Deborah McColloch, Director: 1234 Market St., 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107
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ECA Issues RFP for Neighborhood Energy Center Program
The Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA) has an RFP to provide comprehensive energy services through Neighborhood Energy Centers (NEC). Up to 14 community-based organizations will be designated as NECs in the spring of 2015 for a three year period, July 1, 2015-June 30, 2018, contingent on funding and the results of an annual evaluation. Services to be provided include intake for LIHEAP; intake or referral to Crisis; UESF; utility bill payment assistance programs including Philadelphia Gas Works Workshop Program; PECO’s LIURP, PWD’s Water Conservation; budget counseling; Weatherization Assistance Program; energy education; and others.
RFP
Optional briefing: March 27, 2015, 1pm, ECA, 106 W. Clearfield St. Call Jerry Bennett 215-609-1044 to attend.
RFP deadline: April 17, 2015 by 5pm to ECA

Free Tax Return Preparation for Qualifying Taxpayers
More than 20 community-based agencies citywide will provide free tax preparation services to families with income less than $52,000 and individuals with incomes less than $20,000. Tax returns are completed by IRS Certified Preparers. OHCD and the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity work with Ceiba and the Campaign for Working Families to enable local agencies to provide these services.

When visiting an agency, eligible participants need to bring specific information and documentation. Wondering what to bring? We have a complete list for you to review. Please visit http://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/ or call (800) 906-9887 to find an agency.

RFP for Housing Counseling Services
OHCD is soliciting proposals for Housing Counseling activities for FY 2016 beginning July 1, 2015. Specifically, OHCD requests proposals for housing counseling services in the areas of foreclosure prevention in owner occupied homes (both in mortgage and tax foreclosures), first time homebuyer opportunities, and assistance to the City’s tenant population. In addition, OHCD expects to continue to provide settlement grants to first time homebuyers through the Settlement Assistance Program. RFP.
Proposal Deadline: no later than Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 5:00 pm.
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Philadelphia wins $30 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods Grant

Mayor Michael A. Nutter celebrates the awarding of a HUD $30 million Choice Neighborhoods grant for Philadelphia.

On June 30 the US Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that Philadelphia has been awarded a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods grant. The grant will support the implementation of the Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan, a comprehensive affordable housing and economic development strategy to transform North Central Philadelphia from a struggling community to a vibrant, sustainable neighborhood. Accepting the grant for the City, Mayor Michael A. Nutter said, “This grant is critical to our comprehensive revitalization strategy – it will help us to address many of the serious challenges facing this community: poverty, unemployment, poor educational attainment and decreased opportunities for residents.”

Information about the Choice Neighborhoods Transformation Plan.
Information about the HUD grant award announcement.

Homes for Sale

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Bigham Place

City and state officials joined People’s Emergency Center to celebrate the opening of Bigham Leatherberry Wise Place, an 11 new and rehabilitated affordable homes development, seven of which are for formerly homeless women with special needs and their children. Read the story.
Follow the link below to see the NBC 10 coverage

http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/video/#!/news/local/New-Affordable-Housing-in-West-Philly/295987611 and this link to see the CBS Local story http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2015/03/11/new-housing-for-homeless-families-dedicated-in-west-philadelphia/

Job Opening: Administrative Support Specialist – Philadelphia Land Bank
The Philadelphia Land Bank is dedicated to revitalizing Philadelphia’s neighborhoods through the reactivation of vacant land and is looking for a self-starter to support its leadership team. Primary responsibilities include administrative work, providing analytical services to improve, develop, and maintain operating efficiencies for the Philadelphia Land Bank.

Job Opening: Policy and Planning Director
OHCD is recruiting for a Policy and Planning Director to play a critical role in assisting OHCD’s Deputy Director in the development of recommendations pertaining to policies, goals and programs for OHCD. Among the primary responsibilities is administering and managing all aspects of the $30 million North Central Philadelphia Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant.

Wynnefield Place: New Senior Housing Complex Opens

On February 19, 2015, OHCD, PRA and the developer Presby Inspired Life celebrated the opening of Wynnefield Place, a new apartment building at 1717-25 N. 54th Street in West Philadelphia. It offers 48 affordable rental apartments for independent, low-income, seniors.

Philadelphia LandCare Program Featured in Police Chief

Prevent victimization coverOHCD and Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s LandCare program is a nationally recognized model of landscape treatment to address the widespread challenge of land vacancy plaguing the city’s core. The program “cleans and greens” selected lots in key neighborhoods across the city, removing all debris and weedy vegetation, grading, adding compost enriched topsoil, and planting grass and trees to create park-like settings. This program is featured in The Police Chief magazine’s article, "Preventing Victimization: Public Health Approaches to Fight Crime" because lot beautification is related to the fight on crime, as well as positively impacting communities and their residents.

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