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NEWS
July 2, 1990 | By NEAL PEIRCE
History's most infamous public-housing photo was snapped here in July 1972 as city-housing authorities dynamited the three central blocks of the massive Pruitt-Igoe project. I'd been at the terminally troubled 12-story high-rises several months earlier. It was hard to miss the trouble. Walkways were covered with shattered window glass and tin cans. In hallways, lights were broken, elevators vandalized. The stench of garbage and urine was everywhere. The "ultimate solution" for Pruitt-Igoe - the demolition of 33 buildings, broadcast to an incredulous nation - led me, and others, to a snap conclusion.
NEWS
May 9, 2003
I UNDERSTAND the need for urban renewal, and I don't want to sound cruel, but how is it that all the residents in housing projects in South Philly get newly built houses while hardworking people in South Philly have to struggle to buy a new home? I grew up in South Philly in a single-parent home and never lived in the projects - that's a testament to my mother wanting better for us. I personally know people who have generations of relatives living in the projects. Why not? It's cheap, you don't have to care for it and sooner or later, they'll build you a new home at taxpayers' expense.
NEWS
June 24, 1987 | By Charles B. Oliver and Daniel A. Witt
On May 27, 1987, the Newark, N.J., housing authority began the demolition of the Scudder Homes project. Before television news crews, the first high- rise building was leveled. This dramatic event symbolized the failure of 50 years of federal housing policy. The Scudder homes project was built in the 1960s at a cost of $20 million. In the ensuing years, the Department of Housing and Urban Development poured another $36 million into the project. Despite the massive amounts of money spent on Scudder Homes, the project became a breeding ground for crime, poverty and vandalism.
NEWS
May 7, 1999 | by Mensah M. Dean, Daily News Staff Writer
For nearly three months, 32 Philadelphia public housing residents from across the city have risen at dawn to commute to the Tasker Homes development to learn as much as they can about the building trades. "It's hard getting up in the morning to get here. But that's what it takes to make it in the trades. So there ain't much use in complaining," said Bernard Browne, 20, who rides a train, subway and two buses to get to Tasker in South Philadelphia from his Northeast apartment. The program that has Browne and his fellow residents so motivated was officially unveiled yesterday during a ceremony featuring public housing Executive Director Carl Greene, Mayor Rendell and a host of city, civic and union leaders.
NEWS
June 22, 1992
None of the horror stories in Daily News reporter Joe Daughen's story Friday on the Philadelphia Housing Authority were news to the authority's 100,000 tenants. Nor are these findings in the most recent audit of PHA by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: 99 percent of PHA housing units flunk HUD's "decent, safe and sanitary" tests. PHA's bloated maintenance staff is so inept it takes about five years to fix up a vacant unit and move a new family into it. Routine maintenance is so sloppy PHA doesn't know how many service calls it makes or completes.
NEWS
June 8, 2007 | By Larry Eichel, Inquirer Senior Writer
When the Schuylkill Falls towers were demolished back in 1996, the promise was that the dilapidated, oversized housing project would be replaced with a viable, mixed-income community. Now, at long last, the promise is on the verge of being fulfilled. Tomorrow morning in East Falls, dignitaries including Gov. Rendell and Mayor Street are to gather to cut the ribbon on the final element of the package: A private, market-rate development - featuring a number of large and expensive homes - sitting right next to public housing.
NEWS
April 10, 1989 | By Gerald B. Jordan, Inquirer Washington Bureau
After touring public housing sites and reviewing proposals from more than 800 housing authorities, the nation's housing chief has developed a massive "sweep-up" plan aimed at eliminating drug traffic. Jack F. Kemp, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, planned to present the details today when he joins Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and drug czar William J. Bennett in announcing an action plan for the troubled District of Columbia. In a meeting with reporters, Kemp said he wanted his drug-enforcement proposals for the District of Columbia's public housing to be applied nationally.
NEWS
June 2, 1987 | By Roger Cohn, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tenants from five public housing developments yesterday began a 15-month training program aimed at enabling them to take over the management of their projects from the Philadelphia Housing Authority. Under the program, which is being sponsored by the nonprofit Housing Association of the Delaware Valley, the tenants will be trained in everything from rent collection to tenant selection and would ultimately assume responsibility for managing their own developments. Similar programs have worked successfully in more than a dozen cities, including St. Louis, Jersey City and Washington, where tenant organizations currently manage public housing developments under contracts with the local housing authorities.
NEWS
February 5, 2008 | By Marcia Gelbart INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Carl Greene isn't necessarily regarded as the nicest guy in town, but in his 10th year as executive director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, he is seen as one of the most successful. Among friends and critics alike, he is overwhelmingly credited with single-handedly recasting the look of affordable housing in Philadelphia. Arriving here from Detroit in 1998 at the behest of Mayor Ed Rendell, Greene found an aging stock of public housing, much of it grim high-rises, warrens of crime and decay.
NEWS
October 12, 1986 | By Charlie Frush, Inquirer Staff Writer
In all of Burlington County's 40 municipalities, there are only three communities that have public housing authorities that offer low-rent or moderate-rent housing to the public at large. "The real story is not that there are three housing authorities but why there are not 40 housing authorities," said John Nolan, executive director of the Burlington City Housing Authority. "Not a day goes by but that somebody from Mount Holly or Willingboro or Browns Mills comes in to our office because they can find no reasonable rental facility.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
July 18, 2015 | By Madeline R. Conway, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 16, 2015 | By Madeline R. Conway, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
March 6, 2014 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
October 23, 2013 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
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.
NEWS
September 21, 2013 | By Don Sapatkin and Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writers
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.
NEWS
March 29, 2013 | By Jennifer Lin, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
October 18, 2012 | By Jonathan Lai and Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writers
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.
NEWS
July 1, 2012 | By Jennifer Lin and Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
June 28, 2012 | By Jennifer Lin, Inquirer Staff Writer
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.
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