Philly owns way too much vacant land already to be wasting taxpayer money on Kenyatta Johnson’s plan to buy up more. More market-rate housing means more ratables on the tax rolls and more money for the schools and other critical public services. Nobody can afford to be turning down investment in the city right now, and certainly one is helped by preserving ugly blight in neighborhoods.
Petition text is below. Go sign here to help kill this thing:
Please help us make Council Bill No. 120755 DEAD ON ARRIVAL.
Developer Ori Feibush, a Philadelphia entrepreneur who is also building his own home in Point Breeze, has this to say about Council Bill No. 120755:
We need your help friends. Kenyatta Johnson just introduced BILL NO. 120755 to the City Council Committee on Rules.
Mr. Johnson wants to take $1.7 million from your teachers, fire fighters, and police officers to pay my clients for vacant land we are ready to build on. We don’t want your money. We want to build a better Point Breeze and maintaining blight does not build a better Point Breeze!
Please call your City Council representatives and tell them to VOTE NO to my councilman’s petty effort to subvert small business owners in his district. He calls it BILL NO. 120755. In plain English it’s called retaliation.
Kenyatta has no plan in place, and no available money to build on these lots. This is not about building affordable housing vs. market rate housing. The City owns 14,000 lots (300 of which are within 2 blocks of the condemned parcels) which they could build on. He wants these lots so he can stop all development in one part of his district by taking land BOUGHT by one constituent to then GIFT to another.
Members of City Council – The Citizens of Philadelphia demand a RESOLUTION of the blight issue, not a PRESERVATION of the blight issue plaguing our City. If we are going to build affordable housing in Philadelphia, we must SECURE THE FUNDS FIRST before building. That’s what private developers do. That is what private non-profits do. This is what the City of Philadelphia must do.
The City of Philadelphia owns vast acreage of land already in its inventory on which to build housing that it can sell to the public at an affordable price.
Can anyone on City Council explain to the Citizenry why the City must condemn and then own all of the vacant land in Point Breeze? There is no logic in this, and it is fiscal suicide for City Council to even entertain the idea. The City needs to scale its plan for affordable OHCD housing to the parcels that it already has available and source the funds to start construction, and dispose of property that cannot be developed within a reasonable timeframe within areas where there is a better financial interest for the City to sell the land and repurpose the funds to the betterment of the community.
That is the responsible way to go about redevelopment, but that is not what this bill has in mind.
Reject this bill.