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.
August 5, 2015 |
Camden officials on Monday took Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) on a tour of the city's Whitman Park and Centerville neighborhoods, where revitalization plans are finalists for $30 million in federal grants. After the tour, however, Menendez warned during an afternoon news conference that proposed federal budget cuts could undermine the ability to infuse Camden with the resources needed for a comprehensive plan that would improve housing, schools, and recreational fields, and employ more residents.
July 23, 2015 |
Tuesday marked "a milestone in [Cherry Hill] Township's Mount Laurel compliance," according to an expert housing consultant, the lone witness to testify before a judge approved settlements ending a 40-year-old affordable housing dispute in the Camden County community. "It's a complicated case," said Philip Caton, who has served as an affordable housing consultant to more than 45 municipalities, including Cherry Hill. "I didn't think I'd be here for a settlement. " One settlement, approved Tuesday by Superior Court Judge Nan Famular, could bring up to 124 affordable rental units to the township under proposed redevelopment plans for three sites on the west side of Cherry Hill.
July 16, 2015 |
Finding an affordable place of her own was so important to Latoya Wright that when she learned that the Philadelphia Housing Authority was building green homes in Strawberry Mansion, she stood in line at 1 in the morning in the hope of securing a spot. The mother of two had been on the waiting list for public housing for more than a decade. The hours in line, said Wright, 31, were worth it. This week, she and her daughters - Mahagony, 13, and Jayda, 6 - will move out of her sister's home into a two-bedroom townhouse at 2800 Oakdale St., the site of 12 new affordable housing units in the North Philadelphia neighborhood.
July 15, 2015 |
The home on Valley Road in Coatesville sat empty from November - when a bank foreclosed on it - until May. Wells Fargo then took the rowhouse, more than a century old, and donated it to the Housing Authority of the County of Chester this spring. Dale Gravett, executive director of the housing authority, called it a much-needed gift - one the county will use to house a family. Families in Chester County fill waiting lists for affordable housing, Gravett said, even though the county is one of Pennsylvania's richest.
July 14, 2015 |
A decades-old affordable housing dispute could be coming to an end in Cherry Hill, an area with one of the nation's least affordable housing markets for the middle class. At fairness hearings scheduled for July 21, a state Superior Court judge in Camden County is set to scrutinize two settlement agreements - one between Cherry Hill and housing advocates Fair Share Housing Center and the NAACP, and the second between the township and the developer Cherry Hill Land Associates. Both tentative agreements await the approval of the judge, who was granted oversight of municipalities' affordable housing obligations in a March state Supreme Court ruling.
July 6, 2015 |
There may be no way to hold back the tide of gentrification in such neighborhoods as Fishtown, but Sandy Salzman is trying to find ways to keep it from washing away moderate-income residents. Salzman is executive director of New Kensington Community Development Corp., and the Awesometown townhouse project is its first foray into mixed affordable housing: 10 units selling at the market rate of about $400,000, and four subsidized by NKCDC to sell for half that, with the "winners" picked by lottery.
July 3, 2015 |
In 2010, John Erlenbach walked away from a job at Acme Markets, where he had worked in every area from produce to shelf stocking for 20 years since leaving the Navy. "I wasn't well," Erlenbach, 61, said. He struggled with depression, couldn't hold a job or keep an apartment, grew apart from his five kids, and was homeless for years - sleeping on couches, the street, or in shelters in Salem and Camden Counties. On Wednesday, Erlenbach stood in front of his one-bedroom townhouse at Riverfront Village in Pennsauken, a 75-unit affordable-housing complex for working families earning less than 60 percent of the area's median household income, as well as five previously homeless veterans.