Deborah McColloch, Director: 1234 Market St., 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107
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Contact Information
OHCD
1234 Market St., 17th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215-686-9749
FAX: 215-686-9801

TDD Machine 215-686-9803

OHCD Department
Tel. Number
Auditing 215-686-9762
Communications 215-686-9749
Compliance 215-683-3001
Contract Administration 215-686-9713
Fiscal 215-686-9736
Human Resources 215-686-9724 or
215-686-9717
Information Technology Services 215-686-9779
Legal 215-686-9788
Monitoring 215-686-9762
Neighborhood Program Coordination/ Community Development 215-686-9783
Office Services 215-686-9835
Policy and Planning 215-686-9776
Real Estate 215-854-6500

Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA)
23 S. 12th St., Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tel: 215-684-4000
Fax: 215-686-9801
www.pha.phila.gov

Philadelphia Housing Development Corp. (PHDC)
1234 Market St., 17th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Tel: 215-448-3000
FAX: 215-448-3133
www.phdchousing.org

Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority (PRA)
1234 Market St., 16th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Tel: 215-854-6500
FAX: 215-854-6732 (Housing Dept)
www.phila.gov/pra

FAQs for residents and non-profits, click here.

FAQs for Developers

Where does a developer start when considering doing a development in Philadelphia?
Where to start depends on what type of development, previous development experience in Philadelphia, and where the building is to occur. Developers working in Philadelphia for the first time must obtain a Business Privilege License and Tax Account. Additionally, we encourage you to contact the local trade organizations to learn more about the processes.

Who owns land? How can I find out?
The great majority of land in Philadelphia is held by private owners. To find out who owns a parcel, use the Philadelphia Board of Revision of Taxes’ Property Search at: brtweb.phila.gov.
The City of Philadelphia, as well as some of the quasi-governmental agencies such as the Philadelphia Housing Authority, or the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp., own property in the City. To find out about city-owned or vacant property, contact the Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD).

How can I purchase land?
The first step in purchasing land is to identify and contact the owner of the parcel. When an owner cannot be identified or contacted, developers interested in acquiring land should contact OHCD. OHCD issues a Property Acquisition Request (click here) form that is the first step in the public acquisition of land (i.e. condemnation) to be transferred to developers for new projects. Other methods for the acquisition of land include Sheriff Sale.

Who reviews plans and requirements?
Most plans for development require the review of the City Planning Commission. At your request, Planning Commission staff will review your plans prior to any formal submission. The Zoning Unit of the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) will review plans over the counter. At your request, L&I will schedule a meeting with you to review construction plans.
L&I’s Zoning Unit reviews all plans for development. About 60 percent are granted over the counter. Applications that do not meet the requirements of the Zoning Code may be appealed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) for a variance. An appeal to the ZBA requires a public hearing. L&I has a development services coordinator to assist you with the process.

What is the role of City Council?
City Council can be a resource throughout the development process. Many developers contact the office of a City Council person about potential developments in the district. Council members have a variety of information about their districts and the various community organizations. Council members can also help with such issues as infrastructure. Council must pass legislation authorizing street changes for a development. Legislation may also be required when land is acquired through Urban Renewal Condemnation.

What grant funding programs are available for housing development?
A variety of grant programs for housing development are available from city, state and federal governments.
PHDC’s Homeownership Rehabilitation Program (HRP) assists for-profit and non-profit developers in rehabilitating vacant homes to be sold to first-time homebuyers. OHCD and RDA periodically issue Requests for Proposals for the federal CDBG and HOME funds they administer. For more information, review Philadelphia’s annual Consolidated Plan.

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) is the leading provider of capital for affordable housing. PHFA administers the Homeownership Choice Program (HCP) which provides funding for single-family homes; the
state’s PennHOMES Program which offers interest-free, deferred payment loans for low-income, rental housing development; and the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) which developers can use to build rental housing for low-income families. Most grants include income guidelines for residents who will in live in the new development.

Who do I contact about infrastructure issues?
Contact the Philadelphia City Planning Commission with infrastructure inquiries. It will direct you to the appropriate agencies.

FAQs for Residents and non-profits

HOW DO YOU FIND OUT WHO OWNS A PROPERTY?
Information on property ownership is not given out over the telephone. Interested parties must visit the Records Department's Public Reference Area, Room 154, City Hall, Mon-Fri., 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
For information and instructions, call the:
Recorder of Deeds/Records Department
215-686-2292, 1483
www.phila.gov
(Click on "property assessment")
Board of Revision of Taxes, Public Book Room
34 S. 11th St., 7th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
brtweb.phila.gov
Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

HOW DO YOU LOCATE THE OWNER OF A PROPERTY?
There is no data bank for finding owners. This will require detective work on your part. You will need to check the telephone book, voters registration, talk to neighbors and visit the Board of Revision of Taxes.

HOW DO YOU FIND OUT WHAT A HOUSE WAS LAST SOLD FOR?
If you have a specific address, you can get its last recorded selling price from the Department of Records. You must visit the Records Department's Public Reference Area, Room 154 City Hall, between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays or visit brtweb.phila.gov

HOW DO YOU DETERMINE THE APPRAISED VALUE OF A HOUSE?
You will need to hire an appraiser to conduct an appraisal. Companies are listed in the phone directory.

HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT BACK TAXES ON A PROPERTY?
You must visit the customer service unit of the Delinquent Real Estate Tax Division located on the concourse level of the Municipal Services Building, 1401 JFK Blvd. There you will find a listing of the prior years' delinquent addresses. You will need to bring pencil and paper to write down information since photocopying is not available. NOTE: If the taxes on a property are current, that information is not available for public viewing.

HOW CAN YOU HAVE THE NAME CHANGED ON A DEED IF THE RELATIVE IS DECEASED? HOW DO YOU TRANSFER A DEED?
You must go to the Office of the Register of Wills, Room 180, City Hall, to probate the estate naming you executor of the estate. A death certificate and/or will must be presented. That office will provide you with documentation stating you have the authorization to change the deed. You will then need to take that authorization to a real estate agent or a lawyer to file for a new deed. NOTE: Fees are assessed based on the value of the property.

HOW CAN I GET A COPY OF MY DEED?
You can obtain a copy of your deed from the Department of Records, 154 City Hall. There is a $2 per page fee.

HOW CAN A PERSON RECEIVE HELP IF A DEMOLISHED PROPERTY HAS MADE THEIR HOME BECOME STRUCTURALLY WEAK?
L&I operates a Complaint Hotline handling such complaints as dangerous buildings. L&I will send an inspector to the property to determine the damage and issue a citation to the responsible party. 215-686-2463

HOW DOES A COMPANY GET ITS NAME ON A CITY CONTRACTOR'S LIST?
Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO)
City of Philadelphia
1515 Arch Street, 12th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-686-2000
oeo.phila.gov
Certifies disadvantaged minority, women and disabled businesses.
Philadelphia Housing Development Corp.
1234 Market St., 17th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-448-3173
www.phdchousing.org
Prequalifies building contractors interested in working as general and specialty contractors on PHDC projects.
Office of Housing & Community Development
1234 Market St., 16th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-683-3006

Provides a database of contractors and vendors used by general contractors.
Neighborhood Economic Development
Commerce Department
1515 Arch St., 12th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-683-2000
www.phila.gov/commerce

HOW DO YOU WRITE A PROPOSAL FOR FUNDS?
Each Request For Proposal (RFP) has its own set of requirements. But in general, respondents must be incorporated entities with a track record in providing the service and must have sound financial management systems. Individuals or groups that are not incorporated are not eligible to reply to RFPs. The RFP will ask for a lot of information about the organization's experience and background, what it is proposing to do, budgets, etc. RFPs are advertised in the "Legal Notices" section of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Tribune.

HOW DO I GET PLACED ON THE RFP MAILING LIST?
Organizations interested in being added to the RFP mailing list should submit their name, address and activity to be funded to:
Office of Housing and Community Development
Policy and Planning Department
1234 Market St., 17th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
or call 215-686-9776

HOW DOES A NON-PROFIT GROUP GET STARTED?
You can get advice from the following organizations:
Regional Housing Legal Services
2 S. Easton Rd.
Glenside, PA 19038
215-572-7300
www.rhls.org
Provides free legal assistance to eligible groups in obtaining tax-exempt status, filing incorporation papers and drafting organizational documents. Requests must be in writing.
Community Accountants
3721 Midvale Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19129
215-951-0330 x 125
www.communityaccountants.org
Provides free accounting assistance to non-profit organizations.

HOW CAN A NON-PROFIT RECEIVE OHCD FUNDING?
OHCD does not provide direct operating support (funding). There are specific programs that provide administrative support to community development corporations (CDCs) engaging in housing and housing-related activities (i.e. housing counseling, neighborhood planning, community outreach, commercial development). The administrative support means funding to staff and overhead cost directly related to the contracted activities.
For advice on starting a CDC, contact:
Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations
1315 Walnut St., Suite 1600
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215-732-5829
www.pacdc.org

 

 

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