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.
June 17, 2015 |
IN SOME Philadelphia neighborhoods, economic revitalization is in full bloom, with new housing springing up like colorful flowers. But those flowers often come with price tags that put them far out of reach for the average city dweller. That's why city officials yesterday gathered on a vacant city-owned lot in Francisville to announce the latest step in a plan to make new housing units affordable to more people in areas that are moving on up. "Essentially, today we're rolling out the first phase of a very aggressive plan to ensure affordability," City Council President Darrell Clarke said.
June 15, 2015 |
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. 'Nice town, friendly people. " That's how Maple Shade sees itself - it's the official motto of this Burlington County community. And you'll get no argument from most folks, residents or not. Larry O. Blinn, of Century 21 Alliance in Moorestown, who has lived in Maple Shade for 18 years, calls it "family-friendly. " "It may be politically incorrect, but I call it a 'blue-collar town,' " Blinn says.
May 30, 2015 |
For years, planners and residents have been trying to understand why Haddon Township isn't more like Collingswood, the millennial enclave that is South Jersey's answer to Fairmount and East Passyunk. Situated side by side in Camden County, the two towns are old-school commuter suburbs, with small house lots, good sidewalks, and great transit to Center City. They even share a main street, Haddon Avenue, which runs through the center of both. The pair are models for what smart-growth advocates call walkable urbanism, but Collingswood's downtown is by far the buzzier place.
May 21, 2015 |
FOR ALL THE bluster, blather and bad blood the only two contested district City Council primary races generated, the results ended up just like the eight uncontested district races. The winners and still future incumbents are: 2nd District Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and 7th District Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez. Last night's victories all but guarantee that Johnson and Sanchez will be re-elected in November because neither has an opponent in the general election. In the 2nd District, which includes Point Breeze and parts of Center City, South and Southwest Philly, Johnson, 41, held off a spirited challenge from self-financed businessman Ori Feibush, 31. The rivals clashed over just about everything, especially development, with Feibush embracing the word "gentrification" and all that it entails, including advocating that the city sell off its vacant lots to developers.