In 20 years of running Philadelphia’s Redevelopment Authority and the District Attorney’s office, Lynne has seen again and again that the City’s economic strength is linked directly to the housing market. Today, as Lynne walks the streets of Philadelphia, she is struck by the fact that shortages in affordable housing have reached crisis levels. This is why Lynne will create a comprehensive housing initiative.
As Mayor, Lynne will:
- Address this problem with six key areas of focus:
- Urban Blight
- Affordable Housing
- Property Revitalization
- New Construction
- Neighborhood Renewal
- Implement comprehensive strategies to fight urban blight. This means coordinating departments, increasing affordable housing options, preventing homelessness, revitalizing neighborhoods, and enabling veterans, seniors, the disabled and other special needs individuals to transition to homeownership.
- Seek authorization from Harrisburg to extend the tax abatement for new construction and rehabilitation to neighborhoods just beyond the reach of development.
- Energize and depoliticize the new Land Bank so that more and more properties are transformed from a state of dilapidation to habitability.
- Create more affordable housing and make it immediately more available. Today, there are over 100,000 families on the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s waitlists for voucher and public housing programs. Essentially, these backlogs mean the lists are closed to new applicants. Many people can expect to wait between 4 to 13 years before receiving subsidized housing.
- Accelerate Property Revitalization by increasing City investment in the LandCare Program. This program focuses on the City’s approximately 40,000 vacant lots and works to clean them and plants trees to eliminate blight. And it’s estimated for every $1 the City invests in the LandCare Program, $224 is returned in housing wealth.
- Provide tax incentives for the new construction and maintenance of new affordable housing opportunities in our City.
- Address homelessness by providing increased housing and shelter. For example, increasing operating budgets for the Office of Supportive Housing and the Office of Housing and Community Development.
- Support neighborhood renewal in a manner that promotes revitalization without displacing long-time residents.
- Assess the total housing needs for single parent families, veterans, the elderly, the unemployed, the homeless, and LGBT Philadelphians by conducting a citywide census to obtain a more accurate count of the number of residents who need affordable housing.
- Direct City agencies to work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to identify veterans in need of affordable housing.