City Council Committee Pushes Alternative Funding Source For School Budget Gap (May 18, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Mike Dunn on cbsphilly.com on May 17, 2013
Two days after Mayor Nutter proposed a new tax on cigarettes and a higher liquor tax, a City Council committee today gave initial approval a different approach that would affect many businesses.
HAPCO General Membership Meeting (May 15, 2013)
Meeting Announcement and Details
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 ‒ 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM -- Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West ‒ 4010 City Avenue. Topics to Include AVI Assessment Appeal process, Lead Paint Compliance, and an opportunity to meet Councilman Bobby Henon, who gained a reputation in his first term on city Council as a vigorous opponent of tax delinquency and rental prop¬erty blight.
Butkovitz: AVI Worse Than Status Quo (May 11, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Sean Collins on philly.com on May 10, 2013
A new report from City Controller Alan Butkovitz says property assessments under the Actual Value Initiative will be less accurate than they are now.
Fuhgettaboutit! Say No to 2024 Philly Olympics (April 17, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Stu Bykofsky on philly.com on April 26, 2013
In what may go down as his greatest "wild-hair" moment, Mayor Nutter told the U.S. Olympic Committee - don't start laughing yet - that the city wants to host the 2024 Olympic Games.
Owe the City Money? He's Tapped to Track You Down (April 17, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Jan Ransom on philly.com on April 5, 2013
Even as Mayor Nutter named a seasoned crisis manager on Wednesday as the city's first chief revenue collections officer - a new position created to "collect every dime" owed to the city - some City Council members remained skeptical about Nutter's tax-collections strategy.
Philadelphia City Council Mulls "Gentrification Relief" from Property Taxes
(April 17, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Troy Graham on philly.com on April 16, 2013
The 2300 block of Christian Street sits squarely in Graduate Hospital, for more than a decade one of the city's hottest neighborhoods, where new homes and residents have translated into skyrocketing prices.
Council Wary Over New AVI Property Assessments (March 28, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Jan Ransom on philly.com on March 27, 2013
A SKEPTICAL City Council grilled the Nutter administration Tuesday about the criteria used to reassess the city's 579,000 properties and why some assessments appear to be out of whack.
Sequester Will Make Lines for Philadelphia Housing Authority Units Longer
(March 22, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Tom MacDonald on networks.org on March 8, 2013
Sequestration is hitting the Philadelphia Housing Authority. It will mean hundreds if not thousands of those seeking affordable housing in Philadelphia will be denied.
City Council to Hold Public Hearings to Examine the City's Efforts to Collect Delinquent Real Estate Taxes Owed by Owners of Residential Investment Properties (March 14, 2013)
Extracted from an agenda posted on PhiladelphiaCityCouncil.net
The Committee of the Whole of the Council of the City of Philadelphia will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at 1:00 PM, in Room 400, City Hall, to hear testimony on the following items.
Philadelphia City Council President Pitching Plan To Discount Vacant Properties
(March 9, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Mike Dunn on CBSLocal.com
City Council President Darrell Clarke is pitching a plan in which the city could discount or even give away thousands of vacant parcels, so long as the recipients develop new properties on that land.
Council Finance Committee Unanimously Endorses Tax Delinquency Reform Measure (March 7, 2013)
Extracted from an article on PhiladelphiaCityCouncil.net
City Council’s Finance Committee on Friday unanimously recommended a bill to Council that is designed to aid efforts to reduce the backlog of delinquent taxes and bring an end to the City’s “culture of non-compliance” with the ‘carrot’ of clear, consistent payment plans and the ‘stick’ of certain foreclosure if taxpayers default on the plans.
City Exempts Itself from Lead Paint Law (February 28, 2013)
Extracted from an article by John Featherman on MobilePhilly.com
I want to lose my new job. No – not my job as a columnist at Philly.com. I love that job. But another job that I have. Specifically, I want my brand spanking new “EPA Certified Lead Dust Sampling Technician” license to become worthless – a license I spent $195 on and a full day of my life in a classroom and lab in North Philadelphia acquiring last month.
WhoseYourLandlord.com Gives College Students the Upper Hand
(February 26, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Tim Jimenez on CBSPhilly.com
A Temple University senior started a website where college students can sort through good landlords and bad ones.
Council Moves To Ease Possible AVI Tax Pain For Some (February 22, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Miriam Hill on Philly.com
As the push to modernize Philadelphia's property-tax assessments moves forward, City Council on Thursday introduced bills that would provide tax relief to people who cannot afford big hikes and one that would tax nonprofits on any properties used for commercial purposes.
As Taxes Rise, So May Rents (February 21, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Sean Collins on Philly.com
Many Philly landlords who will see higher bills next year under the city's new property-tax system say they may have to pass at least part of the tab on to their tenants - an all-but-forgotten group in the heated debate over the Actual Value Initiative.
Some Neighborhoods Struggling With Likely Huge Tax Increases
(February 20, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Aubrey Whelan on Philly.com
Julia Lind was 7 years old when her father bought the house on South Fifth Street for $6,000 in the early 1970s. Now 51, she co-owns the modest two-story rowhouse on the 1800 block of South Fifth Street in South Philadelphia. The house was valued at $24,900 for 2013.
A Shaken Tax Landscape (February 17, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Troy Graham and Dylan Purcell on Philly.com
The AVI will bring hikes in rising areas, cuts for others, such as big commercial sites. Scrutiny will be sharp.
A Glimpse at AVI's Impact: Areas on the Up & Up Should Prepare for Taxes to Go Up, Too (February 14, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Jan Ransom & Sean Collins on Philly.com
As expected, many residents in gentrified Philly neighborhoods will get slammed when the city moves to its new property-tax system next year - at least according to City Controller Alan Butkovitz, a frequent critic of the new policy.
What to Do if Your Pipes Freeze (January 28, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Mark Stevens on PlumbingNetworks.com
If you live in a city like New York that experiences freezing winters, your home’s pipes may be in danger of bursting. This occurs when water in the pipes freezes, and subsequently expands, eventually causing the pipes to rupture.
Governor Tom Corbett Signs the "Land Banks" Bill on Thursday, Which Aims to Get Rid of Rundown, Abandoned and Often Dangerous Properties
(January 21, 2013)
Extracted from an article on 6abc.com, January 17, 2013
Community blight across Pennsylvania may soon be a thing of the past. Governor Tom Corbett signed the "Land Banks" bill on Thursday, which aims to get rid of rundown, abandoned and often dangerous properties.
Pennsylvania E-Waste Recycling Law to Take Effect January 23, 2013 Affecting All Pennsylvania Households (January 13, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Michael Alan Goldberg on MontgomeryNews.com, January 11, 2013
Thinking of kicking your old, obsolete computer or television to the curb on trash night? Soon, that’s where those items will stay, because your friendly neighborhood garbage men aren’t going to pick them up.
Ten-Year Smoke Alarms Now Required in Older Philadelphia Homes
(January 10, 2013)
Extracted from an article by Hadas Kuznits on CBSPhilly.com, January 9, 2013
Philadelphia fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers says smoke detectors that require a battery change once a year are now illegal in your home, even if they still work.
Ex-PHA Manager Charged in Theft of Supplies
(December 1, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Mark Fazlollah on Philly.com, December 1, 2012
A former Philadelphia Housing Authority manager was charged with conspiracy and fraud Friday in the theft of PHA building supplies worth $431,848.
Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code Overhaul Update
(November 17, 2012)
Extracted from an enewsletter by Christine Young-Gertz of the Apartment Association of Greater Philadelphia (AAGP) , November 16, 2012
Philadelphia Bill no. 12-0647 will make the 2009 International PM Code the PM code for the City, along with additional provisions specific to Philadelphia.
Affordable-Housing Plan Using Eminent Domain Advances in Council
(November 14, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Jan Ransom on Philly.com, November 14, 2012
City Council's Rules Committee moved forward with a controversial plan Tuesday that would allow the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA) to take more than two dozen properties through eminent domain to build affordable housing in Point Breeze.
Nutter Says He Won’t Abandon Philly, Won’t Work in White House
(November 7, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Mike Dunn on CBSPhilly.com, November 7, 2012
One day after President Obama was re-elected, Mayor Nutter is ending speculation that he would serve in the second Obama administration. And he vows to finish out his term here.
HAPCO Efforts Reduce City License Fee By 500% (October 23, 2012)
Extracted from an article in the HAPCO October 2012 Newsletter
HAPCO and City Council negotiations have resulted in a significant reduction of the fee charged for issuance of Vacant Property Licenses.
Philadelphia Property Maintenance Code Overhaul (October 21, 2012)
Extracted, with permission, from an email blast by Apartment Association of Greater Philadelphia (AAGP)
City Council is rushing a hearing (License and Inspections Committee) on Bill No. 120647. It is scheduled for this coming Tuesday, October 23 at 2 PM at City Hall Room 400.
City Leaders Form Agenda to Seek Property Tax Relief (October 17, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Troy Graham on Philly.com, October 17, 2012
Mayor Nutter, Council President Darrell L. Clarke, and School Reform Commission Chairman Pedro Ramos have united in pursuit of an aggressive legislative agenda in Harrisburg, seeking new powers for the city to assess, collect, and provide relief from property taxes.
New Bill Signed by Mayor Requires 10-Year, Non-Removable Batteries For Smoke Detectors (October 11, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Steve Tawa on Philadelphia.CBSLocal.com, October 14, 2012
Mayor Nutter has signed legislation requiring that homeowners who have older, battery-operated smoke alarms installed to replace the batteries.
CityHall App is Smart(phone) Way to Report Trouble (October 11, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Dan Geringer on Philly.com, October 11, 2012
Joe DeFelice, a lifelong Mayfair man, was driving around his neighborhood when he saw that the guy who rented an apartment above Jean's Pizza, at Ryan and Rowland avenues, had hung out a big yellow banner that read, "WE BUY HOUSES FOR CASH" and included a phone number.
Review Blasts Developers' Disrespect for Temple Neighborhood
(October 11, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Troy Graham on Philly.com, October 11, 2012
City Controller Alan Butkovitz on Wednesday blasted developers working near Temple University for cutting corners and criticized the Nutter administration for failing to police construction sites that have been vexing neighbors near the campus.
Boy Mauled in PA Pit Bull Attack Settles for More Than $500,000
(October 10, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Kelley L. Allen on IFAwebnews.com, October 8, 2012
A boy mauled in a Pennsylvania pit bull attack settled his civil case for $508,613 last week, according to news reports.
Inquirer Editorial: Update Property Rules So They're Easier To Follow
(September 30, 2012)
Extracted from an article on Philly.com, September 19, 2012
Philadelphia's outdated property-maintenance code has been nipped and tucked so many times that it's hard for people to follow.
Biz Owner in Lot of Trouble for Cleanup (September 14, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Natalie Pompilio on Philly.com, September 14, 2012
The city-owned lot, neighbors say, was in deplorable shape, thick with weeds and trash. So when a business owner cleaned it up last month, spending more than $20,000 and removing, by his count, more than 40 tons of debris, Point Breeze residents went out of their way to pass 20th and Annin streets to see the changes.
Department of Licenses and Inspections and the Office of Information Technology Launch Redesigned L&I Website (September 14, 2012)
Extracted from a BLOG posting on CityOfPhiladelphia.WordPress.com, September 13, 2012
The City of Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) announce the launch of L&I’s fully redesigned website, www.phila.gov/LI .
Changes at PHA Anger Unions - Money-Saving Move Cuts 335 "Provisional" Maintenance Jobs (September 5, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Jennifer Lin on Philly.com, September 3, 2012
Just two months into his job as interim chief of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, Kelvin Jeremiah has wasted no time changing what he calls "a culture of splurge."
“Achieving Beyond Expectation” – PHA's Back to School Initiative
(August 9, 2012)
A message from Scott Z. Engel, President, Liberty Insurance Brokers
As a partnership between housing providers and the Philadelphia Housing Authority , we share the common goal and commitment to improving the lives of residents through supportive services and programs. However, today's tough economic conditions make it difficult to meet those needs without help between partners.
Dust Wipe Sampling Protocol (July 25, 2012)
Philadelphia Department of Public Health Lead Safe Rental Disclosure and Certification Law Dust Wipe Guidance, July 17, 2012
Pursuant to the Philadelphia Code Section 6-800 which has been amended by Bill No. 100011-A, approved December 21, 2011 and effective December 21, 2012, Philadelphia landlords are required to provide new tenants in properties built before 1978, in which children aged six (6) and under reside, a valid certification that the property is lead safe or lead-free.
Knightbrook Insurance Company Ceases to Accept New Insurance for Rental Properties (July 24, 2012)
Extracted from a press release on ambest.com on April 23, 2012
A.M. Best Co. has revised the outlook to negative from stable and affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating of “a-” of KnightBrook Insurance Company (KBIC) (headquartered in Valley View, PA).
New HAPCO Officers Installed (July 2012)
Extracted from an article by Darrell M. Zaslow, Esq, in the HAPCO July 2012 Newsletter
After 3 successful years as President of HAPCO, Victor H. Pinckney Sr. has stepped down from office. The new President of the organization is well known local businessman Harvey Spear.
Abandoned Tenant Property Bill Receives Unanimous Approval in PA House of Representatives Placing Onerous Responsibility on Landlords (July 3, 2012)
The General Assembly of Pennsylvania Senate Bill No. 887 Session of 2011
Amending the act of April 6, 1951 (P.L.69, No.20), entitled "An act relating to the rights, obligations and liabilities of landlord and tenant and of parties dealing with them and amending, revising, changing and consolidating the law relating thereto," providing for disposition of abandoned personal property.
Philadelphia Set To Require Longer-Life Batteries In Old-Home Smoke Alarms (June 21, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Mike Dunn on CBSPhilly.com, June 11, 2012
Philadelphia City Council today took a step toward requiring that older homes which still have battery-operated smoke alarms must use newer models with batteries that last 10 years.
The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same (June 29, 2012)
Phototcopy of an article by Charls F. Thompson in The Philadelphia Bulletin, May 25, 1973
The city is going to attach landlords' personal property or their own homes to recover delinquent real estate taxes on buildings in declining neighborhoods.
What Better To Do In 100 Degree Heat Than Think Ahead To December!
(June 22, 2012)
Beginning in December, any landlord who rents a property to a family with children under the age of 6 will have to provide the tenant and the Philadelphia Department of Health with a written certification that the property is lead safe before the tenant moves in.
Philadelphia City Council Puts Slumlord Issue In The Spotlight (June 21, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Mike Dunn on CBSPhilly.com, June 20, 2012
A City Council committee today put a microscope on the long-running dilemma of negligent and absentee landlords — though some landlords testified that they face negligent tenants.
Departed PHA Head Takes New Job at DC Housing Agency (June 19, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Chris Brennan on Philly.com, June 18, 2012
Michael P. Kelly sure moves quickly. Kelly stepped down Friday as executive director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, citing "personal family reasons" that he did not elaborate on. Now he has been nominated to head the Washington, D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development.
PHA Chief Michael Kelly, Credited With Reforms, Resigns Abruptly
(June 18, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Alfred Lubrano and Mark Fazlollah on Philly.com, June 16, 2012
In a sudden and unexplained move, Michael P. Kelly, the head of the Philadelphia Housing Authority, resigned Friday, stunning an agency still recovering from predecessor Carl R. Greene's troubled tenure.
What New Philadelphia Tax Plan Would Mean for Renters (June 15, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Catherine Lucey and Daily News Staff Writer on Philly.com, June 14, 2012
Greg Pastore, a landlord with three rental properties in the city's Bella Vista section, says that if Mayor Nutter's property-tax overhaul passes, he'll likely have to raise rents. Even so, he thinks he'll still take a financial hit.
PGW Announces Increased "EnergySense" Rebates and Launches New Website at Green Expo (June 15, 2012)
Press Release from Philadelphia Gas Works, April 24, 2012
Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) EnergySense program has doubled the rebates for eligible customers who upgrade their residential heating equipment. The company officially announced the increases at the PGW Green Expo, held at its headquarters, where Councilman James Kenney was the keynote speaker.
Property-Tax Delinquents Owe City, Schools $515.4M (June 11, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Patrick Kerkstra on Philly.com, June 10, 2012
Philadelphia property-tax delinquents piled up an additional $43.8 million in new debt over the last year, increasing the total amount owed to the city and School District to $515.4 million, an increase of 9.3 percent in a single year, city records show.
Getting a Look at the Impact of Philly's New Property Tax System
(May 31, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Troy Graham on Philly.com, May 23, 2012
In April, the Nutter administration began providing Council members with a first glimpse at the potential winners and losers from the shift to a property tax system based on the true market value of homes.
PHA Plans to Award $510,000 to Resident Group Led by Greene Ally
(May 31, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Jennifer Lin and Mark Fazlollah on Philly.com, May 30, 2012
The Philadelphia Housing Authority plans to award a three-year contract for $510,000 to a resident group run by Asia Coney, a tenant leader whose e-mails and other records were subpoenaed in 2010 by a federal grand jury.
City Plans to Market AVI, Explain Homestead Exemptions and New Real Estate Tax Plan (May 25, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Catherine Lucey on Philly.com, May 24, 2012
A key complaint from critics of Mayor Nutter’s property tax plan is that the public does not understand how they will be impacted by the proposed move to a system based on market values.
Darrell Zaslow, Esq., Testifies Before Philadelphia City Council Regarding Substantial Real Estate Tax Increases (May 25, 2012)
Extracted from Testimony of Darrell M. Zaslow, Esq., HAPCO Legal Counsel, Bill 120340 document
There are grave decisions being made by the Philadelphia CIty Council regarding substantial tax increases. The HAPCO Board of Directors has expressed concern that the proposed changes in assessments and taxation will result in an unfair burden fallint upon owners of Rental Properties . Legislation proposed in City Council would provide exemptions for owner-occupants and for low income homeowners, placing an even greater share of the increase upon owners of rental units. A copy of the testminony presented on HAPCO's behalf by Legal Counsel Darrell M. Zaslow, Esq., follows.
Philadelphia Makes Buying Abandoned Property Easier (May 24, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Catherine Lucey on Philly.com, May 22, 2012
BUYING A CITY-OWNED vacant or abandoned property is about to get a bit easier with a new website that will allow potential buyers to see nearly all city-held properties on a map, with price tags and other information.
More Americans Getting Used to the Idea of Renting the Good Life
(May 8, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Daniel Gross in the Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2012
As the nation climbs its way out of the Great Recession, columnist Daniel Gross observes that more and more Americans are getting over the idea of owning the American dream. "Increasingly," he writes, "they're OK with renting it. Homeownership is on the decline, and home rentership is on the rise."
Pay More Attention to Abandoned Buildings (May 6, 2012)
Extracted from an Inquirer Editorial by Maria Quiñones Sánchez on Philly.com, May 6, 2012
In an old city with a tight budget and crumbling factories from another era, City Council is considering a smart bill that would force owners of commercial and industrial buildings to have an insurance policy that would help cover demolition if a structure is deemed a hazard.
Philly L&I Boss Fran Burns Quits for State Watchdog Post (May 4, 2012)
Extracted from a BLOG post by Joseph N. DiStefano on Philly.com, May 3, 2012
Frances Burns, Mayor Nutter's Licenses & Inspections boss, is leaving to take the top staff job at the Philadelphia Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority, the state's watchdog agency that limits city spending.
City Councilman Bobby Henon Plans to Haul Allegedly Negligent Landlords Into City Hall to Answer for Why They've Let Properties Deteriorate.
(April 25, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Jan Ransom in The Philadelphia Daily News, April 20, 2012
City Councilman Bobby Henon plans to haul allegedly negligent landlords into City Hall to answer for why they've let properties deteriorate, going as far as to single out eight people during Council's session Thursday.
Temple of Doom? Developers, Expansion, Rowdy Students Endanger a Good Neighborhood (April 25, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Valerie Russ in The Philadelphia Daily News, April 23, 2012
Beverly Flournoy loves the clean, well-kept North Philadelphia block where she has lived with her mother for five years. Small gardens enclosed by wrought-iron fencing thrive in front of dozens of new and renovated rowhouses on 15th Street near Susquehanna Avenue.
City Council Hearing Scheduled for April 27 Regarding Vacant Properties. Proposed Language Will Allow Banks Regulations that Differ From Owners
(April 20, 2012)
Extracted from a City of Philadelphia Ordinance, March 22, 2012
A hearing is scheduled for April 27th on a bill which would require that: The building owner of Foreclosed Vacant Residential Properties shall keep all doors, windows and openings from the roof or other areas in good repair.
City Council To Debate Bill Requiring Longer-Lasting Smoke Detector Batteries (April 20, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Mike Dunn on Philadelphia.CBSLocal.com on April 16, 2012
City Council this spring will debate whether Philadelphia should require that battery-operated smoke detectors use batteries that last ten years.
Housing License Enforcement Under Scrutiny (April 3, 2012)
An excerpt from the March 2012 HAPCO Newsletter
Every owner of property should be aware of the Philadelphia license requirements for rental properties. As in many facets of regulation of business and personal conduct, the government maintains oversight by requiring licenses.
Controversy Over ‘Improvement District’ For Temple University Area
(March 14, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Mike Dunn on Philadelphia.CBSLocal.com on March 13, 2012
The North Philadelphia community surrounding Temple University is divided over a plan to tax landlords for more street cleanup and security, and the dispute came to a head today at a City Council hearing.
Allstate Insurance Company; Homeowners Rate Filing (March 5, 2012)
Extracted from a notice posted on the Pennsylvania Bulletin, October 29, 2011
On October 12, 2011, the PA Insurance Department received from Allstate Insurance Company a filing for rate level changes for homeowners insurance.
Allstate Insurance Company requests an overall 25% increase amounting to $46,634,401 annually, to be effective December 5, 2011, for new business and January 19, 2012, for renewal business. This overall figure represents an average; the effect of this filing on the rates for individual consumers may vary.
Facing a "Tenure Problem" in Public Housing (March 1, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Karen Heller in The Philadelphia Daily News, February 29, 2012
People can spend their entire lives in public housing, which requires tenants to pay a third of their income in rent. Only 12 percent of residents are employed. Seniors constitute almost a fifth of the tenants in PHA-run properties; the disabled, a quarter of all voucher recipients. At one meeting, I heard folks proudly announce they were third-generation PHA residents. Isn't the goal to get people solvent and successful enough to transition out?
Fannie Mae Begins Marketing Foreclosed Homes as Rentals (March 1, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Alan Zibel and Nick Timiraos in The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2012
Investors and nonprofit groups will be able to bid on 2,500 homes in eight locations, including, Calif., Atlanta, Southeast Florida, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Florida’s west coast, Central and Northeast Florida, and Chicago.
Democratic Policy Committee Looks at Landlords and Property Neglect Regulation (February 27, 2012)
News Release on PAHouse.com on February 21, 2012
The House Democratic Policy Committee heard from legal experts and city officials at a public hearing Tuesday in Philadelphia regarding laws and regulations governing landlords and property neglect, said Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.
A New Top of the Line SUV for the New Sheriff? City Council Takes Off on Thursdays of a Holiday Week as a "Tradition"? Give Me a Break!
(February 24, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Chris Brennan and Jan Ransom in The Philadelphia Daily News, February 24, 2012
Clout: The sheriff wants an SUV. Wanna chip in? PHILADELPHIA has a new sheriff, but Jewell Williams says that Mayor Nutter's bean counters are too stingy to let people know it or to allow him to cruise the city's streets in comfort.
Does it Never End for Landlords? (February 22, 2012)
Media Advisory News Release on PAHouse.com on February 21, 2012
Democratic Policy Committee to hold hearing on absentee landlords and property neglect Tuesday in PhiladelphiaDemocratic Policy Committee investigates PA education funding cuts.
Landlord Ire Over PGW's Lien Policy (February 19, 2012)
Extracted from an article by William Bender in The Philadelphia Daily News, February 17, 2012
YOU'D ASSUME that Gail Newman is using hyperbole when she calls the Philadelphia Gas Works a "fascist" regime run by "devious gangsters" relying on "Mafia-like" tactics to shake her down for $15,000 worth of natural gas she never used.
Judge Rules Phila. Landlords Must Be Licensed to Collect Back Rent
(January 21, 2012)
Extracted from an article on The Legal Intelligencer, January 20, 2012
In a case of first impression, a Philadelphia judge has ruled that landlords must secure licenses from a city agency before they can collect back rent.
FHA Extends Waiver of Anti-Flipping Regulations Through 2012
(January 2, 2012)
Extracted from an article by Nicole Contosta on WeeklyPress.com on December 13, 2011
In an effort to continue stabilizing home values and improve conditions in communities experiencing high foreclosure activity, Acting Federal Housing Administration Commissioner Carol J. Galante extended a temporary waiver of FHA’s anti-flipping regulations through 2012.
Councilwoman Brown Reaches Compromise on Lead Bill (December 16, 2011)
Extracted from an article by Nicole Contosta on WeeklyPress.com on December 13, 2011
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown made additional amendments to her Lead Paint Bill. Those amendments address some of the concerns expressed by Homeowners Association of Philadelphia (HAPCO) at the November 30th hearing before the Committee on Public Health and Human Services.
TESTIMONY ON THURSDAY UNNECESSARY (December 8, 2011)
At 5 PM on Wednesday, December 7, Councilwoman Reynolds Brown provided formal notice to HAPCO that the Lead Paint Bill will be amended to incorporate the precise language insisted upon, exempting from lead certification all units occupied by students; Section 8 (Housing Choice Vouchers); and dwelling units in which children aged six (6) and under do not reside.
Landlords Oppose Lead-Poisoning Bill, Say It Won't Protect Kids
(December 7, 2011)
Extracted from an article by Randy LoBasso on PhiladelphiaWeekly.com on December 6, 2011
It’s Wednesday, Dec. 1, and City Council’s chambers are standing room only. Councilwoman Marian Tasco’s spanking her gavel, ordering all those standing in the back to move upstairs and please, everyone, shut up. If you don’t go upstairs, we can’t proceed. It’s a fire hazard.
Thursday December 8th at 11 am - INUNDATE THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING!
The largest landlord turnout ever is needed!
(December 6, 2011)
Landlords in Philadelphia MUST make a large presence to show Council members that their bill MUST be amended to include limiting the impact of the lead paint bill to homes occupied by children under 7, and eliminating the stealth punitive damages currently proposed at $3,000.
Lead Paint Bill sponsored by Blondell Reynolds Brown approved by City Council Committee on Wednesday
(December 1, 2011)
Extracted from an article by Don Sapatkin on Philly.com on November 30, 2011
Amid mounting scientific evidence that no level of lead is safe for young children, a City Council committee Wednesday approved the biggest change - and, opponents argue, the costliest for both landlords and tenants - in at least 15 years in how Philadelphia deals with lead.
City Council Hearing on a Bill to Require Lead Paint Certification in Rental Properties (November 22, 2011)
The Philadelphia City Council is considering a proposed new law which, if enacted, will significantly impact rental properties by requiring repair and certification of lead paint hazards for any property prior to rental.
Philadelphia Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez (D-7th) Introduces New Vacant Property Requirement Bill in Philadelphia City Council
(November 10, 2011)
Among other items, the the BIll would require a "registration statement" of any vacant property within 30 days of becoming vacant; to be renewed every 6 months.
MAYOR NUTTER, COMMISSIONER BURNS LAUNCH NEW INITIATIVE TO HOLD VACANT PROPERTY OWNERS RESPONSIBLE FOR BLIGHT (October 27, 2011)
Press release from Mayor's office on October 26, 2011
Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Licenses and Inspections (L&I) Commissioner Fran Burns announced new efforts to reduce the number of vacant and blighted properties in Philadelphia. The new initiative will better hold private owners accountable for the maintenance of their vacant property.
Attention Individuals, Builders, and Investors. Renovation and Rebuild Opportunities! (October 18, 2011)
By Order of the Philadelphia Housing Authority Auction of 400+ Scattered Site Properties Throughout Philadelphia
Philadelphia Housing Authority To Auction Off Vacant Dwellings
(October 17, 2011)
Extracted from an article by Pat Loeb on CBSPhilly.com on October 13, 2011
The Philadelphia Housing Authority is unloading part of its unusually large inventory of vacant property by putting 400 sites up for sale by auction.
Temple University Neighbors Voice Concerns Over Landlords and Their Student Tenants (September 27, 2011)
Extracted from an article by Ian Bush on CBSPhilly.com on September 22, 2011
Neighboring residents of Temple University held a community meeting Wednesday night, holding an airing of grievances. Residents complained that neither the school nor the landlords are doing enough to keep North Philadelphia a livable place.
Congress Fails to Pass National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Extension
(September 26, 2011)
If you have a renewal coming for flood insurance, be certain that your applications and payments (including renewal payments) are made prior to Sept. 30 for coverage to be effective. I suggest you make payment on line or by calling with your credit card.
Unfair Rental Practices Bill
(September 21, 2011)
Philadelphia City Councilman Greenlee introduced Bill No. 110498 on June 9, 2011 that effectively states that if a social worker / counselor says they were consulted for domestic abuse issues, the LANDLORD must let the person out of the lease. Please see the link to this new bill.
Rental Suitability Certificate Requirement Takes Effect in September
(August 24, 2011)
An excerpt from the August 2011 HAPCO Newsletter
After five years of HAPCO litigation in the Common Pleas and Pennsylvania Commonwealth Courts, a modified form of the Rental Suitability License requirement enacted by City Council in 2006 will take effect after Labor Day.
URGENT for Owners of University Area Housing
(August 13, 2011)
On June 15, 2011, Mayor Nutter signed into law (by a vote of 17-0 in City Council committee ) an Amendment to Chapter 9-2800 of The Philadelphia Code, entitled “Universities, Property Owners or Managers and Students,...”
Philadelphia Real Estate Tax Reduction Opportunity
(August 9, 2011)
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has just published its annual tax assessment ratio report for each county, and, if its finding stands, many Philadelphia property owners may be able to achieve substantial savings on their real estate taxes.
The City of Philadelphia Goes After Another Small Target
(August 8, 2011)
Extracted from an article by Kevin Riordan on Philly.com on August 7, 2011
Perhaps perceiving Pulitzer as a synonym for jackpot, the City of Philadelphia recently sent prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn a bill for more than $10,000.
Philadelphia Housing Authority Nonprofit Loses Tax-Exempt Status
(June 26, 2011)
Extracted from an article by Jennifer Lin and Mark Fazlollah on Philly.com on June 10, 2011
A nonprofit development affiliate of the Philadelphia Housing Authority that quietly amassed $66 million in assets during the tenure of ousted director Carl R. Greene was stripped of its tax-exempt status Thursday by the Internal Revenue Service.
Study: Landlords Racking Up Violations, Unpaid Taxes (June 26, 2011)
Extracted from an article by Gloria Capisi on Philly.com on June 22, 2011
The City Controller's Office Wednesday released a study that found numerous violations and unpaid taxes among landlords and others who own multiple properties in Philadelphia.
With Senate Votes, Joint and Several Liability on Track to Be Transformed
(June 22, 2011)
Extracted from an article by Amaris Elliott-Engel on Law.com on June 22, 2011
The Pennsylvania State Senate passed a bill changing the concept of joint and several liability for the better. Under the old rules, any defendant who was found negligent, even if they were only 10% at fault, could be compelled to pay the entire judgment. This legislation changes that. Now, unless the defendant is at least 60% at fault, it cannot be compelled to pay more than its share. This is a significant change and brings Pennsylvania up to date with other states. Gov. Corbett has said he will sign it.
Philadelphia Property Owner Forecloses Against Wells Fargo Bank. You Read It Right! (June 19, 2011)
Extracted from an article by Ann Carrns on NYTimes.com on June 8, 2011
Owners of a house in Florida have engineered a reverse foreclosure against a bank. That makes two so far this year. Just one more, and it’s officially a trend, right?
West Philadelphia Property Owner Challenges Redevelopment Authority Over Weed-Infested, Abandoned Property (June 19, 2011)
Extracted from an article by Juliana Reyes on Philly.com on June 15, 2011
OVERGROWN weeds don't bother Michael McFadden. McFadden, who grew up in Brooklyn and now lives in West Philadelphia, actually welcomes greenery, no matter what form it takes. So he lets his weeds grow until he absolutely has to hack them down.
Deadlines for Pennsylvania Real Estate Property Tax Appeals Fast Approaching
(June 6, 2011)
In view of current market conditions, now is a good time to review your company’s real estate portfolio to consider assessment appeals for tax year 2012. Please let us know if you need a referral to an attorney and/or appraiser to assist you.
City Discussing Soda Tax (again) and Real Estate Tax increase (again)
(Article by Scott Z. Engel, June 4, 2011)
Truth is, I don’t drink the stuff. And not just because my vegan wife says so!
Did my ears deceive me when KYW1060 went off and woke me at 6:15 AM today with the “Top Stories” of the day?
Philadelphia Lead Paint Bill -- Urgent that you Contact City Council
(May 20, 2011)
Extracted from an email blast from the Apartment Association of Greater Philadelphia (AAGP)
It doesn't add up...Philadelphia's Lead Paint Disclosure Bill, No 100011, will not help those it is supposed to help, but it will drive up costs for every multifamily rental owner, and every resident.
Michael Kelly, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority (Section 8) will Address HAPCO Members on May 10
HAPCO, the 57 year old association of Philadelphia's low to moderate income housing providers will have its annual meeting on Tuesday May 10 starting at 7 PM. The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at City Avenue and Presidential Boulevard, Philadelphia PA.
Licenses & Inspections Prepares to Hunt Down Absentee Owners
(April 7, 2011)
Extracted from a CityPaper.com article by Anthony Campisi and Isaiah Thompson
Tens of thousands of abandoned properties and vacant lots stretch across Philadelphia. Counts vary, but recent studies estimate at least 40,000 such properties, 75 percent of which belong to private owners — often delinquent on taxes and bills, often missing in action.
Congress Approves 1099 Repeal Bill Requiring Reporting of Rental Property Expense Payments. Obama Expected to Sign.
(April 5, 2011)
"CCH Tax Briefing" Publication
The Senate on April 5 approved a bill (H.R. 4) to repeal controversial expanded information reporting on Form 1099 for certain business payments and rental property expense payments.
PHA Suspends Practice of Charging Landlords $200 Each for Training in the Subsidized Housing Program
(March 28, 2011)
Extracted from a newsworks.org article by Shai Ben-Yaacov
PHA has recently changed its website to say that the waitlist for the Housing Choice Voucher Program is closed. Until then, the site had indicated that the Housing Choice Voucher Program is closed.
Profits Over Safety(March 19, 2011)
With a bipartisan 154-39 vote last week, the state House approved the repeal of the requirement that took effect Jan. 1 for all new single-family homes to be equipped with fire sprinkler systems. "State senators have yet to vote on the measure, but that chamber, also controlled by Republicans, ratified a similar repeal last year."
Read the Philadelphia Inquirer's opinion on the matter
DN Editorial: CHUTZ-PHA: Housing board won't step down
(March 2, 2011)
Extracted from an article in the Philadelphia Daily News
A POWERFUL LEADER refuses to step down, despite increasing - and official -calls for him to do so, amid questions of the soundness of his leadership.
Has Philadelphia Housing Authority become Libya on the Delaware?
Law firm where John Street's son worked got millions in PHA contracts
(February 27, 2011)
Extracted from a Philly.com article by Mark Fazlollah and Jennifer Lin
After he appointed himself to the Philadelphia Housing Authority board in 2004, John F. Street repeatedly voted to award millions of dollars of PHA contracts to the law
firm where his son worked - actions that legal experts say appear to violate the Pennsylvania ethics law.
Street Clarifies: No PHA Resignations(February 26, 2011)
Extracted from a NBCPhiladelphia.com article by Barry N. Dima
An updated statement from former Philadelphia mayor and current Philadelphia Housing Authority Chairman John F. Street has been released "for clarification." In it, Street says, "I have spoken to each member of the Board and
we will not resign in response to the HUD press release. We share HUD's interest in improving PHA's operations and we stand ready to fully cooperate with HUD as we have done in the past. However, we feel resigning is unwarranted."
Lead Paint Disclosure: Bill No. 100011 (February 25, 2011)
There will be a hearing in May. The bill would require rental owners to provide certification to new residents that the property is either lead free or lead safe.
This new layer of cost prohibitive bureaucratic directives would be added to the already in force City and Federal regulations, including comprehensive disclosure requirements,
that have dramatically reduced the number of incidences of elevated blood levels in children.
HAPCO GAINS INJUNCTIVE RELIEF AGAINST VACANT PROPERTY LICENSE FEE
(February 24, 2011)
The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Judge Idee Fox, held a preliminary review on February 17, 2011 of HAPCO's case against the $750 vacant property license fee.
City Merges Vacant Land Lists (February 24, 2011)
The City has posted a merged public inventory that purportedly lists all available vacant land owned by the Department of Public Property, the Redevelopment Authority and Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation.
You can find it at the home page of RDA's website at www.phila.gov/rda
. It is a PDF that the City plans to update every month.
A direct link to the PDF is www.phila.gov/pdfs/propertyinventory.pdf
The Public Now Gets To Speak At Philly City Council Meetings(December 2, 2010)
Extracted from a Philly.com article by Mike Dunn
A new type of democracy arrived at Philadelphia City Council today. The lawmakers — under orders from the state Supreme Court — for the first time opened the floor for public comment.
Court Strikes Down Philly Council Comment Practice(November 18, 2010)
Mark Scolford (AP)
The Philadelphia City Council must allow direct public comment on matters under its consideration and may not simply divert those comments to committee meetings, a divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled.
New Study Puts a Hefty Price on City Blight(November 10, 2010)
Extracted from a Philly.com article by Jennifer Lin
The problem of blight has confounded Philadelphia mayors for decades and generated volumes of policy papers.
Philadelphia and Business Privilege Tax(November 8, 2010)
The City of Philadelphia is considering a bill to change the way they charge businesses for their Business Privilege Tax.
Government Affairs Update(October 15, 2010)
The PA Senate Approved the House's Castle Bill.
Blight Fight(October 5, 2010)
Efforts to deal with problem properties continue on both state and local levels.
Landlord Tax Alert: More Paperwork on the Way(September 20, 2010)
Extracted from a BLOG on Forbes.com by Janet Novack
Do you own a rental property or two? Do you rent out your vacation home? Pay attention. The paperwork you must file with the Internal Revenue Service is going to grow, perhaps by quite a bit,
thanks to a provision tucked into the Samll Business Jobs Act passed by the Senate last week.