Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

City Council approves controversial Point Breeze affordable housing plan

City Council approved a controversial plan that will allow the Redevelopment Authority to acquire more than a dozen properties by eminent domain to build affordable housing in Point Breeze. Developers called the plan sponsored by City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson on behalf of the Nutter administration a “land grab” but the city has argued it is simply trying to maintain affordable housing in an area ripe with development. “The city has not figured out a way to maintain or build on houses it already owns,” said developer Ori Feibush, who made headlines months ago for a fight with the city over a vacant lot. The number of properties slated to be condemned have dropped from 43 to 28 which includes 11 city-owned and 17 privately owned --a majority of which are tax delinquent. “It’s about inclusion not exclusion,” Johnson said. The bill passed 14-0. Council members Bill Green, Marian Tasco and Brian O'Neill were absent.

City Council approves controversial Point Breeze affordable housing plan

City Council approved a controversial plan that will allow the Redevelopment Authority to acquire more than a dozen properties by eminent domain to build affordable housing in Point Breeze.

Developers called the plan sponsored by City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson on behalf of the Nutter administration a “land grab” but the city has argued it is simply trying to maintain affordable housing in an area ripe with development.
 
“The city has not figured out a way to maintain or build on houses it already owns,” said developer Ori Feibush, who made headlines months ago for a fight with the city over a vacant lot.
 
The number of properties slated to be condemned have dropped from 43 to 28 which includes 11 city-owned and 17 privately owned --a majority of which are tax delinquent.
 
“It’s about inclusion not exclusion,” Johnson said. The bill passed 14-0. Council members Bill Green, Marian Tasco and Brian O'Neill were absent.
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Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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