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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
May 21, 2015 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
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.
NEWS
May 5, 2015 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
Forty years after the landmark Mount Laurel I decision was handed down by the New Jersey State Supreme Court, the original team of trial lawyers who argued that the poor were being denied affordable housing in the suburbs will gather Tuesday for a panel discussion at the historic Olde Burlington County courthouse. The event, part of Law Day activities sponsored by the Burlington County Vicinage and Bar Association, is open to the public. The panel will be composed of Peter J. O'Connor, Carl S. Bisgaier, and Kenneth E. Meiser, the Camden Legal Regional Services lawyers who filed the class-action litigation on behalf of Ethel Lawrence and members of low- and moderate-income families who were unable to find affordable housing in the Burlington County township.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Looking for more money for affordable housing, a coalition of Philadelphia groups wants to tax properties if they are flipped by developers less than two years after they were purchased. The proposal, which its proponents acknowledge has a long road to travel, could contribute up to $12 million annually to the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund, double the amount there already. This "antispeculation tax," as envisioned by the Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities, would raise the real estate transfer tax by 1.5 percent on houses resold less than two years after purchase.
NEWS
April 23, 2015 | Valerie Russ, Daily News Staff Writer
WHAT SHOULD Philadelphia do to locate deadbeat owners of vacant houses when so many people are in need of housing? Mayoral candidate T. Milton Street said he wouldn't bother looking for missing owners. "I'd move somebody in those houses and let the owners find me," said the former state senator and onetime squatter-movement leader. "I've done it. It works. " It was a response to one question asked near the end of a mayoral candidates forum sponsored by the Philadelphia Council for Community Advancement at the Crystal Tea Room yesterday.
NEWS
April 11, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
An appeals panel on Thursday ruled that the Christie administration could not seize millions of dollars from towns that was intended for the construction of housing for low- and moderate-income residents. Gov. Christie previously attempted to use those funds to help balance the state budget. The three-judge panel's decision comes a month after the state Supreme Court declared the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) "moribund" and transferred its regulatory authority to designated trial judges.
NEWS
March 25, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Richard E. Constable III, a top cabinet official in the Christie administration who oversaw the state's Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts and other high-profile programs, is resigning to take a job in the private sector. "Rich has served me extraordinarily well for more than a decade, and I appreciate his service to this state and the country," Gov. Christie said in a statement Monday. As commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, Constable "took on some of the most complex issues impacting New Jerseyans, from controlling local property taxes to Sandy recovery," Christie said.
NEWS
March 12, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday said Gov. Christie's "moribund" affordable-housing agency had failed to do its job, and effectively transferred the agency's regulatory authority to lower courts. The ruling brought something of a resolution to a decade of litigation over the agency's proposed rules to determine municipalities' housing obligations for low- and moderate-income residents. For years, developers, cities and towns, environmentalists, and the state have wrestled with how to create affordable housing in a state where hundreds of thousands of residents struggle to pay the rent.
REAL_ESTATE
March 2, 2015 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Nora Lichtash has lived in Germantown for more than 40 years. Now she is pitching a development project there for affordable housing that would allow renters to convert their units into equity and home ownership. Lichtash's vehicle is a nonprofit known as the Women's Community Revitalization Project (WCRP). WCRP has operated in Philadelphia since 1987, and Lichtash has been director since 1990. In that time, the nonprofit has developed 250 affordable townhouses and apartments in all five counties of the region, investing about $4 million to date.
NEWS
February 10, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman and Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writers
As the New Jersey Supreme Court considers whether to intervene in the Christie administration's regulation of affordable housing, the case has brought into focus a debate over the need for such housing among low- and moderate-income residents. Affordable-housing advocates say the state's estimates - included in proposed regulations that were ultimately rejected in October - lowballed true demand and violated the Supreme Court's landmark 1975 Mount Laurel decision that established municipalities' constitutional obligation to provide their fair share of the region's housing needs.
NEWS
January 27, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Lansdale project may still be a year from completion, but people in upper Montgomery County and across the state are already bubbling about what may be its most striking and unusual feature: The front door. When North Penn Commons is finished, the door will be the lone entranceway for seemingly disparate groups: members exercising at the local YMCA, seniors living in affordable housing, and visitors to a soup kitchen, Manna on Main Street. The design is intentional, part of a bid to reach across age and economic barriers to integrate struggling older people into the community.
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