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What's Happening in:  Point Breeze 

Should nearly all of South Philly be ‘Opportunity Zones’ for affordable housing?

Point Breeze pic (anyone know the street?) from ilovebricks.

Point Breeze pic (anyone know the street?) by Peter Baker via flickr.

City Council President Darrell Clarke proposed a sweeping vision this week for building 1,500 units of affordable housing in gentrifying areas of Philadelphia. The plan identifies 12¬†”Opportunity Zones” across the city, and No. 1 and No. 2 are essentially all of South Philly between¬†Washington and Oregon avenues.

Clarke proposes borrowing $100 million and using what he called untapped federal housing credits for 1,000 units of rental housing in 12. Another 500 would be for sale by middle-income workers.

If you’d like more specifics about the plan, the Inquirer, Daily News and New York Times all reported the story. And to really get into the nitty gritty, you can read the whole report here.

It’s still very early, and no specific locations have been selected. First District Councilman Mark Squilla (east of Broad, essentially) noted that the zones have not been finalized. “They are not set in stone at this time,” he told us in an email. “We are working with the city to pinpoint all the vacant parcels to put a plan together.”

That said, what do you think about including Point Breeze, East Passyunk and Pennsport in this mix? Should the city be snapping up valuable land in these areas for affordable housing, or should they let the market decide?



69 Responses to Should nearly all of South Philly be ‘Opportunity Zones’ for affordable housing?

  1. AnthonyG March 19, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    Are you effing kiddin’ me?! Nobody in their right mind wants anything to do with an “Opportunitz Zone”. It’s just a new word for “how about we put some PHA houses on your block”.

    A giant F-U Darrrell.

    • ProvWitout March 19, 2014 at 3:28 pm #


  2. acer March 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    sounds like they should call this the “Slum Preservation Act of 2014″ – bad, bad idea. we don’t have to cater to the bottom rung of society for everything in this town. let the market sort it out.

    • ProvWitout March 19, 2014 at 3:28 pm #


  3. last straw March 19, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    I cannot believe this is even a real idea. If this passes im am leaving and letting this dump of a city finally suffocate the last hope of evolving. When will this city realize its potential and stop setting its self back! I guess I choose Market, go ahead call me a racist. You can enjoy the fallout.

  4. Aman March 19, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    No, no , no, no, no.

    Is that clear enough?

    The answer is N.O.

  5. ProvWitout March 19, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    This is a Slum Preservation Act!!! No more halfway houses and PHA houses and all kinds of junk of that sort! You want to fix the crime problem? Let the neighborhoods continue to improve! We have enough slums in South/West Philly! Why do we refuse to let go of the bad houses with bad people in them? Why must we choose to be 2nd rate?

    I hate this idea so much! Please.. If anyone knows of any petition that can be signed in opposition to this whacky “Slum Voter Preservation Act”, please post the link so I can sign on.

    I’m a registered democrat.. I’m also pretty liberal.. But this right here is just way too much forcing the issue. Bad idea. Get it this bad idea outta here or vote the bums outta here!

    • ProvWitout March 19, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

      South Philly must fight tooth and nail to put a halt to all efforts aimed at turning us into Southwest Philly…We can’t accept any more of this.

  6. c'mon March 19, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    Ah, philly destroying its self again. I’m an Independent, if this city wants to evolve, stop voting democratic. I am with the market on this. What an awful, backwards idea.

  7. c'mon March 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm #


    You better spread the word now, because this will 100% pass.

  8. Dan P. March 19, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    I’m not quite as panicked about this as others seem to be, mostly because there already are very few vacant lots or abandoned properties east of Broad Street and the same is very rapidly occurring West of Broad. The market is already taking care of this. A 2-story home on Juniper recently had an offer of $380k! Unreal. And houses on 15th are being listed at nearly $400k.

    This really seems to be a solution in search of a problem. As mentioned by another prominent blogger in the city, the city of Philadelphia does not have an affordable housing problem, it has a lack of money problem. Certainly some individual neighborhoods are very expensive but there are still plenty of places where a home can be bought for a little over $100k or where rents are $400 to $600 per month. Plenty.

    Clarke should be focusing on figuring out whether there’s anything he can do to help the poor improve their incomes and wealth so they can buy the cheap property on their own.

    But like I said. Not too worried that there’s going to be a rush of public housing in South Philly simply because there’s nowhere (in material terms) to put it.

    • ProvWitout March 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

      I kind see your point.. And totally agree that Clarke should be trying to improve the incomes of residents rather than force their housing prices down… A great start would be supporting the minimum wage to a true LIVING WAGE!!

  9. Beth McConnell March 19, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    I am very disappointed by the response from my neighbors in South Philly in the comments above. While there are lots of details of Clarke’s proposal that need analysis to determine if it’s the financing for this plan makes sense, the overarching goals of creating more affordable housing in our neighborhood are critical and worth supporting. And building that housing by taking vacant, abandoned properties and developing them into brand new homes is a not preserving slums — it is new construction up to modern code and standards. Low income and moderate income people, which includes the working poor and middle class families, deserve a place in our neighborhood.

    • c'mon March 19, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

      Your ruining the city.

    • jam March 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

      If the City stop raising taxes and collect the thousands of dollars owed to the city. Maybe people would come back to the city and buy those properties that are in ruins and make it a better city. Why should we pay so much and have our property get depreciated with housing?

    • jim March 20, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

      South Philly is full of affordable housing and at least 4 public housing projects and many sec 8 housing,why can’t we support people with money who can afford to pay taxes and bring more retail to south philly,when neighborhoods get run down and saturated with sec 8 housing we wonder why middle and upper income people flee,let the market dictate prices,philly has many affordable areas to move to look at the decline in the northeast sections because of section 8

      Politicians should fight for good jobs so poor people can have opportunity not kept in govt housing and be beholding to politicians to keep all the freebies coming. teach people skills so they to can enjoy the middle class not be kept in economic slavery

      • Melissa March 21, 2014 at 10:24 am #

        Jim, I agree. I lived in NE Philly and watched it crumble because of section 8 moving into our block that was once a nice neighborhood. Then I moved to S. Philly. I can always move onto a nicer neighborhood if this happens.

        If Philly wants to chase out the middle class and let this city slip further into a slum, let them pass it. Not everyone can afford to live in this neighborhood. Let the market dictate where people can live. There are tons of abandoned properties in North Philly that need attention.

  10. c'mon March 19, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    Also, when the trash throwing, yelling, dirty people you want to live on your street show up, you will feel differently.

  11. Beth McConnell March 19, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    Dan P (and others), there is a very big difference between “public” housing and “affordable” housing. Although the proposal from Clarke involves some PHA subsidies, they would not be PHA housing. They would be built by non profit and/or for profit developers. Rentals will be maintained by the developers, not PHA, and homeownership will of course be sold to the homeowners.

    And the problem of affordable housing in the city is huge. We need roughly 96,000 more units of affordable rental housing just to meet current demand. PHA’s waiting list is more than 100,000 people, and that doesn’t count those that make too much to qualify for public housing but are struggling to find decent, safe and nice places to live.

    The other point is that low and moderate income people should not all be concentrated in one neighborhood. We should use the tools we have to build affordability into neighborhoods where prices are high so we have mixed income communities.

    • AnthonyG March 20, 2014 at 9:16 am #

      The claim there is a housing shortage is patently false. There is a shortage of people who are able to pay for housing. The idea of placing susidized housing in stable neighborhoods has been shown time and time again to do nothing other than destroy the stability of said neighborhood.That is an undeniable fact. Deal with it.

      • ProvWitout March 20, 2014 at 8:55 pm #


    • Dan P. March 20, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      My wording was imprecise… strike “public” in the last sentence and replace it with “affordable.”

      My basic point of trying to tamp down the panic here remains. There simply aren’t that many vacant or abandoned properties in much of South Philadelphia east of about 17th Street (aside from maybe the corridor along 5th and 6th) that there would be a material change in “the character of neighborhoods” so feared by so many here. And if there is a vacant lot of abandoned property here and there, the rapidly rising selling prices for homes in the area will mean that market-rate developers are likely to snatch them up at prices that wouldn’t work for affordable housing developers even with a public subsidy. And after all that, IF an affordable housing developer does get one, renovate it and sell or rent it to someone who needs affordable housing, it’s not a given, as so many here seem to think it is, that the whole block will then fall apart. If anything, that person moving in will instantly see their personal wealth go up at settlement as they pay $200k for a house that they could sell for $300k (though I’m sure there are rules about how long one has to hold and reside in a home before one can sell it).

      Plus, why is it a given that if low and moderate income people buy or rent housing in areas where housing is naturally affordable that the outcome will be bad for them rather than they’ll make the neighborhood better? When low- and moderate-income people started moving into Northern Liberties (“concentrated” there, as it were) several years ago when it was a bad (and therefore affordable) neighborhood, the result was that they made the neighborhood better to the point where they could cash in on the rising value of their homes or, if renters, move on to do the same in another neighborhood. Why can’t the same happen in Point Breeze (where it is happening), Kingsessing, etc.?

      I agree with AnthonyG below… there is a shortage of people who are able to pay for housing. Clark should be focused on fixing that. Rather than create artificially low-priced housing in high-priced neighborhoods, work to make it so that low- and moderate-income people can earn enough to afford the the market rates.

      • jim March 20, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

        Dan these areas have been affordable for the last 30 yrs in Newbold you could have easily bought a house 15yrs ago for 30k or less how much cheaper can homes be, I bought my first home in 1992 for 15k dollars and it was move in ready yes it needed tlc but was totally livable. at the time relatives of mine were paying more for their cars. right now in graysferry and around 7th and porter you can still buy homes for 50k, These people want New housing for no money and no work and let the city do all repairs and pay little utilities

        Do you know in the Wilson Park housing projects at 26th and mifflin sts. the rent is a small percentage of your income like 30%
        and get this Utilities are free, U can run the heat and ac with the windows open all year and pay nothing, while I have to worry about paying my 200 dollar heating bills and making repairs to my property,

        If people coudn’t afford a 30k home 15 yrs ago now they cry because the values are going up,what about all the working poor who struggled to keep their property up now they can benefit from rising values and reap the rewards,I’m sure they are not complaining

        Politicians just want to keep poor people poor and get their vote. Vote for me or you won’t get it free

        • ProvWitout March 20, 2014 at 9:17 pm #


          Agreed Jim..

          And whats more… I’ll bet a good portion of these citizens who Clark is trying to help provide “affordable” housing for, simply missed the boat… They were the people who didn’t believe their Realtor when they constantly told them: “The time to buy is NOW.. Rates are at an all time low! The time to lock in financing on a new home is NOW!!” So for these people too, I don’t think we need a subsidy to bail you out because you hesitated for far too long. Listen to your Realtor next time people!

        • Dan P. March 20, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

          I think you’re agreeing with my point, Jim. Like Newbold for the past 30 years there are plenty of areas in the city where land is basically free. That’s the point I’m making. There really isn’t a need for this legislation as much as there is a need for efforts to bring more higher paying jobs to the city so people can afford to buy the housing at market rates. Again… not worried about this legislation even if it passes.

          Two posts that discuss it quite well are here:

          and here:

          • ProvWitout March 22, 2014 at 12:25 am #

            Nice informative links.. Well discussed..

    • ProvWitout March 20, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

      You mean rentals will be maintained by developers like Columbus Property Management?? Those halfway houses or recovering addict houses they keep putting up? Like the one on Snyder Avenue at 1216 Snyder? Affordable housing like that place? NO THANKYOU!!! Furthermore, I think we should be working on relocating places like these elsewhere! We NEVER wanted places like this opening up on our blocks. And all they have done is bring vagrants and riffraff through the neighborhoods we call home! It has been taxing to watch as good families moved to Jersey and the Burbs over the years with places like these being the main reason! I hope you are proud of yourself.

      • AngeloSP March 20, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

        I live next to that house.. Its holding the neighborhood back.. The avenue has been so hot lately.. Its a shame we can’t get them out of there…

        • Ellie_G_SouthPhilly_LatonaStreet March 21, 2014 at 5:23 am #

          I agree with Angelo and ProvWitout!!! These “affordable” housing experiments are just so bad!!! Haven’t we learned anything?!?!?!?!?!

          Why would they force us to accept these slums???

          If you say these people are so good but just can’t afford a good home…, Why not just show them neighborhoods in Southwest Philadelphia or North Philadelphia?

          Why do we have to endure these experiments?

          We stayed during the bad years!

          We watched all the ghetto people come and go!

          We are finally on the rise again!! YES!!!



          SOMEBODY HELP US!!!!

          I love South Philly!!!

          These people seeking “affordable” housing in our neighborhoods do not love this place like we do! Get them out of here!

          They have saggy pants!

          They graffiti our walls!

          They do drugs that cause them to scream in the night time!

          They scare people with their drug addict looks!

          This is not BALTIMORE in an episode of “The Wire”!!!

          Please don’t do this to us!


  12. liam O March 19, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    Poor people are not “bad” people. The idea that this city does not have an affordable housing issue is ridiculous, especially when the subsidized housing waiting list is as long as it is. Of course, ANY plan has to be scrutinized and looked at carefully, sure that is fine. But acting like any of you are better than the people who need this housing is ridiculous.

    • ProvWitout March 20, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

      You want a house for less than $100K? Go to Southwest? It is part of the city.. No problem there.. If people are not “bad”, then let those “good” people spread their goodness in Southwest… AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROBLEM SOLVED!

      • jim March 20, 2014 at 7:02 pm #


      • Dan P. March 20, 2014 at 10:52 pm #


        That’s the point I made above. It has happened that way in other neighborhoods. Northern Liberties… Newbold… heck, if you go back far enough, Queen Village and Bella Vista.

        Before folks start to panic, everyone should just take a look up and down their block. Is there an abandoned building or vacant lot? No? Then nothing is going to change.

  13. Jack MeHoff March 19, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    What a joke , disgrace..

  14. c'mon March 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

    yeah its called get a job, everyone who works hard in this city has to support the deadbeats and let them throw trash all over our streets. Your well though out response still brings garbage to places where people made responsible decisions and sacrifices to not live like these freeloaders. People like you are the reason this city will never live up to its potential. If you cant afford it….leave.

    • ProvWitout March 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

      Now wait a minute.. I understand how it could be hard to be motivated to get a job when they are going to be paying you less than a living wage.. Could you live on $450 a week? Could you qualify for a mortgage on $450 a week? NO! Some of these folks have two jobs and are still considered “working poor”.. Thats a problem that needs to be fixed.. But forcing the prices of homes down is NOT the answer… Fixing the income problem is…

      McDonald’s executives all got hefty bonuses… So did Walmart execs… Corporate profits are strong as ever… Wages have not budged much… We should not be forced to accept “opportunity zone” schemes that depreciate the value of a neighborhood while corporations pay UNFAIR wages to those who took your advice and DID get a job…

      • c'mon March 21, 2014 at 7:24 am #

        You sound just like these people wanting this housing, work at McDonalds drive-thru and expect $40K a year. Hard work gets you the greater things in life. This entitlement of more for doing nothing has got to end.

        • ProvWitout March 22, 2014 at 12:52 am #

          Yeah I had parents that paid for my tuition for good schools with competent teachers from grade school through college.. If I want to go back to get a masters? They might even try and pay for that too if I let them… Some people have no parents and/or incompetent guardians… Not to mention the known disadvantages socioeconomic issues can cause even the hardest workers…

          “There are no bad students, only bad teachers…” -Sir Oscar Wilde

          If you think working McDonald’s is easy, I think you’re just letting your mouth run without giving it some thought.. And even if you think its easy, imagine doing it day in and day out knowing that you still need government assistance to survive.. The politicians are too cowardly to raise the minimum wage that they have to come up with “affordable housing”, food stamps, and other forms of assistance to basically pay the working poor the portion of their salary that the greedy corporate execs refuse to pay them..

          I think this affordable housing thing is a BAD idea for South Philly.. Don’t get me wrong.. But I’m not going to get so carried away as to start spewing Glen Beck style hate speech on poor people…

          Its a bad idea, but not for the reasons some of you are saying… I agree with most of the more sober voices of opposition though…

  15. acer March 19, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    I don’t understand the entitlement people have to keep affordable housing in certain neighborhoods. I wanted a house in Queen Village, but guess what? I couldn’t afford it there! So I had to look around the city at other areas where I could afford a home and I ended up buying in South Philly. It seems there’s a whole culture here that feel like they should get whatever they want without contributing anything or putting any effort into getting it themselves.

    City Council seems determined to alienate and drive out the people they should be encouraging to buy property and set up roots here.

    • jim March 20, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

      I go believe that Mayor Nutter is a responsible and educated man, and he knows the city needs to attract educated and middle class families to live and invest in our city to keep it healthy, Why not invest in scholarships for needy students and require them to live in the city when they graduate college

      • ProvWitout March 29, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

        Not a bad idea… Scholarship tied to working and living in the city proper… Thats not a bad idea at all.. I just wonder if there are enough jobs… Real jobs…

        Its disheartening that employers only want students to work for free as interns for years and then just replace them with more unpaid interns… THAT is some injustice right there… It is also a reason why your idea won’t work…

        Also.. Too many jobs that never required a college degree before are asking applicants to have a college degree now… A high school senior could work as a receptionist at a car dealership… Now all of a sudden they want you to have a degree… Thats GAS!!

    • No Sir March 21, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

      Same here. I wanted to live in my prior neighborhood of Graduate Hospital but, when it came time to buy, it was not affordable. So, I bought in N. Point Breeze and love the neighborhood, even with all it’s issues (trash, crime, vacant lots, drugs). I don’t recall thinking too much about not being able to afford my prior neighborhood.. Just pulled up my big girl pants and moved to a place that was affordable for my situation.

  16. acer March 19, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    also, having Council and the Unions involved in this provides way too much opportunity for impropriety and pocket greasing. they should leave it to the private developers.

    • jim March 20, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

      the unions are salivating cause they know all the jobs go to the union guys,and many do not even live in this city,
      And exclude the very people they pretend now to care about ,what hypocrites

      • Brian M. March 21, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

        I doubt this plan if it comes to fruition will have much meat on the bone for unions. Almost no single family construction in the city is built union. Mutlifamily and multi unit developments are a different story, but I don’t envision these units would be developed en masse and built by the ‘big’ union GCs.

      • ProvWitout March 22, 2014 at 1:09 am #

        We should just annex the surrounding areas of Philly, like Phoenix does when they want falsely inflate their population to qualify for more federal funding than us… LoL…

  17. Nimby March 19, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    3 words:
    5th and Christian

  18. Mark March 20, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    It always fascinates me how the city finds a way to make living within its confines a constant headache for young professionals. Yet another reason in the long list that will drive myself and others to the suburbs. Leave the emotions out of it and think about ACTUAL progress and what nice neighborhoods do for everyone in the city. Truly a backwards place.

  19. phillyaggie March 20, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    A city with so much debt burden, that is underfunding its worker pension plans to the tune of more than $5 billion, a city that doesn’t have enough money to fund its schools– such a city is going to borrow $100 million more in order to build cheap rentals in the few neighborhoods of the city that are thriving against all odds.

    Isn’t this essentially a job plan for the labor unions? Unions run this town. This is 21st century version of ditch digging. News media even quoted Clarke about making sure the unions who will get this free $100 million have enough minorities on job sites. So there is that angle, but really, it’s about full employment for construction unions, so that come election time, these same union goons can tell you to go and vote the entire slate Democrat since they’ve been bought and paid for already. By them.

    • CarlC March 20, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

      Your spot on. Correct me if I’m wrong and I should know but isn’t much of the newer construction in Hawthorne on 13th st apart of this affordable housing approach?

  20. JAM March 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    When our Real Estate taxes almost quadrupled without any say, we are suppose to stand here and take what the city says about housing. And then let our houses depreciate. Look throughout the city where you have this type of housing. The neighborhood looks horrible. Why should I put all this money into my house to live next to people that don’t care about their house, since they can get another if that one collapses. This is wrong. Say no to it.

  21. c'mon March 20, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    As much as this frustrates me, everyone is getting what they deserve. Keep voting in Democrats and then you all wonder why this place will always be a buffett for the garbage that lives here. Its ok to vote for a different party, vote for what fits “your life” not what you will be stoned for not liking. It is the only way to undo the 60 years of blue leadership and move this place forward, yes it takes money mined people to do that, not charities. Let the liberal hate fest begin…hey its your equity at stake, but maybe you’d rather be seen as “cool” in your coffee shop than watch you house nosedive in price.

    • ProvWitout March 20, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

      Fox News is bad for you bro…

      Republicans could help the issue immensely by supporting a LIVING WAGE!!! But since the Tea Party wants to block anything from happening on the matter, even though it would also help their constituencies as well, city democrats are forced to come up with BAD ideas like this one because they are left with few other alternatives…

      I agree that there should be some balance here.. But just chalking it up to voting for Republicans? Sorry.. Not buying that. Reaganomics is what caused the job loss and inner city decay it took us so long to recover from in the first place…

      • c'mon March 20, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

        The fact that you used “bro” supports my point. I don’t watch fox news, I have voted democrat, even if u raise minimum wage to $10.10, these people aren’t responsible enough to use it properly. They will waste it on flashy clothing and ipods.The people in power in this city are doing (obviously) a horrible job. What everyone is upset about here is their policies within a party who caters to dogs**t. Thanks BRO.

        • Dan P. March 20, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

          Whoa… flag on the play. “These people”… I think emotions are getting the better part of logic in this discussion. There are plenty of reasons this is flawed policy. No need to use a scary straw man to make the point.

          • ProvWitout March 22, 2014 at 1:20 am #

            Yeah there’s a way to oppose this without trashing poor people…

  22. cg March 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    so basically as these blighted neighborhoods finally change for the better, lets slow down the progress and keep things the way it is. What a great way to discourage young professionals from putting down roots here. Darrell Clark has kept development from happening around Temple to “slow gentrification” as he says, by using a special maneuver as referenced in the NY Times article. While I don’t think this will have as much impact in East Passyunk since there are fewer vacant lots here, this will have a huge impact on Point Breeze and Newbold. I feel bad for the responsible homeowners there who stuck through the tough times only to find out now that their property values may be kept artificially low. What are our options going forth? Are we just stuck with this horrible idea? What can we do to keep South Philly out of this awful plan?

  23. c'mon March 20, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    The fact that you used “bro” supports my point. I don’t watch fox news, I have voted democrat, even if u raise minimum wage to $10.10, these people aren’t responsible enough to use it properly. They will waste it on flashy clothing and ipods.The people in power in this city are doing (obviously) a horrible job. What everyone is upset about here is their policies within a party who caters to dogs**t. Thanks BRO.

    • ProvWitout March 22, 2014 at 5:42 am #

      …Oh. And $10.10 is still not enough cuz… $15 an hour for a McDonald’s job is fair.

      • c'mon March 22, 2014 at 10:53 am #

        LOL!! $15!! You are high. Nobody will pay a drive thru worker that wage. Keep smoking man, your unrealistic ideas will come true in ur head.

        • ProvWitout March 22, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

          I’ll bet you couldn’t do it… You’re coming down so hard on people who work a job you probably couldn’t even do… You’d probably screw it up and I’d have to come back inside because you forgot to put “no onions’ in the order because you were too distracted by the paying customer at the window… Multitasking without error should not come cheap…

          • c'mon April 1, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

            Pretty knowledgable of the job function. Just because you hate your crappy life working at the McDonalds drive thru, doesnt mean it justifies more money, and the next time i see you in the drive thru window, please put a smile on.

  24. AnthonyG March 21, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    There are currently almost 2500 houses for sale in Philly for less than $70K.
    BULLSH!T there is a shortage….


  25. Joe March 21, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    For $100 million Council would be better off improving existing undervalued home inventory by offering potential homeowners down payment assistance and low to no cost rehab loans (where needed) while insuring the mortgages.

    In addition, Philadelphia could provide $66,000 per housing unit in assistance toward OWNERSHIP, not just rental. This increases the tax base (or at least keeps PHA or whoever manages these rental properties (I realize my folly having faith in an alphabet soup agency to be efficient here) with skin in the game, rather than giving a 10 year tax abatement to affordable “aka undervalued” homes.

    PlanPhilly is correct in the assessment that Building Trades could lower their rates if associated with this project. Not lowering leaves too much money on the table and leaves everyone worse off.

    Let’s focus on dealing with the housing inventory we have IN PLACE instead of spreading out and building anew. Turn those lots into gardens, small parks, or pop-up farms managed by the new homeowners who just got freebies because other Philadelphia are working hard to make the surrounding neighborhood better, in turn increasing home values, Philadelphia’s overall wealth and higher tax base.

    • Brian M. March 21, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

      In four short paragraphs you’ve just improved Clarke’s vision by orders of magnitude. Even still, I’m not sure I can support the city borrowing such a massive sum of money when we we’re in such dire fiscal straights.

    • wcb March 27, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

      Joe – I agree.
      I get annoyed when I hear about wanting to “build new” instead of fixing the run down buildings, retrofitting old ones and taking over the vacant decaying buildings and fixing them to rent or sell in the future. That is a huge sum of money that could help fix the blighted blocks instead of building new ones.

  26. cg March 22, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    article on related to this. makes many good points on the flaws of this “plan”

  27. Tracy March 28, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    The City owns a house on my block. It’s a huge eyesore in an otherwise beautiful street. The windows without boards are filthy, and there’s unsightly signs in the windows and on the storm door. Now some neighbors are getting mice and waterbugs from this dump. The City is the worst property owner in, well, the city! I’d hate it see what they’d do with an affordable housing grant and how long the homes would stay vacant like the one on my block. We’ve called 311 and L&I to no avail.

  28. Joey April 14, 2014 at 12:12 am #

    This city needs more affluent people with education, manners and respect for their neighbors!!! Call me racist. Whatever makes you feel better. But thats the fact of the matter. I live near Oregon off 7th and OMG I can’t fucking wait to move out of this neighborhood. The amount of trashy people around here is off the charts. Theres a house across from me that openly sells weed out of there house. The mother that lives there is this fat whale with her 10 teenage kids. YES TEN! She doesn’t work. Kids are always running around the street playing football, hitting and denting cars, yelling at all hours of the night. Theres a ton of rentals on my block with mexicans living out of there and I love the liberals who constantly talk about how they came here for a better life and bla bla bla. 1 house has at least 7 people in there. 1 of em has this big ass truck that he parks in front of his house for weeks at a time. And then the other people have cars on the block and will constantly take up 2 spots to hold for their friends. And since our block is not a main corridor, alot of drug dealers make their deals on this block. And the fucking cops dont do shit. We call them cause the football hits our window multiple times, nearly breaking it once and they dont do shit about it. They wont even ask them to kindly goto the football field 2 blocks away. And then theres no parking EVER. So people park illegally everywhere and once in awhile a cop will come through and ticket everything. But only like once a month. WTF is WRONG with this city! All I know is I’m sick and tired of having no fucking peace but I was well you know hipsters are slowly-slowly moving down from north of washington as those rentals get too expensive. But then I read this article and I’m like fuck it, fixing the house up, selling it and getting the fuck out of this garbage city. Nothing will ever change. And then people say oh we need a living wage. There ARE jobs that pay a living wage. People are just too lazy to better their skillset to get them. Or are too mentally dumb to understand how to do those jobs. Fuck Philadelphia.

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