Philly Experiments With New Rent Voucher Aimed at Keeping Families in Their Homes
Jake Blumgart with WHYY reports on a new approach helping city residents pay their rent.
A new pilot program will provide monthly rent vouchers of $300 or less to help Philadelphia tenants who are spending more than a third of their income on rent and live in income-restricted properties built or renovated with taxpayer dollars.
“This will help keep a roof over people’s heads,” said Councilmember Helen Gym, who frequently advocates for renter protections. “This is particularly exciting because it’s targeted towards our neediest families, the 12% of Philadelphians who live in deep poverty.”
The pilot comes as part of a larger move in city politics to address affordability and a pervasive eviction crisis. Big cities like Philadelphia are increasingly experimenting with housing programs like this one, modeled after a similar program in Chicago, at a time when the federal government is retrenching from social welfare programs.
The $2 million city-funded program will be administered by the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, a nonprofit group that recently merged with the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. The agency will provide the rent money to the landlord for each eligible subsidized tenant.
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