About Us

The Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. is a success story! Under the forward leadership of our elected officials and our board of directors, our team works with Philadelphians and community leaders to make positive contributions towards the revitalization of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods.

We know that homeownership is one of the best ways to empower people because it gives them a stake in their neighborhood. Through our preservation programs, Basic Systems Repair Program, Weatherization Assistance Program and Adaptive Modifications Program, we enable residents to stay committed to their community. The ensuing neighborhood stability improves physical conditions and increases property values. PHDC has been serving Philadelphia neighborhoods since 1965.

PHDC is creating viable communities. Be assured that we will continue to provide effective housing programs that benefit the low- and moderate-income residents of Philadelphia.

PHDC Executive Team

David Thomas
Executive Vice President

David Thomas is the Executive Vice President of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC).  For two years prior to his appointment to Executive Vice President, Mr. Thomas served as Interim Executive Vice President of PHDC, as well as Deputy Executive Director of Housing Finance and Chief Operating Officer with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA).

Mr. Thomas began his tenure with the City of Philadelphia in the Contract Administration Department of DHCD.  In 2000, Dave began working at PRA. In his time with PRA and DHCD, Dave managed several areas, including risk management, IT, procurement, all aspects of labor relations, various housing finance programs/opportunities and leveraging, and was responsible for overseeing one of the largest relocations of displaced families in the history of Philadelphia.  He was also instrumental in the federal prosecution of developers who victimized displaced families and defrauded the City of Philadelphia. While at PHDC, Mr. Thomas ramped up the City’s $60 million bond program for home improvements and is working toward streamlining PHDC’s processes and programs.

Mr. Thomas is a graduate of Lincoln University with a B.A. in Accounting with a minor concentration in Psychology.

Lowell Thomas, Esq.
General Counsel

Lowell Thomas, Esq. as General Counsel for PHDC is directly responsible for all legal matters involving the corporation, including but not limited to, providing advice and counsel to senior management and the board of directors on real estate, corporate governance, insurance, asset acquisition/disposition and public and labor relations matters; negotiation and interpretation of a broad array of complex contracts; statutory and regulatory interpretation and compliance counseling and advocacy; and oversight of the legal department and outside legal counsel.

Prior to joining PHDC, Mr. Thomas served as a Senior Policy Manager in Governor Rendell’s Policy Office.  He assisted Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell and the Secretary of Policy and Strategic Planning with policy, legal, legislative and budgetary oversight.  His portfolio consisted of the Departments of Community & Economic Development, Banking, State, Labor & Industry, Revenue and Insurance, as well as the State Employees’ Retirement System, Public School Employees’ Retirement System, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency and Securities Commission.

Mr. Thomas has also responsible for advising Governor Rendell and the Secretary on developments in federal, state and local legislative and regulatory matters, editing applications and other fillings to federal agencies, drafting talking points for speeches and responses to federal agencies and industry groups, and giving public speeches and presentations nationally and throughout the State on issues and initiatives related to his policy portfolio.

Mr. Thomas earned his JD and MBA, has worked previously with Philadelphia law firms specializing in complex corporate/commercial transactions and litigation, and currently serves on several boards of charitable organizations.

Dana S. Mitchell
Director of the Weatherization Assistance Program

Dana S. Mitchell is the Director of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) for PHDC. She leads complex projects, develops and secures partnerships with prime contractors, plans and executes strategies for program development, and has experienced record success with managing contracts and budgets, while ensuring regulatory compliance. She manages program staff and up to 15+ private contractors annually, as well as ensure compliance with city, state, federal, internal, financial and accounting policies and procedures.

Mrs. Mitchell oversees the WAP Annual Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process to implement contracts between $50-$500 thousand dollars annually for contractors in the construction and energy conservation industries. She directs program operations, and manages an annual budget of $2.8-$4 million. A career highlight was reached when PHDC received an additional and historical $16.9 million in funding for WAP through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) in 2009. PHDC exceeded its ARRA production goal by 40 percent when the program ended in 2012. She served as the WAP Manager, as well as the interim Home Improvement Program (HIP) Administrator during her time at PHDC. Prior to joining PHDC she was employed as an Energy Conservation Specialist with the Durham Housing Authority.

Mrs. Mitchell holds a BA in Political Science and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from North Carolina Central University. She also completed a Master of Arts in Religion with a Public Leadership concentration from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. She has acquired extensive training in Building Energy and Envelope Science and Strategic Planning throughout her career. She is certified in Residential Heat Systems/Combustion Analysis, Weatherization Diagnostics, Tactics and Health & Safety Procedures, BaseLoad Auditing, Customer Service, Department of Energy Lead Safe Practices and as an Environmental Protection Agency Certified Lead Renovator by the National Sustainability Structures Center at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Darren Williams
Director of Finance

In 2014, Darren Williams became the Director of Finance for PHDC and the Philadelphia Land Bank. Mr. Williams prepares and oversees the operating and administrative budgets for PHDC and the Philadelphia Land Bank.  This includes the execution and/or management of all financial responsibilities, including production reports, annual financial statements, board presentations, audit compliance reporting, pension analysis/reconciliations, assisting with contract review fleet and property/ inventory management, IRS reporting and managing the financial department employees.

In 2001, Mr. Williams was employed as the Accounting Supervisor with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, and prior to that held accounting positions in the United Kingdom and Australia.

He has received a certification from the Institute of Management Accountants, and a BSc in Accounting from University of Wales.

George Russell,
Director of Home Improvement Programs

George Russell is the Director of Home Improvement Programs for the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC). Mr. Russell oversees PHDC’s various home improvement programs providing home repair, energy conservation and accessibility services to over 3,100 low-to-moderate income households each year. As part of his responsibilities, Mr. Russell manages staff and subcontractors, establishes and maintains systems for tracking waiting lists and active cases, ensures compliance with program guidelines and local, state and federal regulations. Before this role, Mr. Russell was the Adaptive Modifications Program Director for PHDC.

Prior to joining PHDC, Mr. Russell was the Housing Program Manager for the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA). At PCA he was responsible for five home repair and modification programs for low-income, medically frail Philadelphia residents and people with physical disabilities. He was also previously the Executive Director of the Delaware County AIDS Network and a Management Specialist for the Defense Personnel Support Center.

Mr. Russell holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University in Legal Studies and Real Estate. He is a Certified Aging In Place Specialist and has completed training in home modifications.

PHDC Board of Directors

Marcus Allen
Chief Executive Office, Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region

Jacqueline Dunn
Chief of Staff, Office of the Director of Finance, City of Philadelphia

David Thomas
Executive Vice President, Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation

Jeffery Young, Jr., Esquire
Legislative Counsel, Office of Council President, City Council of Philadelphia

Catherine Califano
First Deputy Director, Department of Planning and Development, City of Philadelphia

Karen Fegely
Deputy Director, Neighborhood & Business Services, Commerce, City of Philadelphia

Ken Weinstein
Philly Office Retail


James Cuorato
President & CEO, Independence Visitors Center, Philadelphia

Nora Lichtash
Executive Director, Women’s Community Revitalization Project

Francis Vargas
Vice President – Elon Group, Altman Management Company