coronavirus

Nearly a million Pa. utility customers are past due on their bills because of COVID-19. Who will pick up the cost?

About 968,000 mostly residential customers of large electric, gas and water utilities were more than 30 days past due on their bills at the end of November, up 34% from a year ago, according to reports filed with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. They owed more than $808 million, up 70% from the previous year. | From: The Inquirer (Read more.)

Housing

Philly developer Chris Rahn shirked deal to build affordable homes as city officials stood by

The deal was simple: Property mogul Chris Rahn got to buy a bundle of 22 vacant, publicly owned lots on the cheap. In exchange, records show he was expected to build homes for the financially needy on eight of them. Five years on, most of those 22 lots — including one of the parcels where he’d agreed to build affordable housing — have been developed into apartments pulling in big rent checks. That’s because the officials who arranged the sale let him shirk his end of the bargain. | From: The Inquirer (Read more.)

coronavirus

One-size-fits-all approach to rent relief leaves tenants and landlords without assistance

Landlords who didn’t participate in Philadelphia’s pandemic rental assistance program were dissuaded by bureaucratic red tape and uncertainty, concerns about the amount of money they could collect, and strained relationships with tenants, according to a report released Monday by the Housing Initiative at Penn and the Philadelphia-based redevelopment nonprofit Reinvestment Fund. | From: The Inquirer (Read more.)