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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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REAL_ESTATE
April 18, 2016 | By Alan J. Heavens, Staff Writer
In the early 2000s, as every Class B and C apartment and office building was being converted to condos, suggestions that some people might prefer renting brought complaints from Realtors and home builders. That was the "Buy Now, Maybe Pay Later" housing boom, during which the multifamily rental industry began calling its inventory "apartment homes" as a way of competing. So one morning in early September 2007, we awoke to find that we were overstocked with houses and condos that no one could afford and not enough apartments to accommodate the corresponding increase in renters.
NEWS
April 17, 2016 | By David O'Reilly, Staff Writer
If you're a low-income family looking to buy a home, the experts advising hundreds of New Jersey townships on their affordable housing obligations have a nice place in mind: a four-bedroom house on Long Beach Island for $700,000. Don't care for the beach? How about a five-bedroom house in Toms River with a pool and hot tub? It last sold for $500,000, but it qualifies as "affordable housing" to Econsult Solutions. These are just two of 400 homes with price tags of $500,000 or more that Econsult has identified as "affordable," according to data provided by the Fair Share Housing Center advocacy group.
NEWS
April 9, 2016 | By David O'Reilly, Staff Writer
The planning consultant for hundreds of New Jersey municipalities has more than doubled to 72,000 its estimate of how many affordable-housing units towns might have to zone for statewide over the next decade. The 37,000 additional units are the firm's estimate of need if the state courts should rule that municipalities had a legal obligation to make room for low- and middle-income households between 1999 and 2015. In December, the Philadelphia firm, Econsult Solutions, had estimated the statewide obligation at slightly more than 35,000 units.
NEWS
March 10, 2016
By Kelvin A. Jeremiah The surge of growth and prosperity in many Center City neighborhoods is having little impact on Philadelphia's 400,000 families living below the poverty line. Struggling daily to meet basic needs, a Philadelphia family must earn $45,400 annually to afford a two-bedroom apartment, according to a 2014 report issued by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. However, the 2015 average annual income of Philadelphia Housing Authority's (PHA) current and wait-listed families remained at $15,300.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2016
One by one, the totems of poverty that once dotted Philadelphia's urban landscape have been disappearing. Since the late '90s, the Philadelphia Housing Authority has imploded 23 public housing towers and replaced them with traditional rowhouses. On March 19, two more of those alien towers, the Norman Blumberg Apartments, will be reduced to dust in the North Philadelphia neighborhood the PHA has dubbed Sharswood. This time, however, the housing authority's ambitions are much bigger than usual.
NEWS
February 21, 2016 | By David O'Reilly, Staff Writer
In a ruling that may prove influential across New Jersey, a judge in Ocean County has concluded that municipalities must zone for the affordable housing projects they did not build over the last 15 years. "The court finds that municipalities are constitutionally mandated to address this obligation" as spelled out in the 1985 Fair Housing Act, Superior Court Judge Mark A. Troncone wrote in an opinion handed down Thursday. Troncone's ruling does not establish legal precedent outside Ocean County.
NEWS
February 19, 2016 | By David O'Reilly, Staff Writer
Calling it the first settlement of a major affordable-housing case since the New Jersey Supreme Court issued new Mount Laurel guidelines last year, an advocacy group said Wednesday that Piscataway Township had agreed to accommodate the construction of 975 affordable units over the next decade. An upper-middle-income community of 55,000 people in Middlesex County, Piscataway abuts New Brunswick and is home to many buildings of Rutgers University. Its median household income is about $88,500.
NEWS
February 16, 2016 | By David O'Reilly, Staff Writer
An advocacy group for affordable housing is asking New Jersey judges to reject the methods a consulting firm used to calculate the affordable housing obligations for hundreds of municipalities. In briefs filed Friday in numerous South Jersey Superior Courts, the Fair Share Housing Center described as "specious" and "highly dubious" the methods that Econsult Solutions Inc. of Philadelphia recently used to project the state's household growth and population through 2025. Based on those projections and other data, Econsult calculated that the state's 565 municipalities need to accommodate 37,000 affordable housing units over the next decade.
NEWS
February 11, 2016 | BY VALERIE RUSS, Staff Writer
A DEVELOPMENT OF about 30 affordable rental homes in Point Breeze moved a step closer to reality Tuesday when the Philadelphia Vacant Property Review Committee approved the transfer of two vacant parcels to the Women's Community Revitalization Project (WCRP). The Mamie Nichols Townhomes would consist of one- to three-bedroom apartments and townhouses. It is named for a Point Breeze community activist who died in 2009, said Nora Lichtash, executive director of the WCRP. "This is something we've been working on for the last few months," Lichtash said Tuesday.
BUSINESS
February 10, 2016 | By Alan J. Heavens, REAL ESTATE WRITER
Whenever she passes a sign announcing another "luxury" housing project, Betty Leacraft says, she wonders "why many developers don't think about including some affordable housing for the people who already live there. " Among those people: artists like Leacraft, who lives and works in the lower Lancaster Avenue area of West Philadelphia, near where she grew up. In recent years, an increasing number of artists have been drawn to West Powelton, Mill Creek, Mantua, and other neighborhoods by affordable space in which to live and work - much as they once migrated to parts of the city that are now enclaves of high-end housing.
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