November 11, 2014
IF VETERANS DAY is about honoring the men and women who have bravely served our country, why is it that tens of thousands of them are left to trudge from shelters to street corners with no place to call home? Veterans suffer from disproportionately high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse and other crippling health conditions. Those without family and social-support networks often find it difficult to hold a job and pay the rent. As a result, in Philadelphia alone, there are more than 1,400 veterans living on the streets, with thousands more at risk of falling through the cracks of the system, according to data just released from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
October 22, 2014 |
TRENTON - Despite a looming deadline ordered by the New Jersey Supreme Court, the state Council on Affordable Housing on Monday did not approve new rules governing the creation of affordable housing. The outcome was cheered by affordable-housing and environmental interest groups, who said the rules before the board would not require enough affordable housing to be built to meet the state's needs, and would lead to development of open space rather than redevelopment. But others said the inaction - the result of a 3-3 vote - would prolong the uncertainty for municipalities, making it difficult for them to plan how much affordable housing they need to make available.
October 18, 2014 |
You could probably fit every unit of affordable housing being built in Philadelphia today inside one of the fancy glass skyscrapers going up in University City, and still have a couple of floors left over. That's not because the new towers are so immense, but because the city produces so little subsidized housing for the poor and working class. It wasn't always that way. From the 1950s through the Clinton years, the federal government financed thousands of units of affordable housing.
October 9, 2014 |
IN MARCH, City Council launched a plan to create new affordable housing, both in rental properties and in homeownership. City Council President Darrell Clarke said the "2,000 New Affordable Housing Units Initiative" would address both a severe affordable-housing shortage and growing income inequality. "Most of the units currently being built in Philadelphia are not affordable to the vast majority of residents," Clarke said March 17. Yesterday, Clarke announced two Philadelphia housing agencies, the city's Office of Housing and Community Development and the federally funded Philadelphia Housing Authority, were issuing separate requests for proposals to obtain financing to build affordable rental housing.
August 26, 2014 |
Mark Vanderbeck turned 60 on Aug. 5, but his birthday gift arrived five days earlier, in the form of a promotion - to chief executive officer of ACTS Retirement-Life Communities. It's a big job. Based in West Point, ACTS employs 6,200 and operates 23 retirement communities - with housing ranging from independent apartment living to skilled nursing care for 8,500 residents. Question: What's it like to become a newly minted CEO? Did you feel anxious when you realized - "Wow, I'm responsible for all these people and all these employees"?
August 19, 2014 |
STRAWBERRY Mansion residents will be the benefactors of three Philadelphia Housing Authority projects within 24 months. The neighbors say they want and need the housing but they want to make sure they have a say in how it's done. City officials broke ground on the first development Tuesday: the Oakdale Street Apartments, on a longtime vacant lot in the north end of Strawberry Mansion. Twelve units will be built on Oakdale Street near 28th, across from the Widener Library. The three developments will result in a total investment of about $30 million.
August 4, 2014 |
Philadelphia needs more low-income housing for veterans, particularly those who served in recent conflicts such as the Gulf War, says Walter Kubiak of Mission First Housing Group. Kubiak, a Vietnam veteran, knows that vets often have mental-health issues that don't manifest themselves for years, and that they may then have trouble finding housing. "We have a lot of young people in Philadelphia who've spent years in combat under incredible stress," he said. "They come back with head injuries that would have killed them in previous wars.
July 28, 2014 |
David La Fontaine is the new executive director of Community Ventures, a Quaker-inspired builder of affordable housing and one of the few nonprofit developers left in the city. Its latest projects include Ingersoll Commons at 16th and Master Streets, affordable housing with open green space, and Centennial Village, affordable rental apartments behind the Mann Music Center at 52d Street and Parkside Avenue. La Fontaine is pushing for more affordable housing, even as million-dollar homes keep popping up around Center City.
July 18, 2014 |
]When her husband died in December, Lauren Davis knew it was time to move. The rent on her rather tired Grays Ferry home was going up, and her landlord was not terribly responsive. The 63-year-old retired teacher's aide feared, however, that she did not have the means to relocate within her beloved neighborhood. "I didn't know what I was going to do," Davis said. The answer was phase two of the Anthony Wayne Senior Housing complex at South 28th and Morris Streets, which was developed by the Altman Group with the backing of City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson.
July 9, 2014 |
A nine-story affordable housing project will break ground at 810 Arch St. in September, thanks to an innovative partnership among nonprofit developers and the city to improve the blighted block. Sister Mary Scullion's Project HOME and the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp. (PCDC) will build the $23.5 million apartment complex on an empty lot on the south side of Arch Street. Expected to be completed by late 2015, the complex will provide 94 efficiency apartments for lower-income rental tenants ranging in age from seniors to children aging out of foster care.