Commissioners OK funds to renovate Liberty House

The Chester County Commissioners have approved $2.8 million in renovation funding for Phoenixville-based Liberty House, for structural improvements and upgrades to the 48 affordable housing units located there.

At last week’s public meeting, Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell, and Michelle Kichline approved more than $2.8 million in contract funding to Pennrose Properties for the capital improvements to, and renovation of Liberty House’s 48 affordable housing units in Phoenixville. The Chester County Department of Community Development will administer the funding for the property updates.

Commissioners Moskowitz, Maxwell and Kichline said, “Renovating Liberty House is crucial to addressing the affordable housing crisis facing individuals with mental illness living in Chester County. This funding will replace the property’s outdated mechanical systems, inefficient windows, the roof and other exterior problems, and provide ADA-accessible updates in a few of the units. It’s a long-overdue project that will keep those who live there safe and warm.”

The $2.8 million in funding comes from the HOME Investment Partnerships Program ($1,505,000), a Community Development Block Grant ($940,000), and Health Choices Reinvestment Funds ($375,000). The improvements to Liberty House are scheduled to begin in 2024 and continue through 2025.

Dolores Colligan, Director of Chester County’s Department of Community Development, said, “In addition to the structural improvements to Liberty House, significant upgrades will be made to the common areas, including new energy-efficient appliances for the community kitchen, which provides two meals each day to residents. The area where onsite services are administered by Pennrose Management Company and Human Services Inc. will also be upgraded.”

Liberty House is located on part of the old Valley Forge General Hospital campus, which was sold to Valley Forge Christian College in 1976. With financial assistance from the County of Chester, The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Housing Authority of Chester County, and Community Mental Health Services, Liberty House opened in 1996 under the management of Pennrose Properties.

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