Councilwoman Cindy Bass (8th District) issues a statement on the Hamill Mill Corporation case before the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority.
“The Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority is an agency independent of City Council, and I want to be clear that I have no involvement in any matters that come before the Authority. As Hamill Mill Corporation reappears before PRA, I urge PRA and anyone concerned with how this matter proceeds to consider all of the facts when deciding how to move forward.
As the 8th District Councilperson, I’ve worked tirelessly to improve quality of life in all of our neighborhoods. Through my annual summer events series, we’ve reclaimed public spaces that residents didn’t venture into before the events gave them a reason. We’re requiring business owners to be good neighbors by working to rid our communities of nuisance businesses through landmark legislation I passed at the local level and supported at the state level. In a commitment to vital community infrastructure, I dedicated more than $2 million to save the Germantown YWCA from demolition. And, after it sat dilapidated and undeveloped, my office helped usher in what the PRA called “The Beginning of a New Era for [the] Germantown YWCA,” when the agency selected a developer to renovate the historic community building. I’m continuing to work on development for the Germantown Town Hall and Germantown High School, and look forward to holding community conversations on each of these projects.
This is my job. And I’m committed to continuing this work.
Prior to my election as District Councilperson, the now-defunct Germantown Settlement nonprofit violated the trust of Germantown neighbors, misusing an unknown portion of nearly $100 million in funds and failing to properly maintain housing units. Today, wounds from those transactions are still visible in the failing conditions of the properties controlled by Hamill Mill Corporation, a remnant of the Germantown Settlement.
To be clear, I have never supported or worked with Hamill Mill Corporation or its owners.
The conditions of their properties, the misappropriation of funds, and the resulting decline in the quality of life for residents and neighbors all emerged before I was elected to represent the 8th District. However, since my election, I have worked with Philadelphia Gas Works to help restore heat for residents of Hamill Mill Apartments, many of them seniors, after the building’s owners failed to pay utility bills. My office encouraged Hamill Mill tenants to reach out to PHA and seek other living arrangements, and advocated for repairs and cleanup of the property. We did it for the constituents, not for the corporation. And I will continue to work on behalf of my constituents, and our city’s most vulnerable citizens.”
# # #
Councilwoman Cindy Bass represents the 8th Council District, which includes Germantown, Mt. Airy, Nicetown, Tioga, Chestnut Hill, portions of Logan, and West Oak Lane. She is Chair of Council’s committees on Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and Public Health and Human Services.