Housing Trust Fund

Dear Councilmembers,

Southwest CDC is a one of 60 members of the Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities (PCAC). We oppose the Mayor’s proposed cuts to the Housing Trust Fund in the FY2021 budget, as we know many of you do.  At a time when staying housed is a matter of life and death, funding for the Housing Trust Fund is an essential part of our recovery from COVID-19. Philly needs homes, to stay home!

Funding for affordable, accessible housing is important to the residents of Southwest Philadelphia.  Philadelphians are already dying of COVID-19 because they don’t have access to affordable, accessible housing and they are stuck in some of the most dangerous places in the city like nursing homes and shelters. Before the pandemic more than half of all city renters and almost one of every three homeowners were cost burdened, meaning that after paying their housing costs there was not enough left to cover other basic needs. Now due to the virus even more Philadelphians are struggling to pay their rent or mortgage.

The Mayor’s proposed cuts will make a terrible situation even worse. As an example: 

  • $3,500,000 cut in funding for the development of new rental homes will mean that 100 families will not receive affordable homes in Philadelphia.
  • $18,000,000 less for home repairs will mean that more than 1000 homeowners will not be able to repair their homes and may be forced to shelter in unsafe conditions.
  • $3,000,000 less for wheelchair accessibility modifications means that more than 150 disabled families will be trapped in nursing homes because there is so little affordable, accessible housing in our city.
  • $5,500,000 cut in funding for rehab of affordable rental homes will mean that 80 affordable rental homes will not be preserved in our City.
  • $3,000,000 cut for 1st time homebuyer assistance will mean that 300 families will not have help buying their first home. 

And if the cost of human lives isn’t convincing enough, these cuts will also cost Philadelphia taxpayers more over the long term. For example, 

  • Our city spends $39 million on temporary shelter and emergency services for homeless people every year. That’s more than five times the amount the mayor is proposing to spend to create permanent affordable rental housing. 
  • 16% of our city’s population has a disability. Many of those folks end up in the city’s nursing homes. Seniors and people with disabilities are moving unnecessarily to nursing facilities because they cannot afford accessible housing. It costs city taxpayers $120,000/year to keep a single person in a nursing home.

We urge you to oppose the Mayor’s cuts and protect the FY2021 funding of the Housing Trust Fund.

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