Philly Council reviews lack of low-income housing for disabled

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With so many people on waiting lists for affordable housing in Philadelphia, advocates say those waiting for wheelchair-accessible units are getting short shrift.

City Council held a hearing looking into that.

The city’s disabled are in dire need of housing, said Kevin Jeremiah, executive director the  Philadelphia Housing Authority. In general, he said, that need is overshadowed by the total number of people seeking affordable shelter.

“We have at PHA over 100,000,” Jeremiah said Monday. “One-hundred-thousand families on our combined waiting list for affordable housing.”

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Among those on the waiting list, he said, are 100 people who use wheelchairs.

The Philadelphia Office of Housing and Community is trying to make progress on both fronts, according to Deborah McColloch, development director.

“In general, the problem is the affordability piece, not the accessibility piece,” she said.

To address the problem, Councilman Dennis O’Brien wants advocates for the disabled to have a seat at the table when planning low-income housing.

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