Now, Habitat for Humanity is part of an effort to transform the area.
The organization is building 20 affordable homes in the Sharswood neighborhood, an effort concurrent with more affordable housing being built in the area.
Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia CEO Corinne O'Connell said families will be able to own something to be proud of.
"Their mortgage with Habitat will probably be about $500 to $550," she said. "It's paid to Habitat, and then those dollars we use to roll forward to help build the next group of homes."
Ishakea Bond, a single mother of three, will be buying one of the first units, which will be completed in August.
"It's part of the larger development initiative that we have for Blumberg-Sharswood," he explained. "It's coming together nicely. As you can see, the 83 units" — a project from PHA — "are well underway."
City Council President Darrell Clark said market value housing is important for the city's growth, but affordable housing projects like this are vital to keeping communities together.