Broad Street Brief: PHA to Accept Housing Choice Voucher Applications Again; the 2023 Mayor’s Race Makes the Jump to TV; Acting City Controller Sues City Over Resign-to-Run Rule

January 12, 2023

City Hall

Housing Vouchers Waitlist Opening for the First Time in a Decade

Earlier this week, the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) announced that it would be accepting new applications for its Housing Choice Voucher Program for the first time in more than a decade. The waiting list was closed in 2010 when the number of applications — 55,000 — surpassed the number of available vouchers. Applications will be accepted from January 23 at 6 a.m. to February 5 at 5:59 p.m., and the new waitlist will be capped at 10,000 applications.

New Philadelphia Mayoral Ads Broadcast to Televisions Across the City

2023 is the year that Philadelphia will elect its 100th mayor, and the race — particularly on the Democratic side, as the primary winner is all but certain to win the general election in November — is heating up. In late December, grocery magnate Jeff Brown began airing ads that underscore his commitment to the community and prioritizing quality-of-life improvements. Meanwhile, former Councilmember Allan Domb began airing his first television ads last week, which emphasize public safety as his top campaign priority.

Acting City Controller Suing Over Resign-to-Run Rule

Christy Brady has served as Philadelphia’s Acting City Controller since October of last year, when former Controller Rebecca Rhyhart resigned in order to launch her mayoral campaign in accordance with the city’s strict resign-to-run rule. Now, Controller Brady is suing the city over the rule, making her intent to run for her own position during the special election apparent. The only exception to the rule in Philadelphia’s Home Rule Charter is if the officeholder runs for re-election; because she was appointed rather than elected to the position, Controller Brady may be required to step down in order to run for the very position she currently holds.

How Addressing Blight May Play a Role in Ending the Gun Violence Crisis

A new study released by the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University suggests that relatively small improvements such as fixing broken doors and windows, removing trash, and pulling weeds around blighted neighborhoods could potentially have an impact on rates of gun violence in those neighborhoods. While the study was conducted on 86 abandoned homes that were randomly assigned treatment — namely, a full suite of repairs — which showed a 13% drop in gun violence compared to non-treated homes, researchers believe that similar interventions could be made on non-abandoned homes resulting in a similar effect.

Confusion Reigns As Some Business Owners Dismantle Their Pandemic-Era “Streeteries”

As of the final deadline on Monday, only 50 restaurants in Philadelphia had applied for licenses to keep their “streeteries” — the outdoor dining structures that popped up on sidewalks and parking spots throughout the city and flourished throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While some businesses have already done so, it isn’t immediately clear whether applicants would need to take down their streeteries in order to be in compliance, especially since the deadline has passed and none of the applications have been approved. The annual licensing fee is $1,750.

New Date for This Year’s Broad Street Run

The Broad Street Run, Philadelphia’s most notable 10-mile race, takes place each year on the first Sunday in May. However, due to a scheduling conflict with a Philadelphia Phillies’ home game, this year’s race will be moved up to April 30. The race will also feature a new finish line and be back up to pre-pandemic occupancy, with no vaccination or mask requirements.

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