On Thursday, October 18th, the Senate of Pennsylvania announced a $400,000 initiative to revitalize homes in the West Oak Lane neighborhood was announced at a press conference at the West Oak Lane Senior Center. Funds provided by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) will be used to make needed repairs and modifications to 32 homes belonging to moderate-income seniors in the community.
These home modifications will ensure that seniors can continue to safely live in the community they have called home for decades.
The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University’s report, Housing America’s Older Adults, cites accessibility as, “essential to older adults’ health and safety as physical and cognitive limitations increase.” Further, as aging can bring increased risks of disability, isolation, and financial stress, allowing seniors to stay in places where they have built deep community ties is key to their well-being. The communities, in turn, benefit from committed residents with investment, experience, and care for the neighborhood.
The initiative is led by Senator Art Haywood, who formerly worked at RHLS, Rebuilding Together Philadelphia, Representative Isabella Fitzgerald, and Congressman Dwight Evans, with the assistance of Community Legal Services and Cindy Daley, Director of Community Redevelopment Initiatives at RHLS.
RHLS provided legal and technical assistance in securing CFA funds as part of a larger effort to provide aid to communities in northwest Philadelphia that have been hit hardest by home foreclosures. As the initiative is implemented, RHLS will provide ongoing legal and technical assistance.