Deborah McColloch, Director: 1234 Market St., 17th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107
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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.

Council Approves Land Bank Strategic Plan
On Dec. 11 Philadelphia City Council set the stage for the redevelopment of Philadelphia’s vacant lots and buildings when it passed a resolution approving the Land Bank Strategic Plan and disposition policies. The vote followed a Dec. 1 hearing in the Committee on Public Property and Public Works. After hearing from the Land Bank and more than 20 advocates, the Committee unanimously reported out the resolution to the full Council with a favorable recommendation.

To read more click here. Also read the Philadelphia Tribune, the Daily News and the Inquirer stories on the Land Bank. For more information about the Philadelphia Land Bank and to review its Proposed Strategic Planclick here.

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

Job Opening: Administrative Support Specialist – Philadelphia Land Bank
The Philadelphia Land Bank, a nonprofit organization dedicated to revitalizing Philadelphia’s neighborhoods through the reactivation of vacant land, 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.

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
Briefing Session: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.
Proposal Deadline: no later than Tuesday, March 31, 2015, 5:00 pm.

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.

RFP Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) Program
OHCD is soliciting proposals for the NAC Program funding for the City 2016 Fiscal Year. Applicants shall undertake specific activities in targeted geographic areas and provide residents the opportunity for input on housing, community, commercial and economic development programs and related citizen participation, public information and neighborhood planning activities. RFP
Proposal Deadline: no later than Friday, March 6, 2015, 4:30 pm.

Philadelphia Land Bank has NCO for Insurance Broker
The Philadelphia Land Bank is seeking proposals from interested insurance brokerage firms to provide risk management, insurance, safety and loss control, claims and administrative services. Insurance Broker NCO
Deadline March 11, 2015

OHCD Program to Issue RFP
The Energy Coordinating Agency will issue an RFP for the Neighborhood Energy Center (NEC) Program. Information on the RFP will be available on this website as follows:
NEC RFP Issued: week of March 16, 2015*
*Issued date may change up to a week later or earlier than what is reflected above.

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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