Over the last few years, forty-one homes have risen in the Point Breeze neighborhood thanks to funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which was “established for the purpose of stabilizing communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment.” With financing administered by the Redevelopment Authority, these homes have been presented by politicians and in the media as affordable housing options. As former PRA executive director Ed Covington said in an Inquirer article last year, ”These homes represent an opportunity for families of average means to buy a house in a revitalizing neighborhood.”
NSP homes at 20th and Dickinson
But are these homes affordable? And are the people buying them truly those being targeted by the program? The question of whether these homes are actually affordable at prices ranging from $125K – $250K has certainly…
We last checked in on the Northstar Point Breeze homes at 20th & Dickinson almost a year ago, when they had just been framed out. As you can probably guess, these affordable homes have been finished in the time that’s passed, and have been on the market since April. All have been under contract for several months though, at prices ranging from $172.5K to $179K. The corner property settled two days ago and the other two homes are scheduled to close by the end of the month.
The other day
As you can see, these homes look better than a lot of market rate homes we see around the neighborhood, thanks to the efforts of architects JKR Partners. And while…
Dear Editors of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Jan Ransom’s December 20th, 2012 story titled “Housing plan sparks debate in Point Breeze” contains so many factual errors that only one of two disappointing possibilities can be true. Either the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority is engaging in a systematic campaign of misinformation or they simply have no idea what is going on in their offices. Either way, we should all be concerned.
Let me start off by stating that I support affordable housing in Philadelphia. I believe it is absolutely needed, and I wholeheartedly embrace the commitment of those righteous people who have dedicated their lives to helping lower income residents live better and more productive lives in our great city. I do not, however, support Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority wantonly spending tax dollars for little more than sound bites and political scores. They are preying on the poor and tugging on the heart strings…
Over a year ago, we attended a meeting in Francisville where representatives from People for People and Project H.O.M.E. presented details about a huge project which was to replace a vacant triangular loton the eastern end of the neighborhood. At the meeting, the neighborhood supported the project, by a roughly 20% margin.
The triangle in question
The project officially broke ground last month, and we recently noticed some walls (or perhaps elevator shafts?) rising from the ground.
From the north
More of the site
This time looking west
As we told you once before, the four story LEED certified building will have 55 apartment units, second floor office space for Project H.O.M.E., a ten-space parking lot, and about 12K…
Back in May, we first told you about plans for a new six story building at 249-57 S 13th St., which would replace a PPA garage. The 56-unit affordable housing building will be marketed toward seniors in the LGBT community, but residence in the building will be available to people of any orientation. A few months ago, it looked like this:
Demolition started at the end of October, and now the site looks like this:
No more garage
Some preliminary foundation work has begun
From the Philadelphia Business Journal, we were able to find a new and much more attractive rendering than we originally presented. Hopefully, the building will eventually look like the image below:
Rendering from the PBJ
We’ll be sure to check back here in a few months to see how the building is progressing.
A few weeks ago, we told you that the PRA Land Grab (for more info on this, click here) would be coming before the Rules Committee of City Council and encouraged you to go out and make your voice heard. The hearing featured a parade of affordable housing developers touting the importance of affordable housing and featured only one person testifying in dissent. The favorable vote seemed like a mere formality.
Cmte of the Rules
The principal question that remains unanswered is why the City can’t simply build affordable housing on lots it already owns and instead is using powers of eminent domain to seize privately owned lots. While it’s great that many parcels have been removed from the original list, that any private land will be taken for affordable housing, to be constructed at some indeterminate future time when funding…