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Small Change In Policy Could Have Big Impact For Philadelphia Homeless

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia’s non-profit housing community is praising a recent change in policy that will make vacant public housing property available for development.

Homeless advocates are thrilled at the prospect of more supportive housing and community development and folks are delighted that blighted properties will get rehabbed.

It is a move that Farah Jimenez of the People’s Emergency Center says is, frankly, overdue.

“The prior administration was particularly interested in retaining those units for future development of its own.” Jimenez said.

The new policy was set in motion shortly after the previous Housing Authority director Carl Green was replaced, amid a scandal, by Michael Kelly. Kelly plans to unload more than 1,000 vacant units and non-profits have been staking their claim to those within their service area. Jimenez says People’s Emergency Center asked for 20 properties in West Philadelphia.

“Despite those buildings having remained vacant for a number of years, there is an earnest desire on the part of the non-profit to turn them into quality community assets,” Jimenez said.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio

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