City Leaders Propose Plan for Affordable Housing in Philly | NBC 10 Philadelphia

City Leaders Propose Plan for Affordable Housing in Philly



    (Published Monday, March 17, 2014)

    Local leaders announced a multi-million dollar plan to create more affordable housing for Philadelphia residents.

    The $100 million plan would turn vacant lots into affordable housing for people who work but can’t afford to live in expensive Philadelphia neighborhoods.

    “It’s the ultimate responsibility of government to be supportive and initiate policies that support those individuals that tend to not be in upper income salaries,” said City Council President Darrell Clarke.

    Clarke identified “opportunity zones” or neighborhoods with city-owned vacant lots. Under the plan, 1000 new rental units and 500 new homes would be built on those lots.

    “On Market Street alone we have one or two vacant properties on a block,” said City Councilman Curtis Jones. “150 units stabilize a large area of my under-serviced community.”

    According to Clarke, the plan would call for the city to float a $100 million bond to leverage additional revenue in order to build $400 million worth of new development. That bond would then be repaid through the city’s housing trust fund, which generates money every time a home is sold in the city.

    “We are a city of prosperous aggressive wealth,” said Rahim Islam of Universal Companies. “Then we see neighborhoods predominately dominated by African Americans and Latinos where we see absolute poverty.”

    Mayor Michael Nutter will have to approve the plan before it goes forward. A spokesperson for the Mayor told NBC10 that he looks forward to hearing the details about the proposal.

    Last year, the Philadelphia Housing Authority unveiled a similar plan to create 6,000 new or existing affordable housing for the city within five years. A spokesperson for the Housing Authority told NBC10 that there are currently more than 100,000 people on the waiting list for affordable housing.