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Affordable Housing

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NEWS
October 20, 2011 | By Geoff Mulvihill, Associated Press
A three-judge panel has slowed Gov. Christie's effort to make quick changes to the state's affordable housing requirements. The state appeals panel issued a stay Tuesday on his plan for new affordable housing procedures and scheduled a hearing for February. Until then, the state was ordered to follow the affordable housing procedures that were in place before the state Council on Affordable Housing was abolished last month. The ruling is the latest in a 40-year debate. Courts have ruled repeatedly that New Jersey municipalities are obligated to provide housing that low- and moderate-income residents can afford.
NEWS
June 8, 1989 | By Kathleen Martin Beans, Special to The Inquirer
A Bucks County Planning Commission official told Doylestown Township supervisors Tuesday that housing in the median price level is well beyond the reach of families with median incomes. "The affordable-housing crisis is much more than a matter of social concern affecting the less fortunate," said Kirk Emerson, director of countywide planning. "It has become a mainstream problem with far-reaching economic implications. " Emerson spoke to the supervisors and residents as part of a pilot program in which township officials offered to participate in a study with the county Planning Commission.
NEWS
October 6, 1999 | By Carrie Budoff and Marc Levy, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
The state Council on Affordable Housing is set to take a long-awaited vote today on Moorestown's amended plan to provide housing units for low- and moderate-income individuals. The plan, debated for almost two years, provides for rehabilitating some housing in Moorestown and paying two other towns - Mount Holly and Beverly - to supply housing there under what are known as regional contribution agreements. The council, which enforces fair-housing mandates, is to vote separately today on an arrangement in which Moorestown would pay Mount Holly $4.1 million to take 204 units of its 691-unit obligation over three years.
NEWS
April 15, 2009 | By Jennifer Lin INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Local nonprofit developers of affordable housing received almost $10 million in grants yesterday from the Federal Home Loan Banks of Pittsburgh and San Francisco, the largest awards to the region since the banks began funding low-income housing in 1990. The money is to go into 18 projects - 15 in Philadelphia and three in surrounding Pennsylvania counties - and produce 861 units of affordable housing. At a City Hall news conference, Mayor Nutter, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.)
NEWS
November 15, 2011 | By James Osborne, Inquirer Staff Writer
Cherry Hill had its affordable-housing funds frozen Monday and was ordered to have a plan for spending the money approved by Superior Court. The order by Judge Robert G. Millenky followed allegations by the Fair Share Housing Center, which has been in litigation with Cherry Hill since 2001, that the township broke state rules about spending development fees intended for affordable-housing projects. "Fair Share has uncertainty" about use of the funds, "and the court finds reasonably so," Millenky said.
NEWS
February 8, 2011 | By Maya Rao, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
After Jean Siciliano lost her job as a purchasing agent during a corporate downsizing in 2009, she feared she could no longer afford to raise her teenage son in Evesham. She stayed in the suburb because a nonprofit agency approved her for a spacious apartment in a new housing development on Sharp Road for $658 in monthly rent. That development was built under a 1985 law - enacted in response to state Supreme Court rulings - requiring towns to provide low- and moderate-income housing.
NEWS
June 2, 2010 | By JAN RANSOM, ransomj@phillynews.com 215-854-5218
Eladia Fonseca came to Philadelphia as a 9-year-old burn victim, her mother seeking better care for her daughter than what was available after their home in Puerto Rico destroyed by fire. Fonseca endured years of living in inadequate housing here, some of which had no heat, was infested with mice and bugs and was surrounded by drug activity. Now 51, Fonseca proudly showed off her cozy, newly renovated three-bedroom home, one of 58 affordable-housing units scattered around her Spring Garden neighborhood that are part of a $19.6 million project that was unveiled yesterday.
NEWS
December 5, 2011 | By Maya Rao, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
The Salem County town of Carneys Point needed to meet a state requirement to provide affordable housing, and developer John Bibeau had a plan: build an 88-unit apartment complex for disabled veterans and people with special needs and low and moderate incomes. He found an old factory building to serve as the site. He sat down with municipal officials, who had solicited him to do the project initially and to negotiate financing. In all, he said, he poured close to $750,000 into buying the property and paying fees for consultants, architects, and engineers.
NEWS
March 20, 1996 | By Matthew Futterman, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Mayor Gerald Luongo said last night that he has devised a plan to deal with the need to build affordable housing. His announcement came as more than 200 angry residents packed a Planning Board meeting to protest a proposed development that would include 48 units of affordable housing near Pitman-Downer and Fish Pond Roads. Protesting affordable housing has become a monthly ritual this year. This time, homeowners who live near the proposed development had their chance to tell the Planning Board why it should reject the Barnside Development Corp.
NEWS
July 28, 1991 | By Christine Bahls, Special to The Inquirer
The Bristol Township Council has reversed itself and will help the county get additional funding for a new affordable-housing program. The new program, titled Home Investment in Affordable Housing and referred to as HOME, is a federally funded plan that would help qualified people become first-time homeowners, help renters, assist nonprofit groups in rehabilitating homes for the needy, or even provide grants for new affordable housing. A meeting was held Thursday night at the behest of the county so that the Bristol Township Council could reconsider its position.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 10, 2016 | By David O'Reilly, Staff Writer
New Jersey's Supreme Court said Thursday that it would hear a challenge that will decide whether municipalities now must zone for the affordable housing units they did not zone for between 1999 and 2015. The court announced it had accepted an appeal by the Fair Share Housing Center, an advocacy group that is seeking to overturn a July 12 ruling by the Appellate Division. The three-judge panel ruled unanimously that municipalities have no obligation to zone for units not created during the nearly 16-year "gap period," when the state failed to devise an acceptable formula for calculating each town's obligation.
REAL_ESTATE
September 5, 2016 | By Alan J. Heavens, REAL ESTATE WRITER
As Catholic Health Care Services chief executive John Wagner often says, building affordable housing is a long process, and you quickly realize you'll never be able to build enough. Yet Wagner keeps trying, and St. John Neumann Place II, at 2627 Mifflin St. in South Philadelphia, is the newest example of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's efforts to try to meet the needs of the area's seniors. The $15 million project broke ground in August on 1.39 acres of the campus of the former St. John Neumann High School.
NEWS
August 26, 2016
COUNCILMANIC prerogative? Wendy Beetlestone is not a huge fan. Beetlestone - the federal judge who presided over the civil trial of archenemies Ori Feibush (the evil developer!) vs. Kenyatta Johnson (the evil councilman!) - has denied the city's request to overturn the jury's May verdict. The jury, you may recall, awarded $34,000 to Feibush, who complained that Johnson had blocked his purchase of two Point Breeze properties as political payback. Beetlestone's opinion, published Thursday, spells out how Philadelphia's unwritten (and ripe for abuse)
NEWS
August 25, 2016
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson is a walking, talking contradiction. He says he wants to protect poor residents in his South Philadelphia district from being displaced by gentrification. Yet, in about two dozen instances he aided developers who purchased city-owned properties to build high-priced housing that the poor can't afford. Johnson says he didn't give favorable treatment to the developers, but three contributed to his political campaigns and one built his home. The city's land-purchase policy is to competitively bid properties where there is interest and give discounts to buyers who agree to include affordable housing.
NEWS
July 30, 2016 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Staff Writer
Lee A. Casper, 90, of Gladwyne, a home builder who leveraged his business skills to bring opportunity and affordable housing to declining neighborhoods in Philadelphia and Baltimore, died Sunday, July 24, of heart failure at Lankenau Hospital. Born in Philadelphia and reared in Newark, N.J., Mr. Casper graduated from Newark's Central High School. He served in the Navy aboard a submarine in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war, he was a potato and tomato farmer in Clarksburg, N.J. In 1958, he became an owner- partner in John Lecroy & Son, a spice manufacturing company in Camden.
NEWS
July 13, 2016 | By David O'Reilly, Staff Writer
In a ruling hailed by municipalities and denounced as a victory for "wealthy towns," New Jersey's Appellate Division ruled Monday that cities and townships are not required to zone for affordable housing needs that went unmet between 1999 and 2015. "We hold that the Fair Housing Act does not require a municipality to retroactively calculate a new 'separate and discrete' affordable housing obligation arising during the 'gap period,' " the three-judge panel wrote. Instead, it said, municipalities should use previously established methods for calculating their present and future affordable housing needs through 2025.
NEWS
June 30, 2016
ISSUE | PHILA. DEVELOPMENT Diversity lost in One Water Street deal I thought the idea behind giving developers a zoning bonus allowing taller buildings in exchange for a certain number of affordable-housing units was to encourage people of various income levels to come in contact with each other. Such a policy would discourage isolated pockets of wealthy and low- and moderate-income families. The deal the city reached with PMC Property Group, builders of the 250-unit One Water Street apartment building on the Delaware waterfront, contributes to just the opposite ("Developer to pay for affordable housing," Saturday)
NEWS
June 26, 2016 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Responding to a request from Mayor Kenney, the luxury housing developer that reneged on a commitment to include affordable units at One Water Street has agreed to a settlement that channels $3.75 million into Philadelphia's Housing Trust Fund, according to Karen Guss, an administration spokeswoman. The deal, brokered late this week by what Guss called "senior administration officials," means that the developer, PMC Property Group, will be able to immediately start moving tenants into the sleek, contemporary 16-story apartment house on the Delaware waterfront.
NEWS
June 19, 2016 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
How should the developer of a luxury apartment complex compensate the city for reneging on an agreement to set aside 25 apartments for low-income Philadelphians? City housing advocates think the only fair solution is for PMC Property Group to pay a penalty to Philadelphia's Housing Trust Fund, to the tune of $5 million, for breaking the agreement, which earned its apartment project a 48-foot height bonus. The developer has other ideas. This week, PMC submitted what is effectively a new zoning application for One Water Street, a 16-story apartment building on the Delaware riverfront, next to the Ben Franklin Bridge.
NEWS
June 14, 2016
It's disappointing that developer PMC Property Group may be allowed to wiggle out of its agreement to include some less expensive units in its new luxury high-rise apartment building on the Delaware waterfront. The complex on Columbus Boulevard near Callowhill Street is five stories higher than it would be thanks to a provision added to the city zoning code in 2012 to increase affordable housing in gentrifying neighborhoods. PMC agreed to set lower rental rates for 25 of 250 units to become eligible for the zoning exception.
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