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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
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.
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.
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