Loans for small developers, and more housing money for the poorest families

Small real estate developers were able to rely on neighboring banks to give them loans. But many of those institutions have disappeared.

The six-year-old Philadelphia loan company is among the lenders stepping in. I’ve made a new loan to small Philadelphia developers every day for the past year.

Read on for this story and to find out why an affordable housing group rallied at Philadelphia City Hall today, learn what happens after your home loses power in a storm, read why home prices continue to rise across the region, and take a peek at the custom-made home On a hill in Bucks County.

๐Ÿ“ฎ What features would you want in a custom-designed home if you didn’t have to worry about money? For a chance to be featured in my newsletter, email me.

-Michelle Bond

If someone forwards this email to you, sign up for free here.

Latisha Redmond started a hair salon in Hawaii and used the profits to start buying houses in Philadelphia.

Jesse Fells was a minor league basketball coach when he bought a new house in South Philadelphia about which information leaked. “I thought, ‘If this guy can build a house, I can build a better one,'” he said.

Each of these small developers receive loans from Spring Garden Capital.

Half of the borrowers, like Redmond and Fells, are people of color and/or women. Across the country, only about 1,000 of the 112,000 real estate developers are owned by blacks or Latinos, according to a widely reported estimate.

Read how Spring Garden Capital can help small developers in ways banks can’t.

Philadelphia City Hall will be seeing a lot of events today. Council members return from their summer vacations for the fall session. This means that several groups plan to gather outside the building to draw attention to their issues.

One group is the Philadelphia Alliance for Affordable Communities, which is spending its 10th year urging council members to spend more money on creating and preserving accessible housing that Philadelphians can afford.

This year, a coalition of 76 organizations is demanding that Philadelphia spend half of the money it gets for housing programs โ€” city, state and federal money โ€” on low-income Philadelphians.

Specifically, the group focuses on families making $25,000 or less. Members told me that what city officials call โ€œaffordable housingโ€ is unaffordable for residents.

you should know:

  1. Nearly 30% of Philadelphia households made less than $25,000 in 2021.

  2. Government housing programs often set income limits based on the average income for the entire area.

  3. Surrounding wealthy counties like Chester and Montgomery push the median income in the Philadelphia area to more than $114,000 โ€” far more than the typical Philadelphia family makes. This means that people with lower incomes share the program funds with those with higher incomes.

Read more about the coalition’s latest campaign and why one housing expert told me that helping middle-income families can help low-income families, too.

Latest news to pay attention to

If your home has been without power for an extended period of time, you’ve probably thought in frustration as the hours passed: What’s my electric company? a job?

My colleague Erin McCarthy set out to answer this question. She spoke to PECO workers and reconstructed their response to the Aug. 7 storm in the region โ€” among the worst they can remember.

As the storm arrived, they saw the number of power outages skyrocket in minutes. About 139,000 homes were dark across the region.

With mandatory 16-hour shifts, non-stop computer alarms, storm team leaders assembled at the Emergency Operations Center, and mobile command centers dispatched.

Read on to learn how Peco prioritizes where to respond first when many customers don’t have power and learn tips for preparing for the next big storm.

When I was five years old, I got excited when I saw construction workers building my childhood home. Looking back, it must have been stressful for my mum, as new buildings can be.

Now add a hill to the mix.

Keith Gonzalez and Lee Klein said that if they had known in 2021 what they know now, the couple might not have purchased the 15-acre parcel at the top of the hill.

Just building their driveway was an expensive ordeal. Getting permits was a headache. But now that it’s all over, they like their choice.

They drink outdoors and can hear the cows mooing. They chose a modern home design, so that the home would not compete with the landscape.

Their two-story, 3,200-square-foot home has plenty of windows to take advantage of the views. There is a screening room in the basement and an indoor swimming pool outside.

Peek into the family’s escape from city life and see what it took to build their home on the hill.

๐Ÿง  Trivia time ๐Ÿง 

A New Jersey teen built a famous landmark in his backyard. But he had to dismantle it after city officials found out.

Question: What about Sami Treshak?

A) Petting zoo

b) Go-karting track

C) Roller coaster

d) Bumper car path

This story has the answer.

๐Ÿ“Š Market ๐Ÿ“Š

It’s still tough for buyers, as potential sellers stay put in their homes.

Bright MLS chief economist Lisa Sturtevant said she expects the number of new home listings to remain low for the rest of the year in the Philly area and across the Mid-Atlantic region.

High mortgage rates like the ones we have now tend to force sellers to keep prices under cover so as not to scare off buyers. But prices are still high, because buyers are competing because there are not enough homes to sell.

In August in the Philadelphia metro area:

๐Ÿ”ป The number of new home listings โ€“ about 6,850 โ€“ decreased by approximately 17% compared to last August.

๐Ÿ”ป The number of active listings โ€“ 9,460 โ€“ decreased by approximately 15% from last year.

๐Ÿ”บ The average selling price increased by approximately 6% compared to last August, reaching $370,000.

According to Bright MLS, home prices in the Philadelphia area have risen faster than in other parts of the country due to our relative affordability and strong demand for homes.

๐Ÿ“ท Photo contest ๐Ÿ“ท

Do you know the location this picture shows?

๐Ÿ“ฎ If you think you do, email me. You and your memories of visiting this place may be featured in the newsletter.

My thanks to the people – including Gary R., David P., Joe M. and Lee H. – who knew that last week’s photo showed the building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Like a typical lifelong Philly area resident, Heidi of Montgomery County said she went there on class field trips. She visits her on dates with her husband and on trips with their children.

โ€œWhen relatives from Germany visited us, there was always a climb up the Rocky Steps.โ€

You’ve all told me that you have strong feelings about parking. So, I’m sharing a parking guide put together by my colleagues to show you how to beat a parking ticket, what to do if you get a “free tow”, how to park cheaply, and what parking lots should do with a teacher shortage Read more here.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

(tags for translation)coalition-loan-lender-philadelphia-affordable-housing

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