January 22, 2016 |
Based on a consultant's advice, Moorestown Township has told a Superior Court judge that it believes it is legally obliged to create just 171 affordable-housing units by 2025, a fraction of the 1,313 that a court-appointed master recommended earlier this month. Moorestown is a microcosm of the lively debate statewide over how best to calculate the affordable housing obligations of New Jersey's 565 municipalities. In the absence of agreed-upon formulas, Superior Court judges are scrutinizing the widely diverging methods that municipalities and advocacy groups are proposing for meeting the state's next round of Mount Laurel obligations, so called after a series of state high court decisions.
January 16, 2016 |
Moorestown's draft plan for meeting its affordable-housing obligations contains "flaws" and is unsatisfactory, a special master has told Burlington County Superior Court, and she recommended that the township zone for 1,313 affordable units by 2025 - more than triple what the township had proposed. Using stern language, Elizabeth C. McKenzie, a Flemington, N.J.-based community planner, accused the township of failing to make a good-faith effort to honor its obligations under the Mount Laurel Doctrine.
January 13, 2016 |
A new but disputed report contends that New Jersey's 565 municipalities must zone for the creation of 37,000 low-income housing units by 2025 - far fewer than projected by a key advocacy group - to meet the state Supreme Court's latest directives for implementing the Fair Housing Act. The figure in the report, conducted by the Philadelphia planning firm Econsult Solutions on behalf of more than 200 New Jersey municipalities, is far below the nearly 202,000...
January 2, 2016 |
Jim Kenney ran for mayor as the great coalition-builder, bringing together a collection of the city's strangest bedfellows: New Philadelphians and the old. Bike-riding millennials and the building trade unions. Real estate developers mining the city for buildable lots and people unsettled by the explosion of new housing in their once-unchanging neighborhoods. This week, Kenney pulled off a similar magic trick when he named a planning director who manages to appeal to all those groups.
December 19, 2015
By Thomas H. Earle Despite the glimmer of Center City, Philadelphia remains one of the poorest big cities in America. One of the tragedies of that circumstance is the lack of decent homes for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. We can do so much more about this crisis, especially with a new mayor who has made fighting poverty his priority. The waiting lists for this kind of housing are overwhelming and, in the case of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, closed. Yet the need continues to grow.
December 14, 2015 |
On a frigid Monday afternoon three days before Thanksgiving, Richard Sudall was coming home. Or, to be accurate, the veteran builder was only a few blocks away from the house in Upper Darby where he grew up. In the parking lot behind St. Alice's Social Center on Hampden Road, which Nolen Development Group of Philadelphia is converting to 53 apartments for senior citizens, Sudall remembered what life was like there 50 years ago. "There were...
November 25, 2015 |
Alleging that Moorestown has failed to live up to its legal obligation to zone for affordable housing, an advocacy group has asked a Superior Court judge to declare that the township must allow at least 1,521 new low- and middle-income units by 2025. "Moorestown has not proceeded in good faith" with regard to its housing obligation arising out of the Mount Laurel Supreme Court rulings, the Fair Share Housing Center (FSHC) said in a filing last week before Judge Ronald Bookbinder in Mount Holly.
October 1, 2015
WILL POPE FRANCIS' urging that we all commit to helping the poor make a difference? I hope the pope's advocacy of the poor not only changes minds but also inspires people to become involved in helping the less fortunate. "Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility," the pope said during his address to a joint session of Congress. And don't just give your money. Give your time and talents. My husband, who stretches out his workday so that he can have a day off every other week, has decided to spend many of those days accompanying me to a prison in Maryland where we teach financial literacy to inmates.
September 22, 2015 |
Burlington City officials and a developer of affordable housing marked the grand opening last week of an apartment complex at the site of an abandoned knitting mill. The $15 million Apartments at the Mill project will provide 65 multifamily affordable-housing units on a nearly three-acre tract near the Assicunk Creek in Burlington City. "The Mill is a perfect example of melding the old with the new, the historical with the functional," Mayor James A. Fazzone said in a statement. The Raffino Knitting Corp.
August 7, 2015 |
THE BLOCK of Seybert Street, where generations of Juan Padilla's family called home for 50 years, can be hard to find in the Sharswood section of North Philly. Seybert is unmarked where it meets North College Avenue, behind the looming stone walls of Girard College. The narrow street winds north, almost snakelike, beneath the gaze of a mural of Henry Ossawa Tanner's "The Banjo Lesson. " Then, Seybert bends west toward 21st Street. On Padilla's side of the block, the sidewalks are crumbling but the houses appear well cared for and colorful.