City To Give $3 Million In Federal Aid For Logan Relocation The Money Would Come From Loans, Housing Officials Say. A Request For A $1 Million Grant Is In The Works.

Posted: May 05, 1994

City housing officials yesterday said the Rendell administration would provide $3 million in federal aid for next fiscal year to relocate families that still live in sinking homes in Logan.

John Kromer, director of the city's Office of Housing and Community Development, said the money would be taken from an expected $40 million in federal loans that have been designated for the city Commerce Department.

The allocation came after Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco threatened last week to fight the administration's bid for $70.7 million in a Community Development Block Grant to rebuild neighborhoods because none of the money was targeted for Logan.

The councilwoman said that while she was pleased that money had been found for fiscal 1995, which begins July 1, more could be done to help resettle the

families and bring an eight-year ordeal to a close.

Tasco had said she would lobby City Council to defeat the overall block grant proposal. Council must approve the plan before the city can apply for the federal grant.

About 400 families still live in houses, built on a cinder and ash landfill, that began sinking in 1986. The 17-block triangular area is bounded by North 11th Street, Loudon Street, Marshall Street and Roosevelt Boulevard.

Kromer told City Council's Finance Committee that getting the remaining

families relocated is a "high priority." Besides the federal aid, the city has asked the state for a special grant of $1 million for Logan.

But Kromer laid the responsibility for the pace of the relocation effort at the doorstep of the Logan Assistance Corp., a nonprofit agency created in 1987 to handle the relocations.

The agency has been plagued by problems in past years. Federal auditors recently said the agency made $500,000 in questionable expenditures and placed two dozen families in shoddy housing.

The promised aid did not fully mollify Tasco, who took issue with Kromer's position that the agency was chiefly responsible for the Logan cleanup. He also said that in its peak year, the agency had spent only $1.5 million on relocation efforts.

"I'm tired of hearing this bureaucratic crap about Logan," shouted Tasco, after Kromer testified that the agency, not the city, was responsible for devising a long-range plan for the Logan area.

"They don't need to come to you with a plan. What they need is a commitment from the administration to find $25 million to relocate those people," she said.

Since 1987, the city has secured nearly $17 million for Logan Assistance Corp. The agency has relocated 280 families, but has only $1 million left. City officials have said that would pay for the relocation of 12 more

families.

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