July 18, 2015 |
The Philadelphia Housing Authority's board of commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to ban smoking in all PHA units. Housing officials said Philadelphia, with 80,000 low-income tenants, is the largest city in the country to enact such a prohibition. The new rules are to take effect Aug. 5. According to a poll released by the PHA, 35 percent of respondents smoked or lived with a smoker, and 55 percent supported living in smoke-free housing. Herbert Wetzel, the board's vice chairman, said PHA officials and public-housing residents worked for months to arrive at "a fair and equitable policy to move forward with.
July 16, 2015 |
Finding an affordable place of her own was so important to Latoya Wright that when she learned that the Philadelphia Housing Authority was building green homes in Strawberry Mansion, she stood in line at 1 in the morning in the hope of securing a spot. The mother of two had been on the waiting list for public housing for more than a decade. The hours in line, said Wright, 31, were worth it. This week, she and her daughters - Mahagony, 13, and Jayda, 6 - will move out of her sister's home into a two-bedroom townhouse at 2800 Oakdale St., the site of 12 new affordable housing units in the North Philadelphia neighborhood.
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.
October 23, 2013 |
WHEN Barbara Ann Fox set up housekeeping in Center City in the early '60s, she couldn't boil water. A slight exaggeration, but she was definitely culinarily challenged. Typical of Barbara's can-do nature, which she carried throughout her busy life, she became such an expert at cooking that she was a legend among friends and family - and much in demand. People wanted her to cater their parties. Her Christmas cookies were almost too creative to eat. Barbara Fox - a great cook, a skilled seamstress who made clothes for herself and others, an avid quilter, a painter whose watercolors were cherished by family and friends, and a community activist - died Oct. 13 of cardiac arrest.
September 21, 2013 |
Larry Dennis started smoking at 16, usually Newports, and he didn't quit until March. "I stopped because I knew we couldn't smoke no more in here," Dennis, 57, said Thursday afternoon outside the Church Street towers in West Chester, where he lives in public housing. "I wanted to anyway. It was better for me. " The Housing Authority of Chester County is the first in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey to go smoke-free, although the Philadelphia Housing Authority hopes to test a policy at four pilot sites within a year.
March 29, 2013 |
Through a combination of layoffs, cost cutting, and property sales, the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) hopes to offset by $23.3 million the shortfall in its budget caused by the sequester cuts. At Thursday's board meeting, PHA Commissioner Estelle Richman approved the budget plan for the fiscal year beginning April 1. PHA expects to raise $4 million by selling scattered sites of housing - mostly stand-alone rowhouses and vacant lots. The agency will reduce overhead through savings on its insurance policy, $2.6 million, and reductions in administrative costs, $6 million.
October 18, 2012 |
The 26-year-old mother's screams for help Tuesday afternoon attracted everyone's attention on the sixth floor of the West Park Apartments on Busti Street. A fire had broken out in Tasha Rose's apartment while she was at a trash incinerator at the West Philadelphia complex, and two of her sons - ages 3 and 4 - were trapped inside. The mother and a male neighbor rushed inside and grabbed 3-year-old Tyheed. But 4-year-old Tymear could not be found amid the heat and smoke, which forced the adults out of the apartment.
July 1, 2012 |
Two weeks after taking charge of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, the interim chief has removed two senior staffers, including a close aide to deposed Executive Director Carl R. Greene. PHA confirmed that Shelley James, Greene's former chief of staff, left the agency Friday. A lawyer, she joined PHA in 2003 and was paid $163,000 a year. Also out is Keith Caldwell, a 14-year veteran who managed 300 employees in operations and oversaw conventional public housing as well as the Section 8 rent-voucher program.
June 28, 2012 |
Twenty-five years after she was charged with welfare fraud, Asia Coney, a tenant leader in the Philadelphia Housing Authority, has paid restitution of $2,974.50. In 1987, Coney, known at the time as Lillian Coney, was one of 34 current and former city employees accused of collecting state welfare benefits while on the city payroll. The city's probation department sued Coney in 1993 for not paying restitution - and finally collected its fine this week. Coney was in the Criminal Justice Center briefly Wednesday to settle the matter.