City Bulletin Updates on New Grant Program
On May 17, Mayor Kenney, City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker, and Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation (PHDC) celebrated the first of many residents receiving services because of the $100 million in bond funds issued by City Council. These funds are designated to eliminate the current waiting list for the City’s home preservation programs. In December of 2016 Philadelphia’s City Council approved the issuance of $100 million in bond funds. These funds will help eliminate the waiting lists Bond Issuance Reduces Resident Waitlist for PHDC Housing Preservation Services of PHDC’s Basic Systems Repair Program (BSRP), Adaptive Modifications Program (AMP), and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). The waiting lists for these programs are currently 3-4 years, with over 7,000 Philadelphians waiting for services and repairs. City officials and affordable housing advocates spoke outside the home of Hagar Redmond, who was receiving plumbing and insulation repairs more than three years after being approved for BSRP assistance.“These programs are very important to our most vulnerable neighbors,” Mayor Kenney said. “These funds help repair roofs, fix heaters, replace sewer pipes, and enable other repairs that not only help a homeowner’s quality of living, but help keep them in their homes by providing these much needed repairs that may be prohibitively expensive otherwise.”
“Since January, PHDC has been hiring and training additional staff and partnering with additional contractors to develop an effective strategy to administer these additional funds to the existing waiting list,” said Fred Purnell, Deputy Director for Housing and Community Development. “We are excited to be here today to serve this resident, and look forward to serving many Philadelphians in significantly less time.”“Housing preservation assistance is a costefficient and highly effective way to create jobs, prevent homelessness and displacement, and stabilize neighborhoods at risk for decline,” Council President Clarke said. “With the help of committed partners in the Administration and the affordable housing advocacy community, Philadelphia can be an example to other cities of managing growth in an equitable way. Homes are not islands; we should all care about our neighbors and about making sure every Philadelphian is able to live in a community of choice.” “As a longtime advocate for housing preservation, I am pleased to have one of the first homes impacted by these additional funds be in the 9th District,” said City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker. “Residents in this district, and across the City, have been waiting for services, but funding has been very limited. These additional funds give PHDC the ability to positively impact so many homeowners across our great city! I am glad to be a part of that today.”The Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA), and Philadelphia City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell joined community members, public officials, and community partners to celebrated the completion of Phase II renovations for Mt. Vernon Manor on April 19, 2017. Mt. Vernon Manor II is located in the Mantua section of Philadelphia at 34th and Wallace Streets. Mt. Vernon Manor II is 46 affordable apartments. The mission of the project is to preserve affordable housing options in the rapidly changing Mantua neighborhood.“Mt. Vernon Manor is the type of investment the 3rd District needs,” said Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell. “I support this project because it gives the community access to quality affordable housing. I know how hard people are working to support their families, and they deserve to live in a decent neighborhood that they can call home.” “The former design and operations of the apartment buildings were a deterrent to the community,” said Michael Thorpe, Chairman of the Mt Vernon Manor Board. “This project encourages businesses, homeowners, and Sustaining Affordable Housing in Mantua section of Philadelphia.” BSRP provides free repairs to roofs, electrical, plumbing and heating systems for owner-occupied homes in Philadelphia. AMP is designed to help Philadelphians with permanent physical disabilities remain in their homes. WAP provides free weatherization and energy-efficiency improvements to owner-occupied houses and tenant-occupied rental units located in the City of Philadelphia. Each program has income requirements and other criteria for participation.