Affordable housing, violence prevention and a drug rehab center: Philly City Council, Mayor Parker reach deal on $6.37 billion budget

The multi-billion dollar spending plan includes $100 million for a 640-bed drug rehab center on the edge of the prison complex in Northeast Philadelphia.

Cherelle Parker giving her speech at a podium

File - Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker delivered her first budget address to council at City Hall on March 14, 2024. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

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Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker and City Council on Thursday morning reached an agreement on a new city budget.

“We got it done together,” Parker said of the $6.37 billion spending plan.

As she hailed the cooperative effort that resulted in the budget deal, Parker highlighted the funding included to combat violence.

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“I want to note that nearly $29 million in community-based, anti-violence programs will be funded. $29 million for the people doing the work,” she said.

Mayor Parker speaking at a podium
Mayor Parker discusses the budget agreement she made with City Council on June 6, 2024. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)


Councilmember Jamie Gauthier praised the effort to freeze property taxes for people who cannot afford them.

“By making sure that our neediest homeowners can afford their tax bills, we invest in their ability to remain in our neighborhoods where they can continue to shop and dine and work on our commercial corridors, steward our neighborhoods and public spaces and reinforce their block sense of community,” Gauthier said.

The mayor’s plan to address the addiction crisis includes $100 million for a massive, 640-bed “wellness center” on the edge of the prison complex in Northeast Philadelphia.

Parker said she doesn’t “apologize about the public safety and security of the surrounding community,” because the complex will be fenced in.

The site was originally designated by the Kenney administration to be a tiny house village pilot, but that plan was immediately squashed by the Parker administration.

“Someone thought it was a bright idea some time ago to put some tiny houses that don’t contain any plumbing, trying to help people facing homelessness and substance use disorder and thinking that was dignity,” Parker said. “The Parker administration’s perspective is just different.”

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Parker’s plans for the site include the renovation of existing buildings, or “cottages,” as they are called at the facility.

The proposal came in the wake of a request to expand a Fairmount facility for additional treatment beds, an idea that saw pushback from residents who say the location is near multiple schools and could bring people experiencing homelessness into the neighborhood.

The budget also includes $14 million for an affordable housing development meant to replace the UC Townhomes in West Philadelphia. The funding was not originally included in the mayor’s budget proposal, which elicited pushback from housing advocates.

The affordable housing funding is part of a Parker administration effort to build 30,000 units of affordable housing in the city.

“We’re showing the people of Philadelphia what we did and what we set out to do and what the people of our city over a year ago agreed to,” Parker said. “Our historic ‘One Philly’ budget makes deep investments in our city and in our residents.”

Parker said the city doesn’t have the money to fix all of its ills overnight, but is doing the best it can with the money it can afford to spend.

“Now when it doesn’t work, it’s on my shoulders, on Council President Johnson’s shoulders and all members of council’s shoulders, and I’m proud to tell the people of the city of Philadelphia: we got it done together.”

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