District Council members assign targets for affordable housing

Five members of City Council introduced bills on Thursday designating certain portions of their districts as “opportunity zones,” areas that will be targeted by Council President Darrell Clarke’s 1,500 Affordable Housing Units Initiative.

Clarke’s plan envisions 1,000 new rental units, subsidized for thirty years in part by a $100 million bond sale, plus 500 new ownership units to be developed by private and nonprofit developers on vacant land currently owned by the city. The new units would be developed in areas that have high rates of tax-delinquent and publicly owned vacant property.

A spokeswoman for Council President Clarke’s office said that more opportunity zones will be designated in the coming weeks in other districts.

The bills introduced on Thursday would designate the following areas as opportunity zones.

In the 2nd District, represented by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson:

  • Point Breeze, bounded by Washington Avenue, Mifflin Street, Broad Street and 25th Street.

  • Grays Ferry, bounded by the Schuylkill River, Passyunk Avenue, 25th Street and 40th Street.

In the 3rd District, represented by Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell:

  • Mantua, bounded by Mantua Avenue, Spring Garden Street, 31st Street, and 40th Street.

In the 4th District, represented by Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr.:

  • Lansdowne, bounded by Lansdowne Avenue, Market Street, 52nd Street and 63rd Street.

  • Hunting Park, bounded by Hunting Park Avenue, 2400 Lehigh Avenue, 33rd and Ridge Avenue.

In the 5th District, represented by Council President Clarke:

  • Francisville, bounded by Girard Avenue, Fairmount Avenue, Broad Street and Corinthian Street,

  • Brewerytown, bounded by Girard Avenue,  Newkirk Street, 32nd Street and Ridge Avenue.

In the 7th District, represented by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez:

  • the area bounded by Girard Avenue, Allegheny Avenue, Kensington Avenue and 6th Street,

  • the area bounded by Roosevelt Boulevard,  Josephine Street, Anchor Street and Adams Street

  • the area bounded by Erie Avenue, Lehigh Avenue, Tulip Street and 6th Street.

About the author

Jared Brey, Zoning and development reporter

Jared Brey writes about development, zoning policy, and city government for He wasn't interested in being a reporter until halfway through a master's program in journalism at Temple University that he intended to parlay into an academic career. His work has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, City Paper, Business Journal, and Metropolis. 

Jared grew up in Montgomery County and moved to Philadelphia in 2005. He has since lived in Brewerytown, the Italian Market, North Central, Bella Vista, and East Passyunk. He believes he will stay in South Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter @jaredbrey, or send him tips at

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