In order to help small landlords preserve safe, warm and healthy city rentals at affordable prices, Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez will launch a Rental Improvement Fund. Her plans also include a rental assistance program that will directly help families pay their rent.
These initiatives were announced by the 7th District Councilwoman in a statement in which she expressed her position on Mayor Kenney’s Revised Budget Proposal.
“Our budget is a breathing document: it should highlight our shared values and protect our most vulnerable populations while supporting an equitable recovery for our businesses,” she said.
The Rental Improvement Funds are available to finance repairs and renovations for landlords to improve apartments for affordable rentals. The loan amount is established from $10,000 up to $24,999 A separate loan may be available for additional improvements or refinance of a first mortgage loan.
Quiñones, who chairs Council’s Committees on Appropriations and Education, and co-chairs Council’s Special Committee on Poverty Reduction and Prevention, said that beyond the anger she shares with the city Mayor regarding the federal government’s attitude, Philadelphia authorities must reinvent their own budget and ensure the well-being of their residents.
“I understand that our Mayor shares our anger about the federal government’s inaction at this time of crisis. But at a time of unprecedented need, we, the City of Philadelphia, must act to reinvent our own $5 billion budget, and to maintain quality education, affordable housing, and family-sustaining jobs in every neighborhood.”
The Councilwoman stressed the need for budget investments to have a direct impact on people. “We must focus every single investment in people not just programs through direct financial supports. We must invest directly in our healthcare providers on the front lines. We must invest directly in our workforce with utmost attention to federal and state loopholes. And we must invest directly in property owners and occupants to provide rental and mortgage assistance.”
According to Quiñones, the crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic demands convincing actions to mitigate its economic consequences on the city’s residents.
“I am proud to help launch a Rental Improvement Fund that will help small landlords preserve safe, warm, and healthy affordable rentals across the city. In the coming days, I look forward to launching a rental assistance program that will directly help families pay their rent,” she announced in the statement.
To demonstrate her solid intention of help, Councilwoman Quiñones stated that in the coming weeks she is looking forward “to leading City Council’s balanced, intentional, and direct approach to addressing lost income by property owners and occupants, as well as business owners and workers.”