Affordable housing comes to Philly; residents have little hope it will help

The Biden Administration’s top housing official comes to Philadelphia baring gifts as the city struggles with a shortage of affordable housing and the presidential campaign season heats up.

It’s a tale of two communities. Frankford Avenue, in the upscale Fishtown neighborhood, where Rosalie Gentry made a fast offer on the condo she owns that may now be out of her price range. Gentry said, "I think the timing was definitely important two years ago. At this time, right now, I don’t think I could afford it."

And several blocks away on Williams Street where Maria Nunez and her friends fear homeownership is simply out of reach. Asked if she felt locked out of owning a home, Nunez said, "Yes, locked out, lost, confused. Sometimes, for my friends, they don’t have someone to turn back to, they’re helpless. I felt helpless at one point too."


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Helpless over rising rents and the lack of affordable housing in a city where the feds say 40 percent of the population spends more than 30 percent of its income on rent and utilities, known as, "housing cost burdened."

Adrianne Todman is the Acting Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. She said, " I’ve been across the country, and I’ve seen families, retirees, just regular folks who say the rent is just too high. Some folks disillusioned of ever being able to buy a home."

Gathered in front of low-cost senior housing about to open, Todman hoisted a check for $3.2 million. Mayor Parker said she’ll use it to "remove barriers" to affordable housing and homeownership.

Parker, who’s promised 30,000 new housing units in her first term, said she’ll roll out her housing plan in the fall at a time when many are struggling to find affordable places to live. Told that some residents said to FOX 29’s Jeff Cole they do not believe they’ll be able to afford a home in Philadelphia, Parker said, "We need to insure a sense of hope. A sense of pride and dignity and a belief that government can work for them again."