NAC UPDATE

City of Philadelphia

COVID-19 information: The City’s Business Activity and Stay at Home Order is in effect until further notice. For the latest information, visit phila.gov/COVID-19. Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone.

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Next Neighborhood Advisory Sub-Committee (NAS) Meeting:

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 @ 6:00 pm; ZOOM (TBD)

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WANTED: BLOCK CAPTAINS 

If you are still interested in representing your block or need information about hosting a block party or block clean up, contact Mark Harrell, NAC Coordinator at 215-729-0804 mark@southwestcdc.org.  Many block captains in Southwest distribute the Globe Times Newspaper to their neighbors, bringing them the good news of the community and what’s happening in the community calendar. Call Mark to be added to the distribution list.  Also, if you are a current block captain, please be advised that the Southwest Block Captain’s Association is currently being organized to bring additional training and resources to you and the residents of your blocks. Please make sure that your current mailing address, phone number and email address is registered with Community Relations Officer Arnold Mitchell by calling him at 215 686-3122 or emailing him at arnold.mitchell@phila.gov.   

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SW Block Captains Association: 

The SW Block Captain’s Association meetings have been canceled as a result of the City of Philadelphia’s Stay at Home Order. When the Order is lifted, we will meet every second Saturday from 9am to 11am at the Common Place, 58th & Chester Avenue. This meeting is held in conjunction with the City Lights Network which has been meeting for the past twenty years on SW Philadelphia.  We will still be looking to establish officers and will have elections for President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasure, etc. in order to formalize the operation of the association.  All Block Captains and concerned residents are encouraged to attend.

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Housing Counseling: Help is a Phone Call Away

Our Housing Counselors are continuing to provide assistance to homeowners via telephone and Virtual 1st Time Home Buyer workshops and Financial Education and Coaching Initiative Workshops. 

Our qualified housing counselors are ready and available at Southwest CDC to assist with housing needs. Want to buy your first home? Need to clear up past credit problems? Don’t know what kinds of financial assistance can benefit you? Behind in your real estate taxes? Or, are you facing foreclosure? The victim of predatory lending? Need help applying for Homestead Exemption or the Long–time Owner Occupant Program (LOOP)? Or Senior Tax Freeze? Call Southwest CDC: 215-729-0800. Sessions are free, individual, and confidential.

The City of Philadelphia wants you to be a successful homeowner! We are offering a Home Buyer Assistance Grant of 6% of the purchase price or up to a maximum of $10,000 (Increased from $1,000) to assist with your down payment or closing costs if you complete a City-funded 1st Time Home Buyer Counseling Program. The criteria includes: You must purchase a house in Philadelphia, generous income limits of 120% of Area Median Income (AMI).

Homeownership counseling successfully prepares borrowers for this big life decision. If you participate in this FREE homeownership counseling, you will learn about:

  • Purchasing a home within your budget
  • Avoiding dangerous mortgages
  • Rights and responsibilities of homeowners
  • Mortgage application/purchase processes
  • Improving credit repair and maintenance
  • Money management
  • Home maintenance
  • Avoid foreclosure

Division of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Homeowner Assistance Programs:

Adaptive Modifications Program

Providing free accessibility modifications for people with permanent physical disabilities.

Basic Systems Repair Program

Providing free emergency home repairs on eligible owner-occupied single-family homes in Philadelphia.

Eviction prevention and tenant education

Providing resources for Philadelphia tenants.

Foreclosure Prevention Grant Program

Providing funds to help homeowners who are three or more months behind on their mortgage catch up.

Heater Hotline Program

Providing emergency heater repairs for low-income homeowners.

Housing and Disability Technical Assistance Program

Providing information and resources for accessible housing to people with disabilities.

Mortgage and Tax Foreclosure Prevention Program

Helping homeowners avoid foreclosure through housing counseling and legal help.

Philly First Home Program

Helping first-time homebuyers with a down payment or closing costs.

Restore, Repair, Renew Program

Offering low-interest loans to help homeowners make home improvements.

Senior Housing Assistance Repair Program (SHARP)

Making minor repairs for homeowners age 60 and older.

Tangled Title Program

Offering assistance to eligible low-income people whose name is not on the deed of the home they are living in.

Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF)

Assisting households having difficulty paying their utility bills.

Weatherization Assistance Program

Providing free home weatherization and energy efficiency improvements for owner- or tenant-occupied homes.

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Low Income Home energy Assistance Program – (LIHEAP) – December thru March

PLEASE continue paying your budget payments with PGW, PECO and PWD. The Winter Moratorium begins December 1, 2019 and it will end April 10, 2020.  Utility customers that are considered low income are not shut off at during this time. However, if a utility customer’s utility is disconnected during this time.  Please make sure that the customer has applied for and has exhausted LIHEAP/CRISIS prior to getting a USEF Grant Application.

Oftentimes, people will stop paying their budget payments because the winter moratorium has started  and they know their services can’t be shut off so they don’t pay. When March 2020 comes, panicking begins because you now have HIGH utility bills.

LiHEAP Crisis vs. LiHEAP – Do you know the difference? LIHEAP Crisis assistance provides a qualified applicant with a grant for paying their heating or utility bills in less time than alternative solutions.  The goal of Crisis assistance is to help a family keep their service on while they apply for other, longer term help.

Crisis eligibility:

To be eligible you must have a shut off notice from PECO or PGW.  For CRISIS, you must have already applied for LiHEAP. 

Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF) 

The Utility Grant program is designed to bring a customer’s delinquent account up to date. UESF’s financial assistance, the matching utility bill credit, and any contribution by the individual must zero out the utility bill. Families and individuals are eligible to apply for assistance every two years. To be eligible for a utility grant, your total household income must be at or below 175 percent of the current federal poverty guidelines. Eligibility will be determined at the time of application. You must show proof that you applied for LiHEAP & CRISIS. (A letter from the County Assistance Office) 

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Computer Lab  

Closed until further notice due to City of Philadelphia COVID 19 Directives 

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Next SW RCO Zoning Meeting 

RCO meetings have been temporarily cancelled until further notice due to City of Philadelphia COVID 19 Stay at Home Order.

The Southwest Consortium of RCO’s usually meets every second Monday at 6:30 pm at the 12th Police District located at 65th & Woodland Avenue. An announcement will be made when the shutdown is lifted.

RCOs can play a major role in the overall look and feel of a neighborhood. They were created in 2011 and adopted in 2012 as a more standardized way to include residents in decision-making around development and land use. The Philadelphia City Planning Commission requires applicants to meet with these registered groups when a Zoning Variance or Special Exception is requested for a property within the RCO’s geographic area. The RCO must then host a public meeting within 45 days of the initial zoning request. When multiple RCOs overlap, the District Councilmember appoints a Coordinating RCO to convene the meeting. All applicants are required to notify all “affected residents” who live within 250 feet of the property and all residents to the end of your block. If you receive a notice to attend a “Public Meeting”, please attend, although anyone can attend these meetings. Community organizations that are concerned with the physical development of the community can become a “Registered Community Organization” (RCO) in order to receive early notification of zoning cases occurring within their stated boundaries by contacting the City of Philadelphia Planning Commission.

The City of Philadelphia recently launched a new website called DISCOVER BENEFITS that can help residents identify City programs that can help you save money and improve your quality of life. You might be able to:

  • Lower your water bill.
  • Find Home Repair Resources
  • Get a break on your property taxes.
  • Get help buying your first home.
  • Find other help with your housing, taxes, and utilities, etc. 

You can come to Southwest CDC at 6328 Paschall Avenue, 19142 to access this program. While you are here, would can go on the website and see if any of the programs apply to you. The process should take about 10-15 minutes to complete.  The online form will ask you 10-15 basic questions, such as where you live and where you are filling out the form. The questions such as your age, your marital status, whether you rent or own will help the program determine what programs you might be eligible for.   When you are done you hit “Submit” and the program will tell you what programs you might be eligible for. It will also give you contact information for them. Keep in mind that you may or may not be eligible. Each program will determine that after you apply.  

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