July 29, 2015 |
Financial decisions can have consequences that outlive the people who make them. In the case of three women, two in South Philadelphia and one in Delaware County, the decision to take out a reverse mortgage - a special kind of loan that allows borrowers 62 and older to convert a portion of their home's equity into cash - has made their lives a nightmare. All three were younger than their spouses and not yet 62, which meant they did not qualify for these mortgages and could not be co-borrowers.
July 17, 2015 |
The Philadelphia Housing Authority on Thursday will consider banning smoking in some of its properties, a move that officials say would make it the largest public housing agency "in the nation to implement such a policy. " If approved by the Board of Commissioners, the measure would ban smoking in at least some of its units, which house about 80,000 low-income residents, a spokesman said Wednesday. The PHA would not say how comprehensive the ban would be. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than 500 housing agencies, including those in Detroit, Boston, and San Antonio, have smoking bans in place.
June 19, 2015 |
CITY OFFICIALS blew more than $500,000 on a failed computer technology upgrade that was supposed to track how the city used a $30.8 million grant from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development to combat homelessness. Now, officials with the city's Office of Supportive Housing are scrambling to find - and pay - a new vendor to quickly fix the mess, or potentially risk losing millions of dollars in HUD money needed to fund critical homeless-assistance programs in Philadelphia. "I think it's premature to talk about losing funding on any level," HUD spokesman Brian Sullivan said this week.
June 6, 2015 |
Federal housing officials on Thursday slapped former Philadelphia Housing Authority executive director Carl R. Greene with new penalties on top of his current three years' suspension from doing business with the U.S. government. In a two-page letter, the Department of Housing and Urban Development told Greene he would be barred indefinitely from working with HUD or other federal agencies after he finishes his current suspension in 2017. The indefinite suspension was ordered because Greene failed to pay a $75,000 fine levied last year, when HUD issued the three-year penalty.
September 5, 2014 |
The feds promised to help West Philadelphia. And now a cabinet secretary is showing up to take a look around. Julián Castro, head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, will tour parts of the new Promise Zone on Friday, as two local institutions commence a $4 million initiative to transform early childhood education in a troubled part of the city. The effort, led by the William Penn Foundation and Drexel University, seeks to double the number of neighborhood children in high-quality child care within three years.
August 18, 2014 |
Community improvement projects across the region have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funding after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development changed its low- and moderate-income maps in the middle of the grant process. The update, which happened in June, took some local officials by surprise and has them scrambling to find money for such projects as a pedestrian bridge at a Hatboro-Horsham school and improvements to the Ambler Community Center. Montgomery County had already selected the projects to fund when HUD updated the maps.
June 25, 2014 |
TRENTON - New Jersey Senate Republicans blocked Democrats' attempt to override Gov. Christie's conditional veto of proposed Hurricane Sandy "Bill of Rights" legislation Monday, a move Senate President Stephen Sweeney denounced as "sickening. " The bill passed both houses of the Democrat-controlled Legislature in March without a single "no" vote, but Christie, a Republican, conditionally vetoed it in May and sent revisions back to lawmakers. The governor said parts of the bill violated federal law and had "unquantifiable administrative costs.
March 30, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has barred Carl R. Greene, former executive director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, from working with HUD or other federal agencies for three years. The sanction, called debarment, is HUD's stiffest civil penalty. In a two-paragraph letter Thursday, HUD said it acted because Greene failed to disclose money the agency spent lobbying members of Congress. As a consequence, HUD enforcement officer Craig T. Clemmensen told Greene and his lawyer Thomas A. Bergstrom that Greene was banned from working on projects "with HUD and throughout the executive branch.
March 6, 2014 |
OCEAN CITY, N.J. - Back in late 2012, the mayor of this beach town looked at the ruined Pecks Beach Village public housing area and did what a lot of private homeowners did - or wanted to do - after Sandy. "It really came down to, you know, after the storm, the residents were all displaced, in hotels, scattered all over the place," Jay Gillian said. "To see the despair and depression and the devastation these people had gone through - I went to my administration and said, 'Look, guys, we can't wait.' " So the mayor and the city figured out a way to fix the federally funded homes and get the 60 low-income families back into them as fast as possible, and worried about getting reimbursed for the $1.2 million later.
February 26, 2014 |
Philadelphia Housing Authority board member Nelson A. Diaz is resigning, citing a federal decision that he cannot serve unless his law firm stops doing PHA legal work. In a letter to City Council President Darrell Clark, Diaz said he would leave the nine-member board April 1. He said he was being forced off by an unnamed person who complained to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development about Dilworth, Paxton, Diaz's law firm, having contracts with PHA. "Someone wants me off the board by seeking an excuse from HUD," Diaz said in the two-page letter, "and, trying not to embarrass anyone, I will resign.