Release: Mayor: Boost Housing Funding; Over 600 applications for 51 low cost rental units

For Immediate Release:
March 2, 2016

Beth McConnell, PACDC (215) 732-5829 x 110
Lowell Brown, NKCDC, 215-427-0350 , x 137

Groups Urge Mayor to Double the Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund In FY18 Budget 

The New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) announced today that their newest affordable rental development, Orinoka Civic House, received over 600 applications for only 51 available units.  “We are overwhelmed by the demand for affordable homes in our community. The large number of applications we received for such a limited number of available units really demonstrates how great the need is in not only our community, but all of Philadelphia,” said Sandy Salzman, Executive Director of NKCDC. 

PACDC and its members, including NKCDC, have been urging the Kenney Administration and City Council to work together to identify additional funding sources to boost investment in the HTF through their campaign, Can’t Wait to Be Home:  Double the Housing Trust Fund.  “If Mayor Kenney wants individuals and families to get a good education, improve their health, and find a good paying job, they need to provide more stable affordable homes and prevent homelessness.  It’s time for the Mayor to work to double the Housing Trust Fund,” added McConnell.

More than 70,000 extremely low income Philadelphians pay an unsustainably high percentage of their incomes on rent. Philadelphia also lost more than 23,000 low cost rental units between 2000 – 2014.  Organizations that prevent and end homelessness have also been overwhelmed by the demand for their services.

The Philadelphia Housing Trust Fund (HTF) is a local source of revenue that makes grants to non-profits that build new affordable homes, repair existing homes, or address homelessness.  In its first ten years, the HTF invested more than $109 million, and served more than 27,000 households. The Philadelphia Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers this $13 million per year fund. 

An economic impact of the HTF conducted by Econsult in 2016 showed that for every $1 the HTF spends, there is an $11.30 economic impact in Philadelphia, as other funds are leveraged, jobs are created, and taxes are generated.

“We are so proud to be able to provide 51 new units of safe, affordable rental housing. At the same time, the staggering response is a sad reminder of the gap between the real need for housing in this city and the ability of organizations like ours to meet that need. We deploy every tool at our disposal – utility and budget assistance, home repair programs, foreclosure prevention, and more – but ultimately, leadership from the Mayor is needed now more than ever,” Salzman concluded.

About NKCDC and the Orinoka Civic House
NKCDC's mission is to strengthen the physical, social, and economic fabric of the community by being a catalyst for sustainable development and community building – Orinoka Civic House is a $17.8 million overhaul of the former Orinoka Mills factory near the Somerset El stop in Kensington. In addition to 51 affordable one and two bedroom apartments, it will offer community and commercial space, including NKCDC’s main offices –

PACDC is a membership association of more than 120 community development corporations (CDCs), non-profits and for-profits that work to create more equitable Philadelphia neighborhoods.  PACDC supports our members by providing training, technical assistance, and engaged in policy advocacy.

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