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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
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
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
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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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.
NEWS
June 9, 2016
ONE WATER STREET is a glitzy, new apartment house that was designed to be a model for public-private endeavors to create more housing for low- and moderate-income Philadelphians. In exchange for city allowing the building to exceed zoning rules on density, the developer, PMC Property Group, agreed to make 25 units available to people who could not afford the $1,750- to $5,500-a-month rent for an apartment. As a result, the building, which sits on the waterfront near the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, is five floors higher than normally allowed.
NEWS
June 8, 2016 | By David O'Reilly, Staff Writer
A panel of Appellate Division judges heard arguments Monday on whether New Jersey's municipalities must zone for the many thousands of affordable housing units that were not approved between 1999 and 2015. The court promised a quick decision. At issue is whether townships and cities that did not zone for their legally mandated share of low- and middle-income housing during this "gap period" must do so on top of their obligations through 2025. If the panel rules in favor of an affordable-housing advocacy group's position, it could double or triple the Mount Laurel -type housing obligations of some municipalities.
NEWS
June 7, 2016 | By David O'Reilly, Staff Writer
Just how much affordable housing New Jersey must provide for in the decade ahead may hang in the balance Monday when an appeals panel convenes in Mount Holly's historic Olde Courthouse. Three judges of the Appellate Division are to consider whether municipalities have a persisting obligation to zone for all the housing units that went unapproved between 1999 and 2015. During that period, the state failed to devise a formula for calculating those obligations under the New Jersey Supreme Court's Mount Laurel decisions.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 4, 2016 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
One Water Street , the first project built under Philadelphia's Delaware waterfront master plan , isn't quite finished, but the luxury apartment house already towers over Columbus Boulevard. At 16 stories, it promises residents spectacular views of the river, from the Ben Franklin Bridge to the sailboats bobbing in the marina next to Morgan's Pier. One-bedroom apartments are listing for an impressive $1,875 a month. One Water owes its statuesque proportions and fabulous panorama to a new provision in Philadelphia's zoning code that was intended to boost the supply of affordable housing in fast-gentrifying neighborhoods.
NEWS
May 25, 2016 | By David O'Reilly, Staff Writer
The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division will hear arguments June 6 on whether municipalities have an obligation to zone for affordable-housing units that they did not allow between 1999 and 2015. A panel of judges is scheduled to convene that day at the Old Courthouse in Mount Holly, built in 1794 and modeled on Congress Hall in Philadelphia. A ruling could affect by tens of thousands the number of affordable-housing units the state's 565 municipalities must zone for in the decade ahead under the state Supreme Court's Mount Laurel rulings.
NEWS
May 12, 2016 | By Chris Brennan, Staff Writer
Has Philadelphia's famous "councilmanic prerogative" been used in Point Breeze to encourage construction of affordable housing, or to punish a political foe? That was the question a federal jury had to grapple with Tuesday in the first day of trial for a lawsuit developer Ori Feibush filed against City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. Feibush, who lost the 2015 Democratic primary election for the Second District to Johnson, said his projects had been repeatedly stymied and opposed by Johnson and his staff.
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.
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