PACDC Publications

TRANSCRIPT: Democratic Mayoral Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development

EVENT: Democratic Mayoral Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development
TIME: (6:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m.)
DATE: 04.19.2023

SPEAKER: Welcome. If everyone can take their seat we’re going to get started.
I’m going to start with some housekeeping, we have closed captions on this side of the room if you need that. If you need the restroom we have restrooms out both these doors on my right your left side of the building and if you could please silent your cell phones we are filming so it would be really helpful.
My name is Laure Biron and I’m the chief offer I would like to thank the PACDC and the supporting sponsors for organizing this event, this important opportunity to hear from the candidates that we have here with us. The focus emphasizing equitable housing and community development are critically important to broad street community. Restore hope and dignity so support our guest towards greater security and self-sufficiency by offering radical hospitality, we believe that life in Philadelphia is improved when everyone has the resources they need.
PACDC runs collaboration being impactful and is passionate about Philadelphia those values and passions truly echo our approach to providing life sustaining and critical resources to our guests impacted by poverty. In this room with invited thousands of guests to dine on many meals and downstairs we host a mail service that is a mailing address for over 50 to hundred Philadelphians. There are more registered voters than any other single address in Philadelphia. It is our distinct pleasure to host tonight.
And now I’ll introduce our moderator.
SPEAKER: Good evening thanks for joining us, a great turn out we’re excited about tonight’s candidates forum to dig in about some issues and hear directly from the candidates about how they can help us move forward Philadelphia in a way that’s more equitable for all residents in all our neighborhoods.
Back in February, PACC released our policy platform which lays out policies to address disparities by Black, Latino, Indigenous and other people of color here in the city both between individuals but also between neighborhoods. The report lays out the policy platform lays out a series of recommendations to figure out how we can dance equity together in the city. We’re really pleased tonight to have several of mayoral candidates with us and hear firsthand from them about how they plan to do that if elected Mayor and I want to announce the cohost. Ceiba. Regional housing legal services.
The LISC Philadelphia and the Urban League of Philadelphia have joined with us to plan tonight’s event and you’ll be hearing a couple of those later around questions.
In addition we had several out reach partners in addition to broad street ministry which we’re thankful that they agreed to host us here tonight.
The AARP, providing the closed captioning and refreshments as well as every voice every vote the institute of government habitat or humanity and the housing constant action commit and finally we’re very pleased top already rain Ballard and I heart Media Philadelphia as well as our moderator tonight under her leadership power 99 is the first station to receive a record breaking seven national association of broadcaster crystal radio awards for this part to engage the community around this and most recently an award in 2022. I’m going to turn to over now to Loraine to get us started but thanks every and we look forward to an engaging evening.
MODERATOR: Check one, would.
MODERATOR: It was your special touch. Thank you so much. Welcome to this mayoral forum on community housing and community development I am so excited to be your host for today’s event. Quality of us life depends on safe affordable housing. It’s about having a safe home environment that supports our well being health and economic opportunities today’s forum is an opportunity to engage in a meaningful dialogue about issues facing housing and community development. We will hear from mayoral candidates and learn about their plans and strategies to address housing prices and community in Philadelphia joining us are mayoral candidates Rebecca Rhynhart, Allan Domb and Judge James DeLeon. And I will note that those candidates who are absent, they did have conversations one on one with PACDC staff and board.
So, just to get an idea of what our rules are for today, we will be asking questions, I will be asking some community members will be asking others each of you will have one minute to respond. There are some questions which should just be thirty seconds. As you can see there’s an excellent timer there and at the end of that one minute or thirty seconds, a very loud gong will sound.
So you will for sure know what your time is and when it’s up.
So let’s begin by asking the first question. We’re going to be asking a series of questions about the quality of life and but before we do that, actually, let’s have each of the candidates for one minute just give an opening statement. So, begin with you Rebecca.
SPEAKER: Good evening everyone it’s wonderful to be here. My name is Rebecca Rhynhart and I’m running for Mayor because I believe that I’m the right person to lead our city forward in this critical time.
I know the city’s budget inside and out from being the City’s budget director I’ve managed a thousand employees as the chief administrative officer of the city and gotten things done and as the city controller, I audited the departments, called out the issues and laid out a path forward to fix the problems of our city. But that is where the power of my office ended. As mare I can and will make change happen so that our city government truly works for people in our city to make our city safer cleaner to fix our schools that’s why I’m running for Mayor and I look forward to the conversation tonight, thank you.
SPEAKER: Good evening everybody, I’m Helen and Philadelphia next Mayor needs to lady a transformation while other candidates are running for an office I’m trying to change the way people live. I’ve got a 20 year track record of delivering before this accident slewses that you fix schools build stronger families and young people and take on the status quo politics that have held Philadelphia back for so long. Safe cities invest in people and that’s why I’m delivering a big agenda that talks about building and guaranteed jobs plan for individuals who are most impacted by violence and an equity driven approach towards delivering city services so they actually transform neighborhoods and communities and build a prioritize affordability and the long term wealth we have a choice in this next election about how we’re going to move the city forward. From my end I never stopped might for communities and making sure that city hall will work for the people.
SPEAKER: I just want to know I have a disadvantage. There is as far as my mic goes. I’m Allan Domb and running because the city has a public safety country crisis an affordable housing crisis an education crisis and airpost crisis but I believe the biggest crisis is a crisis of leadership. The city needs strong leadership because these problems can be solved and the city also needs a Mayor, this is a turning point election, who understand that there are a lot of smart people all over that can help Philadelphia and have the ability to bring them to the table to help. Including your organizations so I’m running for Mayor that spent 40 years in the private sector. Almost two terms on council and my goal to to bring people together to get the right results and I hope to earn your support. Thank you.
SPEAKER: Good evening my name is Jimmy DeLeon. I was a judge in Philadelphia for 34 years I made decisions on a daily basis that saves your lives and the lives of your loved ones. I came into this race because I was tired of all the death city and the you dysfunctional attitude of the city and the Mayor’s office I made a plan called local incident be management system a set of proceeder procedures that I would use as Mayor and have all the responders that are necessary to solve the problem come together to solve the problems of city. It would be something that we never had in the city of Philadelphia at one time I was the counsel of the housing authority and we’ll have a great discussion on that tonight.
Thank you.
MODERATOR: All right. Now to the questions and series of questions on quality of climate the first question: Understanding that neighborhood safety and cleanliness were the most frequent concerns we heard from our many constituents. What have you done already or what would you do beyond adding more police to advance safety and cleanliness and what role do you see for CDCs in respect to your efforts. You have one minute it to answer the question. We’ll start with you Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: On the issue of gun violence city controller I worked on this issue since 2019. It’s not in the traditional purview of the controller’s office to work on gun violence but I felt it necessary for me to do that as a mom as a less to stand up when so many of our kids across our city are dying. So I reported out on what works. I urged Mayor Kenny to do more. I stood with council members urging the Mayor not only to declare a city emergency but to urgently put resources into the neighborhoods that are most impacted by the violence. Library, reck, street lighting as Mayor this is the way I would lead open the emergency operation center to coordinate the city response not just police but other agencies as well. I will lead in this way. Thank you.
SPEAKER: So, for me there’s no surprise that gun violence is layered in the areas where we’ve traditionally seen had neglect. Red lining and city neglect that has left communities behind and as Mayor my mission is to change all of that to France form the ways we deliver city need services and it’s not about equity and as city council I helped lead a 30 million dollars just services campaign that targeted clean ups and vacant lot, towing of abandoned cars in the neighborhoods that are most impacted and as Mayor I am determined finish that job. I want to make sure that we are setting out to take on you been scrupulous developers holding vacant lots accountable and deliver city services so it transforms the way people live and deliver that in a way that makes a difference in people’s lives.
SPEAKER: Thank you for the question. I just reminds me of my grandmother may she rest in peace used to say cleanliness and next to godliness and keeping the streets clean and safe are crucial especially for public safe but I pub accomplished a pub plan on vote picking up the trash on time the trash tracker filling potholes, quickly.
Towing abandoned cars within 48 hours replacing street lights within 72 hours. Basically doing the services that everyone expects to be delivered to them that we haven’t been doing a very good job with and I love the CDCs help us provide those services I think that would be unbelievably great. I’m also a big fan of the bids not just financial, I think you guys are all a very important part of our city.
MODERATOR: All right. Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: As a judge, there was a period of time when we had over 400 people being killed each year in homicide and then I was appointed as the super vising judge. I led the initiative that reduced those from 400 a year to down to 250 a year for seven straight years of course one life to lose is a life that we don’t want for lose but the fact still remains that I led an initiative that saved over a thousand lives over a seven year period of time. As far as cleanliness is concerned. Paul came to see me one time and told me about the problems that they were having in the city with shoplifters and things like that that were leading to a lot of issues that the businesses had in center city. So at that time I set up a community court and it was the first in Philadelphia and it took care of those problems.
MODERATOR: All right. The second question.
While some neighborhoods have experienced extreme disruption due to the opioid epidemic there are many advocating for minimizing the negative impacts including injury and death that those suffering my experience. Philadelphians will receive approximately $2 million over the next 18 years in the opioid crisis settle. Funds. How would you approach planning to use these funds and how much would you emphasize harm reduction policies that ensure we minimize the devastation of this epidemic? Do you see a housing and community development component in this plan. There’s a lot to unpack in this question but you have one minute.
SPEAKER: First I would lead a public health first community initiative to reclaim neighborhoods for neighbors and open up our sick spaces and we have to save lives harm reduction is part of a spectrum of services it is not in lieu of or proceed. To me I’m leading a public health mission that looks at livability of neighborhoods through the eyes of young people. So I would absolutely make sure that we first of all, help end the open air drug markets I am determined to get out crisis out reach teams to we can work and not criminalize addiction but get people connected with housing and care. We’re looking for new adaptive models reduce barriers to entry and make sure that there are supportive service around it and reopening civic space that we can.
SPEAKER: I would utilize that money for setting up across the city 24 hour geographic locations for access centers these access centers would be for mental illness addiction and homeless, and staffed 24/7. Staffed with a psychologist a social worker and case management services and certain areas if we needed security it would be available butt key is when people have this issue going on them to be able to come to the access center. Them to be assessed and provided the right treatment or being provided provided housing short term or long term. The key is to help them and get them into the proper treatment.
MODERATOR: Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: Under my local incident management plan this particular situation would be taken care of in a three prong process the first would be to reduce the crime. Second prong: Treat the people. Third prong: Recover the neighborhood. Let’s only deal because of this question with the first two prongs. Reduce the crime. That means we have to close the open air drug markets the way that’s done is through coordination of city, state and federal police officials working in tandem to clear that out. The second prong is: Treat the people. This is done by both brick and mortar and mobile units that would go into the neighborhood to talk with the people and bring the people in and triage them and.
Look to see. First of all shelter for them and second part is food and clothing for them the third part is that we’re giving each oaf them the service they need to get themselves better.
MODERATOR: Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: Five put forth plan which involves breaking up the open air drug market and providing compassionate care for those suffering from substance abuse disorder. Under my administration I would you utilize the public health department and homeless services to have out reach teams going out to people on the street to try to get them into treatment and as the Mayor, I would work to break down the silos in the city government. one thing I heard from talking to people working on the ground is often when someone wants to get into treatment is takes two to three weeks for a city spot to open up which is unacceptable. As Mayor I would create rapid intake working with the hospitals and the area and the community to get people into the treatment that they need. I also think supportive housing is needed as part of that.
Thank you.
MODERATOR: Our next question which you’ll have thirty seconds to answer. If we were working towards equity across the city how would that impact your decisions in resource allocations to historically marginalized and under resourced communities. Would you work to distribute resources more by need than by even distribution. Again 30 zed seconds. Again to Allan Domb.
SPEAKER: I believe your need is by need vs. by evenly across it’s definitely by need I’ve traveled the city sections of the city are in really bad shape whether 52nd and market or Germantown or other areas of city. We have real issues that business corridor or Germantown below Erie. 80% vacancy. We have some real issues so I would do it by need.
MODERATOR: Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: When I go across Philadelphia I look and I see vacant houses and businesses and to me that means there’s opportunity.
There’s opportunity for people to move into those houses and to move into those businesses because that’s a need that needs to be filled at one time we used to give properties away for a dollar in this city and businesses away for a dollar.
The homes that these businesses were in. We need to go back to that.
MODERATOR: Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: Equity means delivering service by need as city controller I did work around showing inequities in service delivery and also the disconnection between the areas that had the highest gun violence and also the poorest red lined and starved and we need to correct that and be strategic and intentional by putting resources into the neighborhoods that need it most and that’s the way that I’ll lead.
SPEAKER: So, I’ve been very clear that the services that are allocated and the way things have been delivered has actually been very racist I’ve been clear that the red lining that the neglect that’s happened it’s not that city services are currently clever delivered equitably. So we have to change everything about the way we do transformative investments to meet needs that is about what is just and right as much as it is about need and I would deliver deliver services based on need and if some see a shift then that’s how it’s going to be.
MODERATOR: Our next question asked by PACDC’s Rick Sauer.
SPEAKER: Hello, I was trying to decide what to do.
A Philadelphia relies heavily on community based organizations such as CDCs to meet the needs of residents to ensure that they have a voice and to form a range of services. How would you ensure community based organizations and partners of the city receive add quant flexible funding to perform the range of services had they’re being asked to do by the city.
MODERATOR: We’ll start with Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: This is a situation that I’ve been thinking about over a period of time and because it deals with housing I’m going to bring this to you right now because this is a housing forum. Community local service did a report that in 2022, there were over 22,000 illegal eviction here Philadelphia. Now there’s a city ordains called nine six teen. This means this is the illegal ordnance. This is where any landlord that evicts someone illegally has to pay a fine of at least $300 among other things. What I would do. If you look at this. If all 22,000 landlords, illegally evictions were charged 300, that times 12, that would be sixty $6 million that I would use for the purpose of the CDC.
MODERATOR: Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: The community organizations play a big role in the neighborhood development, in representing people across our city and as Mayor I would make sure that they’re funded appropriately, I think we need to have a conversation around what that looks like and I would want to bring you in on May 17th. hopefully you’re day after I win hopefully to talk about had a and to talk about hempiest to do that and to bring you around the table and make that as strong as possible a connection to fix the issues that are going on right now and to make sure that you have the money and the resources available that are available so that you can best help the people in our community and work with the city to make a better city for all of us thank you.
SPEAKER: I’ve never seen anything happen in the city has not worked without significant civic engage. That have always held the city o a higher standard than any department in city hall and it’s one of the reasons why partnerships between organizations and including the eviction aversion work housing zoning and particularly guaranteed employment has been transformative. I’m going to make sure that not only are our CDC partners supported but that you’re involved in the front end in terms of planning, in terms of evaluation, and in terms of on going visioning for neighborhood improvements and for transformation a central part of my work for adults in some of the hardest hit neighborhoods and for young people who are at risk of violence. I hope that this is a direct partnership with our community based organization because I don’t want to see them working at the base. Of.
SPEAKER: CDC promote equitable development and affordable housing. I will have a cabinet of CDC bids and meet four times a year. And I’m a big believer that there are a lot smarter people than sitting in the Mayor’s office. Many of you have greated yeses I had a health issue I reached out to six area hospitals on the Zoom asked them to help me solve the problem. We had an issue in April of 2020 I coordinated 120 restaurants ons on Zoom and it’s important for us to seek out those who are smart in the field and we need to revisit a lot of these business corridors they’re tired and they need to be reimaged and I would be a big supporter of doing that.
MODERATOR: Some of you may be noticing that white wards are being passed out and that is for people in the audience to ask questions and write them down. If you don’t have a card then raise your hand and someone will bring a affordable housing affordability is right up there.
Let’s dive into that and to a ask our next question we have Regional Housing Legal Services, Dina Schlossberg.
SPEAKER: Thank you for coming tonight and especially for the candidates for your time and deep thinking.
So affordable housing is a very very important issue. Wages have not been raising as fast as rent which means making ends meet is more and more out of reach like a parent that makes less than $23,000 is support children. What would you do to increase the number of housing opportunities for the most vulnerable members of our community?
MODERATOR: Let’s begin Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: Put forth a housing policy and housing plan on my website Rebecca for The first thing I would do is utilize the city owned 8,500 city owned vacant properties and I would utilize these to create a city wide housing plan working in conjunction with council members where there is deeply affordable housing in every neighborhood in our statement the city should not be holding these blighted properties. We need to transform them into affordable housing. In addition I will help in areas of rising rents because of gentrification. I think that we need to put more money towards rent subsidy and also I have program that the city offers for homeowners to keep homeowners in their houses.
SPEAKER: Yes, I think affordability is purposeful and this is one of the clearest areas where you need a Mayor who is going to use all available resources at their disposal to counter a market that’s out of control it’s one of the main reasons why the ten year tax abate. For large brand new construction and primarily for wealthy newcomers it’s my idea that we need to create a new subsidy that prioritizes affordable housing and utilize the vacant lant and transform the land bank but I’ve been one of the few counsel members believes that forms of rent stabilization has to be on the table. I mean somebody who led rental assistance. If I thought. Vouchers are not enough we’re going to have to have usherings conversation about how to keep rent stable and affordable.
MODERATOR: All right. Allan Domb.
SPEAKER: Thank you for that question. Number one. I want everyone to understand the top 50 cities in the United States, we have some of the most affordable housing. But of the top 50 cities in the United States we have some of the low average income. We have to deal with the housing issue but the real issue should be better paying jobs in the city in the last ten years or so all of the jobs created paid less than 29,000 in Philadelphia it was sixty .five. For short term. We need to make sure that people are aware of all the programs available the city programs. Federal programs. Last year we left $1 million on the table in earned income tax credit the 35,000 families that didn’t apply. Refunds of 802 a thousand that’s 200,000 people. We can do a better job in getting that word out.
MODERATOR: Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: So the situation is one of supply and demand. We’re going to have to increase the supply. What happened was: They tore down these houses and put them in the land bank because they wanted to increase the demand can and that made the developers money so we have to turn the situation around. What we have to remember is that Philadelphia was a factory city and because it was a factory city that meant that there were sin family homes where the families live that went to the factories now that they tore those houses down we have to go into the zones from single family to multiple family zoning then I would have in my administration city planners put a plan together where we would have affordable housing apartments. Green space is also needed for our tranquility.
MODERATOR: All right, our next question will be q asked by Andy fresh.
SPEAKER: Several he several of you touched on the need for subsidize did Id many of the affordable rental housing are only guaranteed until restrictions run out after a certain number of years we’re now at risk of losing affordability over the next few years what would you do to ensure we don’t lose these reliable and affordable homes at the time when our residents need them the most.
SPEAKER: I want to thank all the folks who have been so vocal and active about preserving affordable housing and Jamie who showed what’s possible when city government pack backs up the rights of people to stay in the place that they call home. I believe that the next Mayor has to lead a big initiative to map out what the roll offs are going to be to activate immediately a conversation with our state and federal partners to keep and maintain permanent affordability but I also believe we need something more. We have to hang onto every single affordable housing that we currently have and also we need to expand and part of the work we do is by bring in financial partners, big banks. Financial institutions, CDFIs and other lend institutions, to try to create a market and real investment using the city wide affordability plan. We need to see opportunity in the next decade and not just year.
MODERATOR: All right.
SPEAKER: The issue here is who is responsible for this cost. Is it the landlord or the property owner or is it the city of Philadelphia. In my opinion it’s the city of Philadelphia and what you figure out with other property owners how we can extend the contracts so they don’t expire and we should be doing that now and if that’s some sort of a payment from the city is to extend or a teak called the buy down of the loan where the loan is come coming due and look at all those practices. When I was in counsel in April. City came out $75,000 soft second mar gang I showed them through a buy down we could actually have a lower pay down by doing a buy down and costing us 1/5 of the course to make it more affordable. We could use that tool for all the affordable housing that’s expiring.
MODERATOR: Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: So, first thing I would do as Mayor is that I would put a moratorium on that. That would not just go away such as it’s being asked to go way and second issue remember I said I’m having my city planners doing. I need to keep that going on at the same time I’m increasing had my supply of housing, once I get that supply of housing up, then we can do this across the board even more than we’re doing right now.
Because I will have more affordable housing in Philadelphia and it will look like what was e here back like 30, 40, 50, sixty years ago, we need more houses so we can reduce the cost can of people moving in.
MODERATOR: Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: So as Mayor, I would convene stakeholders, PHA, community leaders, and city officials as well as the Biden administration because the solution to the problem of the looming federal subsidies exprioring is a big issue that needs to be handled at the federal level.
So, as the Mayor, I would work to advocate and push for that so that we can continue those subsidized units because there’s thousands of thousands and expiring and as a city we have a responsibility to keep housing affordable. In addition I would mention. The 8,500 city properties turned into deeply affordable housing unties and homes that were subsidized by the city government. I think we could create a subsidy program there.
Thank you.
MODERATOR: All right. Our next question will be asked by Abraham Pardo from the Urban League of Philadelphia. You’ll have one minute to answer the question.
Good evening everyone.
SPEAKER: The homeownership rates between white vs. Black and Latino houses in Philadelphia have continued to widen, what would you do to increase opportunities for first time Black and Latino home buyers to homes and what role do you see CD CDC and housing council playing in this.
SPEAKER: What was that last part?
SPEAKER: That okay.
SPEAKER: That last part.
SPEAKER: Yeah. What role do you see community based nonprofits like CDCs and housing agencies plague in this effort?
MODERATOR: All right. Allan Domb.
SPEAKER: Thank you for the question.
First of all, facts are simple. 90, 95% of the wealth in the United States are in people’s homes it is so important to advance homeownership across the board. It’s a big factor in generational wealth. The actual wealth of a tenant is four to $6,000. The wealth of a homeowner is $200,000. Many entrepreneurs start their business through a home equity loan by owning their home. It’s a great way to start your business and build generational wealth. I would go back to what I mentioned earlier, work with CDCs and others and utilize the buy down program. When I mentioned this in council in April people had no idea what I was talking about until I received an email in president’s Clark’s office. This is being used across the country. there’s two ways to affect value. Lower the price or buy down the rate of financing. It’s much more efficient to lower rates so people can buy homes.
MODERATOR: Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: This comes back to what I just mention add little while ago as far as the housing in the city and it also goes with what reback candidate was mentioned when she said there were 8500 house in the city that were vacant. If we have Black and Brown people that need housing, this is a great possibility for them to have a house. All we need to do is just give them the necessary components they need to build this house up. What that means is we’ll give them the first home inner loans. We’ll give them taking care of the federal government has for a first home buyer situation where we can use that money to fix that house up. But we have to have them give up that they’re going to be there for a period of time. We don’t want them just to fix the house up and then turn the house over to a developer where they reap the benefits of just having had that house for two to three years and then all of a sudden they’ve made a lot of money off it.
MODERATOR: All right Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: As Mayor, my administration will make a very intentional and strategic I went to increase Black homeownership and, we need o to be intentional and specific about it because the reason that the rates are so different had between Black and white homeownership is because of the racist policies that have denied Black and Brown people home equity and the right to own their own home for decades that would be a big priority. In addition under my administration I will focus in on the tangled title issue. This issue which prevents so many people from building that equity in their own home, the home that their family and their grandparents lived in. It’s their home. So as a city government we need to help untangle that title so that that equity and wealth agrees to the person living there.
Thank you.
SPEAKER: Abraham and Urban League, I want to thank everyone that’s been phenomenal on the housing issue. It’s been my pride because I see what are a big difference it makes in terms of helping people apply for the first time home buyer program, through the city government. And one other area that I think is really key that needs to be discussed in terms of access to homeownership. I want to learn clear civil debt. Civil debt court is ten times worse in terms of the damage but so much easier for us to do. People are going into debt for pennies on the dollar that’s being given to these agencies that have absolutely no proof.
We can clear civil debt with the partnership of our attorneys and with our housing counselors that can help them find the credit sources that they need and I’m going to make sure that every piece of land is not going to be turned over to developers to be sold. It would remain permanently affordable for 100 years.
MODERATOR: All right. Let’s see if, you want these questions now? Yes? Okay, we’ve got questions from the audience. Hopefully I can read your writing. Many neighborhoods in our city are riddled with vacant properties and there’s a need of new found investment and development. Many residents in these neighborhoods are just justifiable concerned about the displacing effect of new development.
As Mayor, what would you do to ensure an equitable development occurs without leading to potential displace. Of existing residents. That’s a great, great question. We begin with Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: So, I hope everyone realize the that there is an issue in the south Philadelphia specifically with what’s known as the sect 135 conservators. I fight these people on a daily basis. The situation is that they’re supposed to be CDCs where they go and look at properties and what they are supposed to is tell the resident of the property if they see something wrong where they could go to fix it up and when they see something wrong they sue the people and they have to go to court and most of the time these people don’t have the means in order to fight the suit the way they should. So the conservators do make a deal and purchase the property for a small amount of hundred. Maybe even a hundred thousand dollars and turn the gotter. I fight those people tooth and nails. That’s the problem.
MODERATOR: All right. Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: We need to make sure as develop. Is occurring that communities are kept in tact and that’s not happening right now.
So, as part of my housing plan. On my website. I put forth that one: We need to make sure that people can afford the rent and not be pushed out of their long term neighborhood. And the way I propose to do that is through rent subsidy and utilizing rent subsidy out of the fubbed funding that the city has from MPI money and possibly other sources of funds. In addition, we need to keep people in their homes that are homeowners and property taxes have gone up a lot recently. And we need to make sure long time homeowners are protected. The city has programs. The long time opener occupied program. The senior tax freeze and as Mayor I would make sure that there is a big effort knocking door to door making sure people know how to get enrolled in these programs. Thank you.
SPEAKER: The situation around vacant lots is one good example why there needs to be purposeful it needs to be seen as city wide. I think it’s been said already that there’s no reason, there’s a lot of approaches towards vacant lots about sealing them and can I absolutely believe that I intend to send out our licensing and inspection team taking on the vacant lots but we can also have the city fix them up as well and. Hold these vacant lot owners accountability for the devastation that’s being caused. I want to see not all lots turned into housing. Lots should remain diverse and transformative. Turned into green spaces. I want to make sure that community garden thrive in thety but I believe that that has to be a purposeful effort and creatively led.
MODERATOR: Okay. Allan Domb.
SPEAKER: Thank you for the question. Had there needs to be a centralized system. I’m going to use benefits trust. United Statessed way campaign for working families where people know to find out all the benefits that are available. There’s so many different benefits we can’t tell you every would be of them. There needs to be one central central. I happen to like United Way for families. Number two I just want to mention. Besides vacant lots we have a problem in the city with these signs on telephone poles called cash for your home we buy your house. I just want to commend CLS who worked with me when I was in council to pass the whole sellers protection bill where we license wholesalers who are ripping wealth buying them painting and selling them for 90. In and out sellers have to be licensed have a code can of ethics provide the homeowner with a source and value.
MODERATOR: We have another question from the audience. Do you think landlords should be able to raise rents as much as they want,.
MODERATOR: Not need. Year after year while Philadelphians are struggling to make ends meet.
AUDIENCE: Rent control.
SPEAKER: I think we have to make sure that people can afford rent in neighborhoods across our city. That’s why I have supported rent subsidy and think that the government can can put a much more intentional and increase the amount out of the neighborhood preservation money that we’re given to assist people with paying rent in neighborhoods where the rents are rising. Community is the base of a healthy neighborhood. If we can’t keep community together the city is not boot thrive it’s going to a big priority of mine to keep people in their place the neighborhood of where they’re living. Thank you.
AUDIENCE: Where were you? None of you were there.
MODERATOR: All right. Helen.
SPEAKER: Philadelphia is a city where 400,000 people live in poverty and the average rent is around sixty thousand dollars across the city on average and had a is a serious issue.
I’ve made is clear that viable options should be on the table when it comes to rent stabilization and how to keep rents affordable. I do not believe they can be unilaterally imposed but I did this as well when we were talking about eviction prevention work with that took over five years we were able to slash the number of evictions and keep 50,000 people housed and deliver almost a quarter of billion out to small landlords this is a conversation that we shouldn’t fear. This is a conversation that involves all the people in this room and those far I don’t need beyond it but there should be a conversation about how to stabilize runs and not just harkening back to the fearful past but something that gives everybody a chance to call the city home.
SPEAKER: When I was 12 years old, my brother was six teen, we lived in a small apartment 800 square feet and we were evicted because we had no hot water. I know what it’s like not having a roof over our head. Everyone should have a roof over their head. Responsibility should be the city not the landlord. 90% of our landlords in Philadelphia are mom and pop. California is 35 to 40%. Mom and pop individual people and here’s the other issue that we have to think of. We have a tremendously high level of poverty and we have a lot of programs that keep people comfortable in poverty but our goal should be: How do we take people out of poverty and.
AUDIENCE: It’s called rent control.
MODERATOR: Let’s go to Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: So, as a judge, I made sure that these landlords were under control. I made sure that they weren’t putting people out of the house just because they wanted to raise the rent. That’s not the way that we do things here? Okay?
SPEAKER: If you saw me in court, then you know that I was on the side of the tenant. It’s just that simple. I was on the side of the tenant when I was with the Philadelphia housing authority. it was the tenants at the Philadelphia housing authority that backed me to be a judge. I am not owed to anyone I’m owed to the people of the people and I want to make sure that everyone has a roof over their head and not paying high rents and I’m going to make sure you have as you says and I just like I told you earlier, we will find the landlords that $300 every single time.
AUDIENCE: Rent control.
AUDIENCE: Eminent domain.
AUDIENCE: Rent control. Give the subsidy.
AUDIENCE: Two shots to the head.
That was a kill shot. Two shots to her head. Do you hear me now?
MODERATOR: All right.
MODERATOR: Okay. I think that point was beautifully and powerfully made.
So, we’ll continue with our questions.
And, let’s see what we have here.
AUDIENCE: Rent control now!
MODERATOR: It really sounds like all of you in the same.
MODERATOR: The let’s see. I can’t read this so I’m going to move onto this one.
How do you contend to expand affordable housing into neighborhoods this are traditionally seen, not in my backyard. Let’s begin with Helen.
MODERATOR: Let’s let our candidates answer the question.
AUDIENCE: You can’t have affordable housing with people are losing their homes recorded in the recording office. All of them knew.
MODERATOR: Okay. To repeat the question, how do you intend to expand affordable housing into neighborhoods that are traditionally seen as not in my backyard.
SPEAKER: So, I think you know, this is obviously something that has to be led with a community led vision about what affordability looks like we’re going to have to have we’ve led on different levels of focusing in on certain areas of the city transit overlay zones where you could do more multi family development where we can have broader conversations about where we can utilize some of our city owned lots to be able to support family owned developments and other types of diversification it’s not just about scarcity. The problem has a lot to do with scarcity and my other investment is to make sure that the most affordable place that you could live is the home that you’re actually in and we want to make sure that we lean in supporting the whole homes repairs act. We take it to a different level by leaning in on inflation reduction built to last so that we can actually improve the climate of people’s homes as well as their affordable.
MODERATOR: How do you intend to expand housing into not in my backyard.
SPEAKER: I think you might be the city to providing.
AUDIENCE: Save our homes.
MODERATOR: Ma’am, we ask that you respect the candidates ability to answer the question.
AUDIENCE: I said save our homes.
SPEAKER: Like I said. I spoke about.
Are you good? I think we need to utilize the buy down prop up in those neighborhoods.
AUDIENCE: Everybody could have apparently. Yeah I’m respecting.
AUDIENCE: No, you’re not.
AUDIENCE: Yes I am. I’m respecting.
MODERATOR: Ma’am. Ma’am?
AUDIENCE: Because y’all never talk about this. Y’all will never talk about this. Every real estate recorded 500 fraudulent documents tieing up equity for years. Do you all. I’m a real estate professional you think I want to be here tonight screaming at y’all. But if you go online. Go to MD realty. City council had a hearing on it.
AUDIENCE: And it’s not being recorded to I have to come here tonight to show y’all about it.
We respect your opinion.
AUDIENCE: I want to make sure.
MODERATOR: We also ask that you allow our candidates to answer.
AUDIENCE: They were scammed it was recorded in the office. Now they got to find back wards. No y’all, sorry. Sorry.
MODERATOR: Ma’am. We’re asking that you respect the candidate’s ability to answer the question.
AUDIENCE: Y’all going to keep asking the same questions and never get to this. You’ll never get to this so I’ve decided I have to come down here tonight and say this to you all.
Please check it out. Thumbs up that you will check this out and I’ll go outside. Tell me you’ll check it out. Tell me you’ll check it out and I’ll go outside. Give me a thumbs up. Be that.. Check it out. 544 and every real estate’s a scam.
MODERATOR: We will check that out.
AUDIENCE: Thank you, they all know me very well. I testify in city council more than anybody. Thank you.
MODERATOR: We appreciate you.
MODERATOR: We appreciate you.
AUDIENCE: Who voted on that bill. Who voted on them. Hey! Who voted on that bill.
MODERATOR: Thank you.
AUDIENCE: Thank you.
MODERATOR: Appreciate you. Okay?
AUDIENCE: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
MODERATOR: Thank you so much. Let’s give her a round of applause. Appreciate it. Freedom of speech. That’s a beautiful thing. Thank you so much. We do appreciate you. All right.
Now, Allan, would you answer the question?
SPEAKER: Thank you very much for that question. Let me just address for a moment what the issues were and why CLS brought that bill that Mrs. Robinson was referring to. We had generational wealth being ripped out of people across the city. unscrupulous wholesalers who were taking advantage of our residents and buying homes for 30,000s for painting and reselling them and I worked with CLS it was a great bill this called for.
AUDIENCE: Judge for yourself. Please. All right I’m leaving but don’t try to talk behind my back because I’m a real estate broker too. 30 years behind. I don’t do that. I go to city council to do that but have a debate you and I. We got 30 years together. The state of Pennsylvania licensed me not the state of Philadelphia.
MODERATOR: Let’s pause far second. Ma’am we’re going to ask that question. Can you ask the question? Can you ask the question because I think that has to be addressed.
MODERATOR: Got microphone over there. What’s the question. What is the question.
STUDENT: Realtor. There was a really good bill about thank you both for your support of it. And there’s been absolutely no enforcement. I’ve gone to every single city council office and none of the constituent service people want to do anything about it. I have a list of homes because I’m a Realtor. The bill says that if you’re a wholesaler, you have to register ask abide by certain practices and provide notices to the homeowners and everyone seemed satisfied it’s a great bill if it were only enforced and the answer I got from council afters was. Then is turns out people in housing it’s the relations commission not LNI the council didn’t understand how it was being enforced homeowners aren’t getting the notice and no one is checking to see how it works.
MODERATOR: And can that’s a great question we’re going to throat procedure into the winding for now and have our candidates answer that question and just let’s go continue and forget the other question. Allan, answer that one.
AUDIENCE: You might want to forget about the gong, too.
MODERATOR: Out the door. No, thank you for the question. This is what this is about. This is democracy. This it is freedom of speech and we love the fact that we have you answering those questions because these questions have to be answered thank you for that. Now let’s get our candidates to answer the question. Allan.
SPEAKER: I think we passed a bill it was a very good bill that’s the job of the legislative branch the job of the administrate is the executive branch and the lack of the comprehensive branch providing the leadership to make this happen.
And we can’t control that.
AUDIENCE: Who is the Mayor right now?
SPEAKER: It’s Mayor Jim Kenny and let’s be respectful to everybody. We thought it was a great bill. CLS did a great job and that’s why I’m running for Mayor. Everyone on the council thought the same way and weren’t enforced but council is not the enforcing agent you want me to get going to the original question.
MODERATOR: Let’s get on. Are you done with answering the question. Then Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: No. Al, it’s me.
Housing as we see is a very volatile issue. I shall when I was at the housing authority, and metal and John street would lead their Marchs up to the housing authority and I would always get a phone call that said Jimmy we’re coming and I would get out of l building because I knew it would be volatile and this is the type of situation a Mayor wants a Mayor should hear from the citizens as so what are the issues that they’re facing because a Mayor has to have his finger pulse of the people to give them the services that they need in order for the city to grow. If this is a situation where a bill like this that was supposed to be so positive died on the executors desk then I as Mayor would raise that up and pass that bill to make the constituents on the city happy.
MODERATOR: Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: It is the job of the Mayor’s Mayor’s legislation ensigned by the Mayor. So, thematic that the wholesale bill is not being enforced the responsibility of that lies on the current Mayor. There are issues are a lot of things being ebb enforced from this bill to illegal dumping to a whole range of issues. As Mayor I will make sure that this bill is enforced and that we have strong enforcement on variety of bills that city council has passed that are not being enforced right now so that we have a system and a that’s fairly working for everyone.
SPEAKER: I’m going to take a little bit of a different approach because I actually believe that one of the reasons why I’m running for Mayor is that I actually did follow all my bills through enacting a evection die version law that landlord education lobbyists, if I had left that to the Mayor’s office I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I would to prove that we could make this work and that’s what I did. I thought through how you’re going to execute when everything in city government doesn’t work. We are dreaming in this room. If you think the difference about someone coming in is just someone coming in and sitting in the office.
It’s not someone sitting in the Mayor’s office the problem is because people fail time and can time again to pull all the different entities together to leverage in and I didn’t need to be the Mayor to be able to do that. I am here to prove that you have to think this stuff through when you introduce a bill. How you’re going to manage these agencies. How you’re going to lead and inspire people from the ground that’s why I believe I’ll abMayor that makes and difference.
MODERATOR: Let’s move onto slack city and slack can I and can blight. Thinking about the issues just discussed Phil nil has a lot of vacant land that can go to community needs what is your vision of a properly functioning land back how do you plan for make that a reality? And I have a little bit lost my place here but let’s start with Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: A lot of these questions they kind of overlap with some of the answers before. Now, when we’re talking about a land bank, this is where that city planner comes in because the fact is that we have to utilize the land in the bank for the citizens.
This is where we were talking about earlier the issue of supply and demand that we have to increase the supply in order to reduce the demand. What we’re doing here with the city planners is that we’re making a plan where we can have affordable housing both as single family and multiple family dwellings and we’re also giving enough land for green space so that we would have parks already made within the developments that we make so that the people would have a way to keep their aesthetics in line with their feelings.
MODERATOR: Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: We need to be thoughtful about the way we’re using vacant planned land. I mutt forth a plan about how we should be using the vacant properties and lots but there’s many vacant properties across our city and we need to be very thoughtful that’s why I proposed putting forth a city wide housing plan and we also need to lock lookout other uses we need to make sure there’s green space and we need to look at the Arts in terms of where the arts can be displayed in vacant land. We need to look at holistically what could be done to beauty fie the neighborhoods and vacant property within a neighborhood.
So I plan for to look at this in a very holistic fashion and set forth a plan that builds upon back and forth affordable housing as well as green space across our neighborhoods.
MODERATOR: All right. Helen.
SPEAKER: As somebody who followed the land bank from its inception from today. Believemy me I know the pain of sea seeing an idea that needs to tuition. Nobody knows what’s what happening with the land bank there’s nothing accountable or available. There’s an observe secure application system. There’s no form of accountability. I don’t believe there’s a chance even within difficult systems there’s a chance that when there’s a tremendous amount of transparency. When there’s mapping of communities that actually that has a profound impact on how to change things internally. Sometimes when these things are hidden away nobody changes their behaviors. When they become public to everybody, everybody holds each would be of us accountability. So I absolutely will start to transparency. I want to lean in to make sure that accountability on the backed end so make sure that it actually goes into productive use as well.
MODERATOR: Land bank. Allan Domb, go.
SPEAKER: Thank you for that question. Look the land bank performance has been dismal. I think last year we sold less than 300 properties and less than 30 were for 30% AMI and sown sill man swill is doing a good job of did his posing his properties but I remember a cost estimate of maintaining the properties maybe 56 it was costing 15 to $20 million maintaining all these vacant properties and vacant buildings and why we’re doing this I have no idea. We should be utilizing for what’s needed most and that is affordable housing 30% AMI and other levels and that should all be leveraged and get those buildings off our books and get them used for affordable housing. Sitting on it is costing us money it’s kind of crazy and turn it into housing for people across the city.
MODERATOR: All right. Our next question will be asked by one of our community partners Julian Rios from Ceiba.
SPEAKER: Hello. Thank you for being here tonight. Non profit developers need a flexible acquisition fund so that we can repurpose properties for the benefit of our communities we need such a fund to be able to better compete with out of town investors and speculators who are buying up property this is our neighborhoods as Mayor would you push for the creation of a flexible acquisition fund for non profit developers.
MODERATOR: For this one you have thirty seconds to answer the question Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: The issue of corporate investors coming in and buying properties. And actually it’s a lot of private equity investors that are doing it. Is it’s happening around the country it’s a big issue I’m part of a group called accelerated America and it’s a group it’s an issue being identified in cities across the country. Private equity squeezing properties. I will look to solutions for that. In terms of a flexible fund. discuss that with you.
SPEAKER: This is one of the areas we led on nationally if I’m elected and that tanked things but the idea was to get cities to buy, to have first right to buy up before private equity same in and whether we could buy up blocks of property at lower rates and then be able to work with our community groups to prioritize development homeownership and preservation. Yes to that, yes to affordable acquisition fund and partnerships to transform neighborhoods.
MODERATOR: All right, Allan Domb.
SPEAKER: I would have to learn more about that flexible acquisition fund before I give you a definitive yes or no but one of the options word down payment monies and also financing terms it is much less expensive and much more efficient for if the city wants to do something like this so lower the interest rate for that acquisition to the buy down. That is the key. That is the key to affordable housing in this environment. Our interest rate doubles in the last 12 months we need to buy these rates down.
MODERATOR: Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: I would look at the city joining this a partnership with various nonprofit corporations whose purpose was to build affordable housing. I think that would be a win for them and the city and I think that we could get some good interest rates to do something like that. I like the plan like that.
MODERATOR: All right. We’re moving into a different topic and that is economic development. As we recover from the pandemic. The challenges.
MODERATOR: Damn. My time is up!
AUDIENCE: I love that gong. I just love it. All right.
As we recover from the pandemic, the challenges faced by our small businesses have also been front and center.
So, let’s talk for a bit about how we can support them. Our next question is going to be asked by our community partner AARP and Linda.
SPEAKER: Good morning I’m Linda and I’m a volunteer with AARP. Let’s talk about commercial corridors, if you agree that the neighborhood commercial corridors are the life blood of many communities across the city, what programs would you support, grow or enhance to ensure corridors are vibrant places for our residents?
MODERATOR: All right, great question and we have one minute to answer it. We’ll start with Helen.
SPEAKER: Thank you so much for that question and yes, we all believe that our commercial corridors are vital. I made very clear that our commerce department occupies one quarter% of the entire budget and in some ways I feel like that’s how much space occupies the prioritization of our city I would lean in and see a more expanded effort that prioritizes out reach and staffing that supports commercial corridors I’ve been very clear about the greening and cleaning and brightening that was part of the just services campaign that we helped lead and we’re going to take that out and make sure that it reaches everybody.
We, I’ve also prioritized the importance of setting aside opportunity and equity funds that actually support commercial rent assistance. Supports opportunities to negotiation start and attract small local Black and Brown businesses across the city of Philadelphia we need toasty see new opportunities coming up and the city has to lead it.
MODERATOR: Okay Allan Domb.
SPEAKER: Thank you we have six teen bids in the city. Center city. University city don’t really need our assistance. The other 14 many of them do. And I would be there for them and assist them. But we also have commercial corridors that are really not doing well and think about it. They’re very old the demand for goods and services are different than 15 years ago. The Internet has taken over and what I’m seeing all across the city is that restaurants have become the anchor of many of these business corridors we need to put more entrepreneurs especially the Black and Brown community we need to create more opportunities and jobs in these business corridors they need to go out and eat. You can’t have a great meal o’er the Internet you can’t have excitement when you going out to eat. I would advance entrepreneurial opportunities progress in those commercial corridors.
MODERATOR: Judge DeLeon.
PROFESSOR: There’s two parts to this situation. The first is: You ask thed question how to make sure that they thrive. That’s the first aspect. Then the second aspect is: How to make sure that we continue having businesses coming to that neighborhood. So this is where the chambers of commerce come in because I would fund the chambers of commerce for these particular types of purposes. First how to keep a business thriving. The thing that we have to show businesses they need to be able to know how to keep the inventory. How to maintain their books. Those particular type of aspects I would give for free to those businesses through the chamber of commerce. Other is being an incubator. To teach the business I seen it done at Wharton and Temple university and I would make sure that these services would be available to the small business for free.
MODERATOR: All right. Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: So first we need to make sure that all of our neighborhoods have safety and are clean.
Those are core city function and, through my public safety plan, with an emphasis on services into the neighborhoods most impacted by the violence we will make our city safer. In addition on cleanliness, we have to make our cities cleaner, means trash pickup. Cracking down on illegal dumping. Street sweeping those things will help neighborhood commercial corridors. In addition I think we should be looking at the business legacy grant program that’s been successful in other cities across the city. This is a program that gist grants to businesses in neighborhoods where rents are rising to keep original wizs businesses in the business corridor. That’s the type of way that I would lead as Mayor.
Thank you.
MODERATOR: Our next question is: Going to be asked by community partner from the urban affairs. Arun Prahbakaran is going to ask the question and you’ll have a minute it answer it.
SPEAKER: Good evening. While Black and Latino Philadelphians account for 47. They only five and four% of businesses, what barriers do you think prevent more of our Black and Brown residents from becoming entrepreneurs and what would you do to address them. Thank you.
MODERATOR: We begin with Allan Domb.
SPEAKER: Thank you for that question. In schools I would teach had K through 12 financial literacy. Technology and entrepreneurship in our schools. K through 12 and in high school I would allow kids to go to school. Get credit. Get paid and in this environment. employer will say can you come in Allan three:30 to six and can you come it Saturday. Opportunities for job experiences. High school at 17th and Allegheny. Graduated of that 99 100% were admitted to college but in addition to that because we need more entrepreneurs across the board. Lee I don’t think we have two and three% Black and Brown entrepreneurs and today we’re not much matter. I would teach across the school. Maybe the CDCs could help me. Entrepreneurship. Technology, and financial literacy including homeownership to adults.
MODERATOR: Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: The situation is even more dire than that. There’s two Black and Brown businesses per thousand people in Philadelphia whereas there are 22 white businesses per thousand people here in Philadelphia so the situation is that we have to make sure cure and grow more Black Brown businesses I gave you a key when I said that the chambers of commerce would be involved. Boast the Hispanic the Asian the Black chamber of commerce and the normal chamber of cherries. Also the empowerment zone that we have here in Philadelphia the empower. Because I need to put money into these particular organizations to build businesses because I need to have the businesses built for my tax base and for the employment of the people of Philadelphia.
So, this is why it’s so important to use these chambers of commerce.
MODERATOR: All right. Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: I will lead a specific effort to increase a minority business participation at the city level. In addition to growing the number of black owned businesses in our city.
We must be very intentional around this issue. So I will partner with entities such as the enterprise center that is providing technical support and equity to minority businesses. In addition my office to make sure that the office of economic opportunity to within the Mayor’s office reporting right to me and there’s going to be a goal of 40% of city contracting goes to minority business.
Not women owned minority business. I think that’s the way we start to tackle this issue and the what I will accomplish as Mayor all right.
STUDENT: I also agree that everything has too change. None of this is by accident a lot of this has been purposeful whether intentional or not. Outcomes are very clear. Everything does have to change. It means that the city has to lead an a bold initiative utilizing contracting. I’m not naive that to believe that the city doesn’t screw this up automatically. Support entities such as the enterprise fund, and the work that’s been done with the innovate capital fund that have to lead independent of the city and that the city needs to be a key partner. I believe in incubator surveys and finally I have a strong belief that the city has a lead a guaranteed subsidized jobs development practice for individuals and neighborhoods that are hard hit. This is not just a work force development pipeline straight in the base. Of come cast this is about giving people in the community to bring out their own creativity and development.
MODERATOR: If elected Mayor, what would you do to sustain increased funding far range of critical and community housing and community development programs in Philadelphia that have received initiative bond funds and or federal recovering funds that will be ending? We will start with Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: I gave you a little preview of one of the things that I would do.
To get this money.
But my arithmetic was off so I’m going to give it to you with the correct math.
There were 22,000 illegal lock outs in Philadelphia each year there is a bill, an ordnance. Nine 16 teen that gives fines to the landlord that illegally lock that is individual out. That fine is $300 a day. If you took the 22,000 multiplied it by the $300. Multiplied it by the ten days, you would get sixty $6 million that I would have my law enforcement offers going out. I would get this money and this is what would be utilized for the purposes of housing that we’re talking about here today.
MODERATOR: Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: So, I know the city’s budget from being the budget director for five years. And as city controller, I put forth a plan to utilize the American rescue plan money the one .$4 billion that the city got I recommended to the Mayor to use a good portion of that money for affordable housing basic home repair type programs.
As Mayor, what I will do with the neighborhood preservation funding is look to the programs that are working and if they’re working then we need to continue funding them and if they’re not working, then that’s another story but the idea is: To using that and NPI money which is a bond issue. Actual several bond deals it will be, to continue to fund this important work.
MODERATOR: All right. Helen.
SPEAKER: As somebody who really leveraged in and supported the the funding that helped support so much around our eviction aversion program. Housing stability stability and others the next Mayor cannot just do things based on the existing money that we have. That’s the difference between me and at a lot of of other people. I do not just look at the money that we have and limit my option there I’m looking at that money as seed money to attract more investments because if this work actually make assistance difference in people’s lives I want everybody to be funding it as well.
That list nonprofits and our partner ago is he says that he philosophy I can partners our banks our big lending institutions to say this is an economic development initiative. This is not charity or basic help and supports it’s not government services it’s is a transformation of our city as Mayor I’m going to make sure that we need a big investment that expands and not limitings us to the money we’ve got.
MODERATOR: All right. Allan Domb.
MODERATOR: I want to thank counsel man at large member and not exactly answer this question but I’m going to share to go back to Arun’s question.
Back lowest on the East Coast by far.
And when you look at jobs created I want to go back to that comment. U.S. was 29 paid less than 35,000. 28 corporate headquarters we have three of the top 20 that are corporate.
Thirty five to $1,000 paying jobs we have half of our suburbs. Looking at business taxes for small entrepreneur and New York City it’s 16.2. Second highest in the country is Philadelphia at between .9 the third highest is California. Chicago and Boston is. how does a Black and Brown owned business function under that tax program.
MODERATOR: Who did I miss?. Okay. I did pretty well up until now keeping track of all of you. We have a final question.
This is it.
In closing what does equity mean to you and if elected Mayor, what would you do in your first 100 days in office to advance equity. We begin with you Rebecca Rhynhart.
SPEAKER: Equity means giving each neighborhood in our city what they need in terms of service delivery. Equity means reversing past practices in how services and funding was allocated. Equity means looking at the status quo and making change.
As city controller, I showed how many of our city service were inequitable. Trash collection 93% on time or better in northeast filly while northwest and south filly on time collection 65 to 75%. That is today. So we need to change this. As Mayor I will lead that transformation in service delivery for our residents. Thank you.
MODERATOR: All right. Rebecca Rhynhart thank you. Helen.
SPEAKER: We have have a lot of conversation tonight about housing commercial corridors and many other things that impact this broader community and absolutely I want to take this moment to say it’s not just about where we live but how we live. I hope that I can take a moment to talk about a big area that hasn’t been touched on today which is about schools and to me public education, public schools have to be part of the economic development of the city of Philadelphia it is absolutely anchors in how we’re going to grow our tax base how we’re going to see the health and well being of communities as community hubs and how we’re going to see our city part future. I put $10 billion over ten years with the city to modern denies and bring our schools into the 21st century. We’re no longer going to have schools that shut down. We’re going to have school that is anchor cities that’s what this city believes in it’s about how we’re going to become a community and a home.
SPEAKER: Equity means a lot but for tonight I’m going to share that it means to me dramatically moving the needle on poverty which we haven’t done in 50 years and it would be easy for me not to run for Mayor I’m only dot doing it because I have three goals for the city. Over the next years I want to take 100,000 part time out of poverty and create good paying jobs and I want to bring 100,000 new residents to help us share that tax base but equity means teaching in your schools if we had taught in your schools financial literary and financial technology and entrepreneurship we would have a different city today and it means to me dramatically changing taking people out of poverty not all these programs to keep people in poverty and make them comfortable as your Mayor I want to take them out of poverty.
MODERATOR: Judge DeLeon.
SPEAKER: Equity. Equity means just what it says. That everyone deserved life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Drastically reduce gun violence in the city and crime and that system is a system of processes and procedures that allows the city government to combat gun violence by enabling the necessary responders to work more effectively and efficiently together to manage the root causes of gun unless. Now this is a plan that I put together specifically for the city of Philadelphia. It hasn’t been used in any city in the United States to combat gun violence but I am an incident specialist I’m trained in this area all of the people in my departments would become incident specialists under FEMA and we would attack all of the problems in this city and solve them.
MODERATOR: Well we’ve come to the end of this mayoral forum. Special shot out to HYY for joining us today we hope this forum helps you understand more fully each candidates proposals and their vision for the future of Philadelphia let’s work together and ensure that everyone in our city has a place to call home and can enjoy a high quality of life. Let’s give our candidates a round of applause for joining us today and for all the partners that help make this possible. Thank you so much.


PACDC FY2022 Annual Report

PACDC’s FY2022 Annual Report




PACDC Magazine – 30th Anniversary Edition

In honor of PACDC’s 30th anniversary, this edition of PACDC Magazine examines the evolution of community development in Philadelphia, the ways the sector has shaped our city and influenced others, and the implications of this work for the future of the field.

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2021 Annual Report

In partnership with our members and the broader community, we led historic investments across our policy/advocacy and member services programs. Check out our Annual Report to learn more.


Partnerships Make Transforming House in to Homes Possible

Since 1988, Rebuilding Together Philadelphia (RTP) has revitalized communities by transforming 1,800 vulnerable, owner-occupied houses into safe, healthy and energy-efficient homes. RTP leverages both funding partnerships, such as with Univest, and community partnerships with hospitals and community development organizations to advance their mission of revitalizing communities by transforming vulnerable, owner-occupied houses into safe, healthy and energy-efficient homes.


PACDC Magazine -The Future is Now: Possibilities to for the World to Come

PACDC’s 2021 Magazine explores the possibilities of the world to come from artists, organizers, scholars, attorneys, activists, parents, children, and fellow humans who are creating fragments and pieces..