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47,000 Subsidized Units, 9-Month Wait, and $14M Needed for 70 New Units in University City: Philly Faces Affordable Housing Crisis

University City Affordable Housing Project Missing from Philly’s 2025 Budget: $14M Needed

Philadelphia Faces Affordable Housing Crisis: 70 Units in University City Await Funding

Affordable housing remains a pressing issue in Philadelphia with an average nine-month wait for one of the city’s more than 47,000 subsidized units, according to the published article of 6ABC. City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier expressed concern over a project to add dozens of affordable units in University City not being included in Mayor Cherelle Parker’s 2025 budget proposal. The project set for the former University City Townhomes site at 40th and Market Streets is crucial for Gauthier’s constituents, but it was absent from the five-year plan prompting her to advocate for its inclusion. Philadelphia Chief Deputy Mayor Aren Platt clarified that while the University City Townhomes project is not in the 2025 budget currently it could still be added as the budget is finalized. He noted the timing of the budget’s development coincided with the ongoing demolition of the site, which may have influenced its exclusion.

The landowner IBID, had initially sparked protests by choosing to demolish the affordable housing units and seek a more profitable development after federal subsidies expired in 2022. A court settlement later mandated that IBID allocate a fifth of the land for the city to create 70 new affordable units. The Philadelphia Housing Authority, responsible for the project’s execution has requested $14 million in funding. However, none of this funding including what the Kenney administration had committed appears in the proposed budget. With Mayor Parker aiming to create 30,000 affordable housing units during her term, city officials, including Platt and Gauthier are in discussions to ensure the project aligns with this goal. The city council will continue to negotiate changes to the budget and Gauthier remains hopeful that the inclusion of the University City Townhomes project will be an easy decision given the administration’s focus on affordable housing.

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(PHOTO: Issuu)

University City Townhomes Excluded from Budget: Philly’s 47,000 Subsidized Units Still Have 9-Month Wait

Furthermore, the exclusion of the University City Townhomes project from the budget has heightened tensions among community advocates and residents who rely on affordable housing. Councilmember Gauthier emphasized the urgent need for these 70 new units, pointing out that the area has been left as an empty lot, which could otherwise provide much-needed housing for families in need. The promise to rebuild on this site was part of a settlement after protests erupted when the previous affordable housing units were demolished. Gauthier’s advocacy underscores a broader concern about the city’s commitment to affordable housing amid rising housing costs and gentrification pressures in neighborhoods like University City. The Philadelphia Housing Authority’s involvement is pivotal, yet the absence of financial backing from the proposed budget has stalled progress. This situation reflects a disconnect between policy intentions and actual budgetary allocations, raising questions about the city’s strategy to meet its ambitious housing goals.

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