Councilmembers Quiñones-Sánchez, Squilla, and Clarke at council session.

CITY MARKS TRANSFER OF $19M TO HOUSING TRUST FUND FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

In Council News, Darrell L. Clarke, Maria D. Quiñones-Sánchez, Mark Squilla, News by PHL Council

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Philadelphia, February 28, 2019 The City of Philadelphia on Thursday announced the next steps for an historic funding increase for the Housing Trust Fund in order to support the preservation and creation of new affordable housing.

In September 2018, the Kenney Administration and City Council committed to a $19 million contribution to the Housing Trust Fund this fiscal year, with the goal of expanding affordable rental and homeownership opportunities in order to meet affordable housing demand.

“Today we announce $19 million that we’ve accumulated in the first year of these tax abatements for affordable housing and housing stabilization initiatives,” said Mayor Kenney. “These new funds will help preserve and produce more affordable homes for sale or rent, help families buy their first home, and help homeowners avoid foreclosure and renters avoid eviction. These funds will also strengthen neighborhoods, and help low- and moderate-income Philadelphians across the city. By using this new revenue we are ensuring that all Philadelphians benefit from our real estate boom. This is an exciting day for the City.”

City Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District), Councilmember Maria Quiñones-Sánchez (7th District), and Councilmember Mark Squilla (1st District) recommitted to increasing appropriations to the Housing Trust Fund in order to address shortages in affordable housing stock and to lower unjust barriers to housing, such as the over-reliance on credit history used by some private lenders.

“The establishment of a Housing Trust Fund Sub-Fund will provide financial assistance in a number of ways to those facing housing challenges throughout the City,” Councilmember Squilla said. “Our residents deserve housing security and this fund will afford them ability to buy homes with access to money for down payment and closing costs.  Renters will be able to stay in their homes with support from the fund when they face financial difficulties.”

Councilmember Quiñones-Sánchez added: “I am proud of our unprecedented commitment of $19 million in additional resources for affordable housing this year. We have far more work ahead, and I look forward to leading a public conversation about making development incentives fairer and more effective so that all of our neighborhoods enjoy the right to diverse, inclusive, and affordable living.”

“City government should be a bridge between the private sector and underserved communities, and I am incredibly proud that the Housing Trust Fund will now support down payment and closing cost assistance to aspiring homebuyers who face hurdles in the traditional lending market,” Council President Clarke continued. “I thank Mayor Kenney and Councilmembers Sánchez and Squilla for moving Philadelphia closer to our goal of diverse and inclusive neighborhoods that offer opportunities to working and low-income people to live in good health and safety, raise families, and retire with security.”

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Darrell L. Clarke represents the 5th Council District and serves as President of Philadelphia City Council, the 17-member legislative body of Philadelphia City government. A lifelong resident of North Philadelphia and an equitable housing and public education advocate, Council President Clarke works to ensure that every neighborhood in Philadelphia is a community of choice

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