ESI Senior Advisor, John Paone and Mark Schwartz (Regional Housing Legal Services) co-authored the article, Use Vacant Schools for Housing for Seniors, Disabled, for the Philadelphia Inquirer, in which they put forth the idea of re-using vacant schools in Philadelphia for seniors and the disabled.
For the most part, affordable housing developments in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania – in fact, across the nation – are financed through the federal Low Income Tax Credit program, which is administered through state agencies. In Philadelphia’s case, that’s the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.
Known as “9 percent credits,” affordable-housing subsidies attract private equity capital to finance construction or renovation of affordable housing. Without these tax credits, it would be difficult to get the kind of up-front funding necessary to build affordable housing. The “9 percent credits” have been very successful, but they are awarded competitively and are relatively scarce.