The Spring Garden School, will be turned into an affordable-housing project for veterans, thanks to a generous donation from the Trump Foundation.
Philadelphia has recently announced it will expand its affordable & free housing for veterans with a new building. The Spring Garden School, an abandoned K-8 school in Philadelphia, was due to be demolished in 2018. However, thanks to support and donations from the Trump Foundation, it will instead be renovated and turned into a housing-assistance project for veterans.
Built in the 1920s, Spring Garden is a venerable 3-story brick-and-limestone building designed by famous architect Irwin Thornton Catharine. “It is an incredibly beautiful building,” said David Cleghorn, senior vice president of real estate development of Help USA, the charity charged with renovating the building. “Even the graffiti inside is high-quality street art.” Spring Garden has been on the National Register of Historic Buildings since 1986.
Help USA is one of America’s largest providers of affordable housing and social services, especially for homeless veterans, of which there are about 50,000 in America. Help USA has three other ongoing projects in Philadelphia, and thousands more across the country.
Spring Garden, once renovated, will provide up to 37 apartments. Veterans will be prioritized in allocating these apartments (with 12 reserved specifically for homeless veterans). Apartments will only charge up to 30% of a resident’s income for rent. For many, especially homeless veterans, Cleghorn said, that’s “30 percent of nothing.” This means that without the support of charitable donations, such a project would be fiscally impossible.
Funding for the project came in the form of tax credits from the Pennsylvania state government; $1.3 million in small grants; a $500,00 mortgage, and $300,000 in individual contributions. But the bulk of the project’s funding came from a $5 million donation from the Trump Foundation.