New effort to revive Philadelphia's blighted areas

    A new effort to revive depressed commercial corridors will focus on blighted areas of the city. The city of Philadelphia is partnering with a national community development organization to use $5 million to help neighborhood based organizations.

    A new effort to revive depressed commercial corridors will focus on blighted areas of the city. The city of Philadelphia is partnering with a national community development organization to use $5 million to help neighborhood based organizations. WHYY’s Susan Phillips reports.

    Transcript:
    The funds will be used to buy up vacant or blighted properties and either restore the buildings or demolish them and build new construction. Kevin Dow is the deputy commerce director for the office of neighborhood and business services. He says the money will help stabilize neighborhoods.

    Dow: “As the economic downturn, the crisis that we’re in has slowed credit from traditional sources, this is an opportunity for neighborhood based community development corporations to access credit at a very cheap rate to solidify projects.”

    Dow says neighborhood non-profit groups, such as community development corporations, can apply for the funds through the Local Initiatives Support Organization. The city recently announced $12 million of federal tax credits to developers that build along commercial corridors.

    Listen:
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    [audio: reports20090312corridor.mp3]

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