PHILADELPHIA, August 26, 2021 – Today, a bill sponsored by Councilmember Derek Green (At-Large), asking voters to amend the City’s Home Rule Charter with a mandatory annual appropriation to the Housing Trust Fund, received Mayor Jim Kenney’s signature. This now clears the path for the legislation to appear as a ballot question in the November 2 election.
If voted on favorably by the electorate, the Housing Trust Fund, which is the City’s primary financial vehicle for addressing affordable housing development and preservation – particularly for seniors and those living on a fixed income – will receive an earmark of at least one half of one percent (0.5%) of the total amount of General Fund dollars for the same fiscal year, estimated to start at about $26 million dollars in the first year. During a recession or other financial emergency, the Finance Director would be able to certify the redirection of these dollars for other purposes.
“I’m encouraged knowing that the Kenney Administration has stood by its commitment to dedicate more resources toward the Housing Trust Fund and has signed this important bill. This will help us to make significant inroads in addressing the decades-long issue of accessible, affordable housing in Philadelphia,” said Councilmember Green.
“If we want to raise our most underserved neighborhoods out of poverty and really exhibit support for vulnerable groups such as our seniors and members of the Disability community, we must take the necessary steps to invest in their well-being on a long-term basis. This starts by ensuring the fundamental need of housing security.”
With voters’ approval this fall, the mandatory annual appropriation to the Housing Trust would go into effect for FY23 which begins on July 1, 2022.