Petition on Affordable Housing in University City


Photo from a couple of years ago of area near Spruce Street looking Southeast. 48th and Spruce Street is on the far upper left.

Dear GCCA Members,


The Garden Court Community Association requests that all members of our community read the letter below, sign our petition and contact both Mayor Kenny and Director Fadullon to request Housing Trust Fund dollars be invested in our neighborhood. Please share this letter and petition widely:


https://www.change.org/GCCA-HTF-2022


The residents of the Garden Court neighborhood (which stretches from 45th to 52nd Street, and from Locust to Cedar Avenue), are concerned about the Philadelphia-wide affordable housing crisis, and the ability for individuals and families to live in neighborhoods like ours. Our neighborhood has seen home prices skyrocket by 77% over the last 10 years, with corresponding increases in rents. We request that resources from the Housing Trust Fund be invested within the geographic boundaries of Garden Court.


Garden Court generates a disproportionate share of revenue earmarked for the Housing Trust Fund. The neighborhood has under 10,000 residents (only about 0.5% of the city's population), but recent development projects from our community have generated $3.2 million, representing 5% of the entirety of the 2020-2021 Housing Trust Fund. This includes the current construction at 4900 Spruce ($1.3m), and the permits that were granted at 4746 Spruce ($1.9m).


Considering the rising housing costs in our neighborhood and the significant revenue generated for the Housing Trust Fund, we ask that Housing Trust Fund dollars be earmarked directly to impact initiatives that preserve and increase access to affordable housing in Garden Court. Specifically, we ask Mayor Kenney, and the Department of Planning & Development for the following:

  • 50 "Basic Systems Repair" grants be earmarked for income-limited residents currently living specifically in Garden Court, so they can make emergency repairs and remain in our community

  • 50 "Philly First Home" grants be earmarked for first-time home buyers who are purchasing specifically within our neighborhood

  • Funds be set aside specifically for land acquisition towards the construction of new affordable housing in Garden Court

According to the FY20-21 Housing Trust Fund Report, there were no affordable housing developments started or completed south of Market Street in West Philadelphia. Garden Court is a high-amenity neighborhood with sustained housing demand, and so it will be important to construct new affordable housing options if we want to maintain the income diversity of our neighborhood.


Garden Court has delivered for the Housing Trust Fund, and it is now time for the Housing Trust Fund to reinvest in services that promote and preserve affordable housing in Garden Court.


Sincerely,


The Garden Court Community Association

Mayor Jim Kenney:

(215) 686-2181

james.kenney@phila.gov


Anne Fadullon (Director of the Department of Planning & Development):

(215) 683-4601

planning.development@phila.gov

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