October 19, 2011
IN RESPONSE to "Are Absentee Landlords Killing Once-Good NE Philadelphia Neighborhoods?" : Over the years, I have received numerous complaints from constituents regarding unresolved tenant and maintenance issues at properties with absentee landlords. I recognized this as a problem all across the city. That is why I introduced bill No. 090834, which amended the city's property-maintenance code by requiring property owners who do not live in the city or a surrounding county, under specific terms and conditions, to designate a local property manager and provide the full contact information to the proper city department.
September 29, 2011 |
WHEN MIKA Deburow bought her compact, tan-brick Tacony rowhouse 12 years ago, it was in the middle of a quiet, tidy and peaceful block. Now, the well-kept houses with trim lawns accented by decorations and flowers are mere dots on a cluttered block where trash crinkles underfoot, dogs sometimes run loose and overgrown weeds creep onto porches. "I've had enough," said the 41-year-old, who raised her children in the home on Marsden Street near Levick. "This was a nice neighborhood.
September 13, 2009 |
They do things a little differently in Lansdale. For instance, elected officials embrace the radical notion that they should put aside their political differences and pull together for the welfare of the town. So when Mayor Andy Szekely and his challenger, former Borough Council President Ben Gross, were trying to generate excitement about November's mayoral election, they considered having a debate in the park. Szekely would wear a seersucker suit. Gross would don his customary bow tie. Looking like members of the Princeton debating team circa 1924, they would present their competing ideas for renewing their beloved community.
July 8, 2009 |
Classrooms are dusty and empty, halls silent. But reminders of student days at John Wanamaker Middle School at 12th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue are everywhere. Artwork on yellowing paper lines the walls of a dark auditorium. Smudged chalk notes cover blackboards. Gymnastic rings hang at the ready. Closed four years ago, the Wanamaker School in North Philadelphia is set to come back to life, but with an unusual new mix of uses - apartments for Temple University students, a charter school, a training center, a community hub for neighbors.
August 18, 2008 |
From her home on York Street in Burlington City, Blanche Nicholas sees apartments built for two people that can end up with as many as 10, and hordes of renters and their visitors who jam up the road with their cars and the park with their drugs. They have left her neighborhood a "junk place," Nicholas said one recent evening, and like many city homeowners, she blames one group in particular: the landlords. "The landlords are not doing anything," she said. "They're renting to anybody, and it's really not good for the owners.
November 2, 2007 |
Democratic mayoral candidate Michael Nutter scored a legislative victory yesterday in advance of his expected win at the polls Tuesday when City Council sent his bill to promote hiring of ex-offenders to Mayor Street. Street is expected to sign the bill, which offers businesses a credit of up to $10,000 annually on business-privilege taxes for each ex-offender hired for up to three years. Those jobs must pay 50 percent above minimum wage. In return, the ex-offender must pay 5 percent of wages back to the city, and the business must provide a total of $5,000 over three years for education and training and benefits on par with other full-time employees.
October 10, 2007 |
ON TUESDAY, the first case at the city's Rental Housing Court will be heard at the 8th Police District in Northeast Philadelphia. This long-awaited development will finally tackle the long-standing and destructive practice of irresponsible absentee landlords and nuisance rentals in the city. This project is a two-year labor of hard work and dedication by the Department of Licenses & Inspections, Municipal Court, local civic and community organizations in Northeast Philadelphia and my office, which investigated these nuisance rentals.
October 23, 2006 |
Like much of Philadelphia, the immigrant neighborhood that city agencies call St. Hugh, after the local Roman Catholic parish, is packed with century-old rowhouses, many of which need repairs that cost more than the houses are worth. That's too much risk for most banks - or borrowers. A 2003 city report found that one-fifth of the homes in the St. Hugh area and neighboring Fairhill had been abandoned; many more were in violation of city property codes. A partnership of the church, neighborhood groups, and Beneficial Savings Bank is trying to stem blight and make investment more attractive.
June 13, 2003
Many options exist for special-needs children Like Barbara Fleming, I am the parent of a special-needs child ("Forsaking the most vulnerable," Metro Commentary Page, June 5). My son is now 18 and fast approaching the 21-year mark, where the school district ceases funding his educational placement. I began making plans many years ago that would ensure an appropriate placement and continuing care for him. Because of the severity of his disability and the intense level of care required, my advocate told me to find a placement with a program that could continue into his adult years so he would be able to stay in one place, if necessary.