Several members of Philadelphia City Council are coming together to try to build more affordable housing units in the city.
The push comes as 100,000 Philadelphians are on waiting lists for subsidized housing.
Leveraging existing money combined with borrowing $100 million would allow for quick creation of 1,000 affordable rental units and 500 home ownership opportunities, said City Council President Darrell Clarke.
“We’d actually like to call this workforce housing, (for those who) work and have decent jobs,” he said Monday. “The nurse that happens to be a man and the police officer who happens to be a woman, there’s no real housing being built for those individuals.”
Building affordable units could spur other development, according to John Dougherty, chief of Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
“We’ve seen this once before, early on, when we did revitalization of the neighborhoods in the early 2000s,” Dougherty said. “You not only create houses, but you start to put up ShopRites and banks and Wawas and Starbucks and Apple stores and all the other entities that come with neighborhoods.”
The plan is far from becoming reality. The Nutter administration has not agreed to use money from the realty transfer tax for the project. Also, the Philadelphia Housing Authority has not yet committed to the plan.