communities. Together, we’re helping families create generational wealth with homeownership, one mortgage at a time.”

“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.”

“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.”

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.

Turn the Key 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. 

“As real estate developers, our company is incredibly proud to partner with the city of Philadelphia to deliver high-quality, new construction homes to hard-working citizens, at an affordable price,” said Brennan Tomasetti, Owner, Civetta Property Group.

“As Philadelphians, my husband and I are proud to know our city is committed to implementing innovative solutions, focused on resolving the affordable crisis our city – and the majority of cities, across the country – are facing.”  

For more information on Turn the Key, please visit: Turn The Key – MAKING PHILADELPHIA BETTER BLOCK BY BLOCK (

Read more about Penn Community Bank community initiatives at Penn Community Bank

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